We had a huge, unruly Web site. It just had different graphics, a better-named Web team and more people shoveling on content and applications. Finally, out of desperation, we decided to try a new-fangled thing called a Web content management system.
In early 2007, I started the task of reworking the ageing HyperWrite Web site. The site was originally created in 1995. It underwent a major rework (to a frames-based design) in 1997, and was reworked in 1999, 2000 and 2002. In the decade since the Web site was launched, not only has Web technology moved on, but HyperWrite's activities, focus and business direction are now quite different. Time and budget were set aside to renovate the site to better serve HyperWrite's business needs, and to serve as a practical example of the company's capabilities.
The goal was to use Subversion (SVN) as a poor man's CMS, and take advantage of great PC-based editors like DreamWeaver (for HTML) and XMetaL (for DITA). Eventually, we could add pre-commit checks and utilities to give us some of the advanced functionality we'd really like--like link management and metadata change management--but in the meantime we could do everything manually to get by. All we had to do was install Subversion and enable the WebDAV interface in Apache. But many hurdles later, I'm exhausted from jumping over them. Every one requires me to look through 20 web pages in search of a solution, and each time I surmount one obstacle, it's only to find a new one standing in my way.