Texty: Simple Content Management and SyndicationI’ve recently discovered a new Simple Content Management System (SCMS) from Texty. The idea is very simplistic, and very powerful. You can create your content from within your Texty account using a WYSIWYG (“What You See Is What You Get”) editor (rich-text editor). If you prefer, you can even edit the raw HTML for your Texty, although any javascript codes you include in the HTML will be stripped out when you save it. When you are finished editing, you will be given a small HTML script code to embed in your Web site where you want the content to appear. That’s it. Just drop the code on your site and every time that you update the content from your Texty account, the changes will automatically be reflected on your Web page.

This is very much the same idea that I’ve been using for both the AjaxIncludes and JSON forms of content management. Essentially, the only difference between Texty and these other systems is that texty provides you with a WYSIWYG editor for your content (a benefit), but you can’t include additional javascript codes directly in your Texty (a drawback).

But there’s one very important feature of Texty that makes this a far superior model for content management on your site. Texty allows you to specify an “indexing” URL so that the Google search robots will index the content of your texty as if it belonged on the page you enter! This solves the primary problems of both of the content management systems I’ve reviewed before (AjaxIncludes and JSON feeds)! Now, you can include dynamic content on your site without sacrificing your Search Engine Optimization (SEO)!

I did a test-run of this, and it turns out that the text of my page was indexed by Google, but was indexed with the URL of the actual content on the Texty site. However, Texty put a small code into the page on their site that redirected the browser to my own page. This is quite in line with the Texty approach to simplicity, and it does work.

However, Texty’s approach to making your content indexable has one minor drawback…if users are searching specifically within your site, they will not be able to find the content.

Here’s what I did…first, I created a Texty that contained a made-up word: “Simplificationactionism.” I then embedded this simply Texty content into my own Web site (http://lockworldherald.com/Documents/Texty.aspx?test=simplificationactionism). Then, I waited a few weeks to see if Google would pick up my page.

To be honest, I never did find my secret search term show up in Google on my site or on Texty’s site, although the term was picked up (temporarily) from my del.icio.us account. However, I did find a term from a different Texty (http://lockworldherald.com/Documents/Texty.aspx?test=default). When I did a Web search for “Lockworld Herald,” this term showed up in the search results within one of my Texty’s (http://www.texty.com/texty/8c10f4c2-1dfc-41f7-95ef-41ad4e8afa87.html), so I got an idea of how it would work. I think many of the problems were my fault…as I was playing around with this Texty functionality, I changed the indexing URL a few times, so I think Google initially was able to index the page, but has since dropped it because the original URL was no longer working. It may take a little time before Google picks it up again.

Texty’s SEO functionality:

I was hoping that the search results for “simplificationactionism” (or any of my search terms) would show my own page (in my LockworldHerald.com domain). I found out, however, that Google indexed the content under Texty’s Web site:

www.texty.com/texty/89afae0d-e07c-4ccc-b408-1b71e8feb619.html

This is how Google would normally index a page, and at first I thought Texty had lied about being able to index my content. However, I later realized that, since they can’t control how Google (or other search engines) index pages, they did the next best thing.

Users who click on the link provided by the search engines are redirected to my own Web site (http://LockworldHerald.com/Documents/Texty.aspx?test=simplificationactionism). Try it yourself…click on the Texty link above (texty.com/…) and you will be redirected to my Lockworld Herald Web site.

This is, perhaps, not the ideal solution, but it is certainly better than nothing. The real problem is that if someone is searching my site specifically, they will be unable to find the information they are looking for. However, the good news is that the information is being indexed and made available to search engines, so people can find what you write.

Summary:

The amazing benefits of Texty, in my opinion, more than make up for this drawback, especially since Texty brings users right back to your site when they click on a link in the search results. In fact, Texty’s only drawback is not, in fact, Texty’s problem or fault. It stems from a fundamental flaw in the way that search engines search and index the Web, which I will be discussing in this blog in a few weeks (at least, that’s the plan as of right now).

 


That’s all for today. In my next post, I will discuss ways to take advantage of the three content management systems I’ve discussed (AjaxIncludes, JSON feeds from Zoho Creator, and Texty) to build a truly dynamic and powerful Web site that is (relatively) simple to create, update, and manage, especially if you don’t want to spend all of your time writing HTML codes every time you want to add or update a Web page. This is particularly useful if you have a team working on your Web site…the Web developers on one side, and the content managers on the other. One of the best features of Texty, although I have not heard of anyone using it this way, is the ability to share your content on other Web sites. I will be discussing this idea in more depth shortly (either in the next post, or one after that). I will demonstrate a way to publish articles on your site and provide your visitors with the codes they need to publish the exact same content from your Texty on their own site (basically, you just share the code Texty supplies with your readers). This can be great for press releases, product information, or articles that you want to share with the world.

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