govCMS - What's under the hood?

What's actually under the hood of govCMS?

There's been plenty of chatter about what govCMS will mean for users, IT specialists and service delivery. But what will all this technological upheaval mean for the poor communications or marketing team that has to administer it? Well the good news is: it's about to make your life a hell-of-a-lot easier. 

So you're not a tech guru? No problem.. 

GovCMS has been built with you in mind. Thanks to a super intuitive administrator interface there's no need to call in the IT guys and drum your fingers while you wait for the website to update. With absolutely zero knowledge of HTML you'll be able to do navigate your way around from adding content and new pages, to overhauling the entire appearance of the site. The upshot is: much greater autonomy and a website you can manage on a day-to-day basis. 

As I run through the functionality now, bear in mind I'm only talking about the main types of base functionality you'll be using on a regular basis. If you've got more specific needs, Doghouse can help you develop your own module.

Anyhow, let's take a look under the hood.

Base functionality

To start let’s check out the administration toolbar running along the top of the demo site. The interface has been designed to be as intuitive as possible – it's got clearly named tabs which take you to templates, forms and prompts. 


To create content you *surprise, surprise* go to the Content tab. From there you can create seven out-of-the-box content types at the click of a button: a blog article, event, media release, news article, promotion, publication or slide. 

Say you choose to write a media release. It's as simple as filling in fields like title, publication date, tags and attaching any associated media (I'll get back to this). When it comes to actually writing the content, you'll be in familiar territory using a text editor similar to Microsoft Word. The whole thing is underpinned by a 'What You See Is What You Get’ (WYSIWYG) content editor with a very handy preview option so you know exactly what's going on. 

Media library

Every agency battles with managing their media. GovCMS makes its painless for you to add a video, audio clip, images or documents as you create content on the fly. Navigating to Content>Files, you've got access to an entire, fully searchable, media library of existing content which you can re-use throughout your website, saving you a truckload of time and heartache. Of course you can add a new file too and specify where it should be kept for future use: in the public or private directory. 


Sophisticated workflows

User roles – GovCMS has seven default user roles. The hierarchy of control goes like this: anonymous user (least control), authenticated user, content editor, content approver, site builder, site editor and administrator (most control). As you can see from the screenshot below, each role has corresponding permissions which you can use to dictate who can see and do things like changing theme settings, or administering Google analytics and comments.  

Content workflow – Every piece of content you create goes through three stages: draft, needs review and published. Once a content editor completes a draft the content status is changed to 'needs review'. Not happy Jan? A content approver can send it back to 'drafts' status for editing. After a second bite of the cherry, if everything looks A-ok they can publish the work either immediately, or at a scheduled time. From the 'my workbench' tab you can see what stage your content is up to. 

Revisions – Each time you update a page, govCMS stores the details including the name of the editor, what changes they made and when. This function provides transparency and allows you to revert to an earlier version of the page if you realise you've goofed it. – happens to the best of us.



Themes – There are eight default agency and ministerial white sites/templates you can choose from to form the basis of your webpage. For each of these themes you can enable or disable certain page elements like logo, site slogan, main menu and secondary menu.  The out of box theme engine makes ideal for small agencies on budget. 

Flexible layout – Hold that email, don't call in the developers to change the HTML templates. If you've got the blog on the left of the page and latest news on the right, but you want to switch them, all you need to do is drag and drop the content into the preferred spot. Magic. 


If you're worried all these templates and built-in functions are going to leave you with a cookie cutter website, fear not. There are dozens of pre-approved modules that you can turn on and off to not only let you customise your pages, but also improve functionality and service delivery. So you might want to turn on the newsfeed module to include Twitter or Facebook updates. Or you could make forms easier for people with impairment to complete by putting the accessibility module to work. Check out the full list of module categories below. 

If you're a government comms or marketing specialist and freaking out about what govCMS will mean for your already jam packed work day, fear not! It's been designed to make your life easier and more autonomous – you still of course need guys like us when it come complex bits, however day to day management can be easy handles internally. At the click of a button you'll be able to create content, insert various media files, transform page appearance and layouts, customise functions and avoid embarrassing errors with a transparent workflow and permissions system. 

If you would like to learn more about govCMS and it's intuitive administration functionality, Doghouse runs online one on one demonstrations. Contact our office today.