This project's funding goal was not reached on June 29, 2014.
About this project
Please help us so that we can help charities?
All organisations need a website, what they don't need are the headaches and costs that come with having one. We are Crowd CMS and we have built an 'ENTERPRISE LEVEL' CMS (content management system). We've done this so that charities and NFP's (not for profits) can have the type of website & CMS usually reserved for those with much larger budgets, for free.
Why for free? Why not! We found that most charities had the money, what they didn't have was the tech skills to help them expand further! That's where Crowd CMS comes in.
Not sure what a CMS is? Perfect, Crowd CMS is being built for you.
A CMS is what you need if you want to create, update and manage your website and all the 'bells and whistles' that go with it. We are about to launch our 'open source software' so that as many 'worthwhile' organisations can benefit from having a professional website and CMS (did we mention that it's free).
That's all well and good but why do we need you and your help?
It's simple. We need to add some final 'tools' to the Crowd CMS system so that we can give the end users the tools they need to succeed 'online'. Crowd CMS gives them the chance to have an 'enterprise level' website and CMS, so that they can build and manage themselves online in a simple and easy to use way. Will you come to the rescue and help us finish this worthwhile project?
We are building something special. Be part of it of this 'Open Source Project'.
In a nutshell Crowd CMS saves people time and money by simplifying the way organizations create and manage their websites. It helps organizations build their websites and web pages 'super fast' so that they can fulfil their online goals (i.e. donations, raising awareness & engagement).
Who wouldn't want a free 'enterprise level' website and CMS that can help you get online in a fraction of the time it usually takes? Your donation will go towards making this happen and adding some seriously needed 'tools' to the platform.
Taking this from 'good' to 'great'
The first tool we would like to create and add to the platform is a 'Setup Wizard' so that the 'non technical' users (which will be most of them) can create the various functions that they will require for their various web pages (i.e donation pages, online shop, forms, events and much more). The second tool we will build is a 'Templating Module' so that users can choose how they would like their website to be 'look'.
Check out our Development Path here.
Where You Can Help
Until now it has all been down to us and we have invested our time, money and resources into building this free CMS for everyone to use. We are basically out of 'coffee' and with your help we can continue to assist charities and NFP's with Crowd CMS for a long time to come.
Giving £100 to a charity would be greatly appreciated by them and would go towards helping their cause. However we hope that you can see that by giving that same £100 to Crowd CMS, this will one day help hundreds if not thousands of charities.
Your donation will go further than you think!
As well as donations, we would weep 'sweet tears of joy' if you could spread the love by using this great tool Thunderclap. Please make us smile here:
So, Who Are We?
Hostpipe design and build fantastic websites for Small Businesses, Charities and Not-For-Profit Organisations.
We have helped over 200 organisations get online in the last 10 years and were recently recognised as one of the fastest growing businesses in our local area (Gloucestershire).
We are about to launch Crowd CMS as a piece of Open Source Software aimed at cutting the deployment time (and associated costs) of setting an enterprise level website up for Charities and Not-For-Profit Organisations.
Our Vision is to help get any small charity or NFP online with an Enterprise Level website quickly and totally for FREE.
How Crowd CMS Came About
We initially started building Crowd CMS to speed up the deployment of our customers' websites, but then found that in doing so we had created a really fantastic framework which could help launch an Enterprise Level website and CMS for Not-For-Profit Organisations, Charities and Startups really quickly and for much less money.
Since launching Crowd CMS 12 months ago we have had hundreds of requests to demo the product with many requests for the solution to be made totally Open Source.
What We Need & What You Get
Myself and my business partner, Caleb Evans, have already invested time and money into developing Crowd CMS to get it to where is is. So far the features include:
- Net Open Source Content Management System
- News / Blog Full eCommerce - using multiple payment gateways including Sage Pay, PayPal and Secure Trading
- Event, Course & Workshop Booking
- Ability to Take Donations
- Multi-Lingual Capabilities
- Basic CRM Integration with a choice of MailChimp or Communigator
- Web Standards Compliant, Accessible, Responsive (using BootStrap) and Search Engine Friendly
We have also created a Development Path for Crowd CMS, and are committed to improving Crowd CMS as these are features which our customers have requested.
So, we intend to use the funding to create a Setup Wizard to speed up the deployment processes as well as a Templating Module so that "non-techies" can deploy and set up their own website with little technical knowledge or input.
And if the project is overfunded we will commit to completing as many of the other tasks outlined on the development path, which may also include the features which you suggest.
The Technical Bit
Crowd CMS A Powerfully Simple Web Content Management System Built using the latest ASP.Net MVC 4 architecture so it is a widely supported, open source solution which will work on any Microsoft based hosting platform. Whilst we will accept contributions from the community we will have overall source control in order to ensure the continuity of the code behind Crowd CMS which makes it an Enterprise Level Solution.
We work with many Not-For-Profits, Charities and Small Business Startups and we would love to be able to get Crowd CMS into a state whereby we can offer to help these organisations get their website set up and online for free whilst not compromising on the quality and performance that you sometimes get with other community driven applications.
As site built with Crowd CMS will be future proofed, scalable, fully Web Standards Compliant, Responsive, Accessible and Search Engine Friendly, customisable by anyone and extendible by anyone with a programming background in .Net.
Oh, and did we mention it will be Open Source so entirely FREE. Crowd CMS will not only stand to benefit NFPs and Charities but any business looking for a cost effective but Enterprise Level Content Managed Website.
Other Ways You Can Help
Making a financial contribution isn't the only way you can help, you may be able to help in other ways:
- If you can't make a financial contribution then please make some noise about Crowd CMS
- Share this on Facebook, Twitter and Google+, someone you know may be willing to help out
- We need help moving Crowd CMS into GitHub, maybe you can offer some time or expertise in making this happen
- If you are a programmer you may want to contribute to improving Crowd CMS or use it for your customers' websites, we would love to hear from you if this is the case
- Support us on ThunderClap - Share with your friends and colleagues - https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/11306-crowd-cms-on-kickstarter
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge we face is that building an online application nearly always has movable goalposts.
We have created the Development Path to hopefully steer this along the right path, and having invested significantly in Crowd CMS already we feel that the bulk of the work has been done to get to launch. Now all we can do is improve Crowd CMS and make the user experience more enjoyable.
We have already deployed many of our customers' websites using Crowd CMS and have seen a reduction in deployment time for brochure style websites of up to 80% which has meant huge savings for our customers without compromising the quality of the finished product.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Mono supports .net MVC, so you should be able to port the source code into Mono, although this is currently untested. There is a useful guide on porting an MVC site into mono here:
Currently Crowd CMS has only been structured around MS SQL, however we will be adding it to our Development Path to look to integrate MySQL as well. This will hopefully provide users with greater flexibility when choosing which database engine they want to use with Crowd CMS. Our development path can be found here:
Use your social media contacts to spread the word if you are not able to pledge any money.
- (60 days)