The Rocket Blog

RocketFuel CMS Reaches Monumental Milestone
By Alli Dillard and Lindsey Butler on Jul 25, 2017
Mount Reubandmore03

Four score minus 70 years ago (that’s ten, y’all), our developers brought forth on their computers a new CMS, conceived in practicality, and dedicated to the proposition that all content is created manageable.

That’s right, it’s been a whopping ten years since RocketFuel’s technological Founding Fathers, Reuben Brunson (CEO) and Andy McFarland (CTO), launched the very first iteration of our own in-house content management system. Hundreds of client websites and countless hours of developer tinkering later, the platform has evolved--and continues to evolve--into an exceptionally secure, user-friendly web experience that makes our team prouder with each passing day. Naturally, we wanted to mark the occasion, so we’re taking a trip down memory lane with the help of a little origin storytelling and a few observations from long-standing clients.

Cheers, guys!

What the heck is a content management system anyway?

Ooooooh, that’s probably a really good place to start because, let’s be honest, the phrase doesn’t get tossed around as casually in the real world as it does here inside the Rocket Ship. A content management system (CMS) is a type of software that allows users to publish all kinds of content directly to the web. For reference, here are a few big names which also occupy this arena: WordPress, SquareSpace and Weebly. Each has its own user specific interface and features, but all are used for creating websites and communicating with the world.

Why the heck build your own CMS anyway?

Star Wars Phone

Back in the day, before Reuben and Andy acted out their own (decidedly geekier) version of Field of Dreams, RocketFuel followed the familiar track many agencies followed at the time, building the majority of our sites on WordPress. However, as anyone who’s ever had to spend much time administering a WP site knows, the user experience wasn’t always ideal. Often, clients didn’t like or understand the interface and found it difficult to update their sites. Also, because WordPress is completely open source, the platform itself frequently left sites vulnerable to a number of security issues. After fighting the system for a time, our dynamic duo decided it was time to stop accepting these problems and declare our content independence!

What the heck is so great about your CMS anyway?

Glad you asked! First, our intuitive interface was designed specifically with non-web geek users in mind. Instead of fussing with some approximation of your content, you can edit it directly on the page you’re looking at.

It doesn't matter the skillset of the person in your group. If you can edit a word document, you can edit your RocketFuel website. Jessica Skinner, FBSciences

Also, unlike some agencies, we don’t hold your content hostage. When your site is completed and launched, we put the keys in your hands. You’ll never have to ask our permission to update your website.

We used to be at the mercy of former site management people and had to submit editing requests to change anything. With RocketFuel, there's no reason to have that level of frustration anymore. Kimberly McCollum Bearden, Elmwood Cemetery

Plus, we don’t open the doors to just anyone out in the Wild Web West. Keeping our platform proprietary means we can maintain not only quality control, but also a high level of security. A site designed and maintained on the RocketFuel CMS is safe from dark-corner-dwellers of the web that prey on unsuspecting sites with lackadaisical safeguards.

Weird Burglars Getaway Car

Popular CMS options, like WordPress and SquareSpace, often tout themselves as cheaper alternatives to enlisting the help of professional web designers and developers. They offer basic templates that allow users to build generic websites, but no guidance on how to customize the look, feel and function of those sites. Using one of these turnkey options is a bit like buying a gym membership: you gain immediate access to an overwhelming array of fancy equipment, but if you’re too intimidated or clueless to use any of it, you’re missing out on all the real benefits.

Gym Fail

That's where RocketFuel shines.

Reuben and Andy launched our CMS as a service, not a product, so the best part of using our platform is having our team become your team. If the web is your gym, we’re your personal trainer. We not only build you a highly customized website that’s beautiful to look at--we make sure it’s a breeze to use, and if you ever hit a snag, our ongoing support means you never have to figure it out alone.

So, here’s to ten incredible years of using our CMS to help brands of all kinds blaze a trail across the web! We can’t wait to see what the next decade has in store.

If you want to send the CMS a birthday cake, or maybe just chat about your own website needs, get in touch with us here (info [at] gorocketfuel [dot] com).