October 2023

Magnolia - Content management blossoms


Magnolia is a very powerful content management system that we prefer to use. It is reliable, easy to use and offers just the right balance of functions - especially for large amounts of data from multiple sources. For an enterprise-class CMS, we also like it quite a bit from a budget perspective.

We are big fans of simplicity. But making the simple good is often the most difficult thing of all. 

When it comes to content management systems, we love Webflow. It is simple in the sense that designers can create entire websites without having to be able to program. However, Webflow reaches its limits when there is a lot of data that is distributed across different systems. That's when our second favorite comes into play: Magnolia.

The basics of Magnolia

All threads in one hand

Today, large companies operate significantly more digital presences than just a few years ago, when the corporate website was the core of their presence. Corporations now use many different websites, they have to operate social media channels and store systems, connect apps and chatbots and, if possible, do so in such a way that customers do not notice any breaks.

From CMS to DXP

Managing all channels from one platform is a major challenge. After all, different data sources need to be tapped into: Systems for e-commerce, customer relationship management (CRM), digital asset management (DAM) or product information management (PIM). A conventional content management system (CMS) is not usually able to do this, which is why the enterprise segment now refers to digital experience platforms (DXP). Magnolia is one of the most important DXPs on the market and even appears in the relevant Gartner Magic Quadrant - a real accolade! But what makes the product so convincing in detail? 

The features of Magnolia

Highly intelligent & headless: the headless concept

The core idea of the software is the consistent separation of content on the one hand and design on the other. The front end and back end are independent systems that can be maintained separately but are connected via an interface. This allows content to be delivered from a single source to all possible channels such as websites, mobile apps, social media, print, in-store displays, etc.

This so-called headless concept has several advantages:

  • Usability: the content can be optimized for each channel/touchpoint - for a better user experience 
  • Performance: content is displayed faster
  • Scalability: The effort required to provide additional channels is low because they are all fed from just one data source
  • Flexibility for the future: In the event of a relaunch, for example, the front end can be adapted without having to rebuild the back end

Personalization? Made easy.

One of Magnolia's traditional strengths is its sophisticated targeting functions. This allows content to be personalized, i.e. adapted to different user types, by creating and displaying different variants of the same content. Entire pages or just individual content components can be available in different variants.

And the editor? It's not difficult either.  

A common disadvantage of headless solutions: When editors create their content, it is difficult to estimate how it will be used later and how it will look in the various channels. Magnolia solves this problem with a flexible editor that provides visual design options to style the content individually afterwards. This function is alien to most headless systems. 

Multi...? Times three!

Magnolia is extremely versatile and grows with you.

  • Multi-site - several country domains are managed by one instance
  • Multi-language - appearances in several languages
  • Multi-channel - content is played out simultaneously in several channels such as website, app & social media

With this platform, you are equipped for everything. 

Modules? With pleasure.

The platform can be expanded very easily, either through official extensions from the manufacturer, third-party modules or specially programmed developments for individual requirements. 

The experience with Magnolia

Similar to Webflow, Magnolia also follows the low-code approach, i.e. the initial effort required to set up a system is relatively low. But how does it prove itself in everyday use? Our customers have reacted very positively to the intuitive user interface so far. This also means less support work for us. Here is an overview of our projects with the CMS. The HKW project follows the headless approach.

Our top reference: Rittal

Rittal was our first and largest customer to use Magnolia. The world market leader in enclosure systems and true "hidden champion" is particularly dependent on multi-language and a large number of country sites ("multi-site"), which should all be managed on one platform. A total of 46 country sites are currently online at rittal.com . This and the integration of a media asset management system and various databases with products and events make Rittal a model project for the software from Switzerland. The Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora memorials are already the next in line.

We are a Magnolia partner!

This means that some of our developers are trained and certified by the manufacturer and work according to its standards.(Here is the link to our Magnolia profile).

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