Startup TypeRoom Building Online Content Management System

The company is currently beta testing pro and lite versions, which are based on WYMeditor open source software.

Antone Gonsalves, Contributor

January 10, 2008

3 Min Read

Startup TypeRoom on Thursday launched in private beta online editing and publishing tools people can use to change individual pages on Web sites.

The tools are the first piece available of TypeRoom's Web-based content management system that the company plans to release in beta in the second quarter, with the first version shipping in the second half of the year, chief executive and founder Reilly Sweetland said. The "lite" version available now is what the company is offering to give people a chance to test the ease of use of the WYSIWYG editing tools.

To access the tools, the user must first log in and then type in the URL of the page to be edited. TypeRoom copies the page but does not actually download any of the images, video, or other assets. Instead, the editing tool displays the page just like a browser, using the HTML code in the page to request whatever content is on the server. "We're just copying exactly how a browser works, so we don't have to make copies of the assets," Sweetland said.

Users are able to make text changes, insert new images or video, and edit anything else on the page, Sweetland said. TypeRoom offers two ways to publish the modified page.

With the first option, the edited page and all linked files can be uploaded to TypeRoom's server via FTP (File Transfer Protocol). TypeRoom, in turn, can publish the new page to the hosting server of the originating site. In the second option, a URL for the edited page can be sent to a Webmaster, who can download the page and its assets and publish them himself on the server.

People wanting to use the first option would pay TypeRoom $12 a month. Webmasters using the second option would be able to use TypeRoom at no charge. "We want Webmasters to know about the product," Sweetland said. "It's a kind of win-win thing when Webmasters know about it."

Webmasters are often overloaded with requests for minor changes on clients' Web sites. TypeRoom Lite could help ease the burden by giving those clients an easy way to make the changes themselves, and then send the changes to the Webmaster for posting, Sweetland said.

TypeRoom Lite is scheduled to be generally available this quarter. The tools are not a full-fledged content management system. When that comes later in the year, it will offer features for organizing the large number of pages and templates associated with company Web sites, Sweetland said. "Lite is the microcosm, and Pro is the macrocosm."

TypeRoom's upcoming online content management system would publish pages to a Web server via secure FTP. As a second option, TypeRoom plans to publish an application programming interface that Webmasters could use to download changes and upload them to their own servers. "It requires a little more work on their part, but some companies will want to do it that way," Sweetland said.

The API won't be available until after the first version of the Pro product ships. TypeRoom tools are designed to work only on pages from the same domain to prevent people from copying pages from other Web sites. The TypeRoom tools are based on the WYMeditor open source software.

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