Basically, it all started in 2001. Before then, Grinnell didn’t have a website. Well, it did have a web presence, but it was really a collection of unrelated web pages, maintained mostly in Dreamweaver. In 2001, we came up with a system to manage a more unified website, and give it some coherence. We didn’t know then that the type of system we have developed would be soon called “a content management system” (CMS), and that using various CMSs would soon become a de-facto standard in the web world.
But back then, we were happy. We were on the cutting edge. When we switched to 641 area code from 515, it only took seconds to replace it throughout the entire site, which by then had grown substantially. But our own CMS, while way more efficient than the “old ways” had several substantial flaws. First, it was PC-only. Second, you had to be on campus to use it. Most importantly, it completely relied on work and talent of a very small number of people. Finally, we just couldn’t catch up. We were completely in support mode, spending all our effort on patching and fixing bugs. Meanwhile, the world evolved, and so did technology. It was time for us to move on.