Gamut: The Non-Template Template

PHP, Web BPs, and Maintaining 150
Unique Websites As If They Were One


Ray Schwartz


Web Development Group

Asst Director
2 designers
2 developers
CMS trainer

Unique sites

Vassar sites

Gamut is not a CMS

It allows a CMS to focus on content management.

Developed in-house

Off-the-shelf   ≠   fulfillment.

Which product/s suit your needs?

CMS Agnostic

Works with other CMSs or none at all.

Can’t a CMS do that?

Just because it can…

Does it follow web standards & BPs?

One website

What makes a website a website.

What makes a website a unique website.


difference in DNA

CSS Zen Garden

One site with many variants.

One difference

Simple, Semantic Markup

The model

CMS/Published Sites

One-way connection from CMS to published sites

Dev Sites

Develop locally. Add to CMS. Publish.


PHP unifies our process


Content, CMS, CSS, DB, HTML, JS, PHP

CMS Site View

Internal Notes

Published Site View

Basic - Site CSS

Starter - Local Config

Starter - Central SASS

Site-specific - Local SASS

Local SASS => CSS via Central files

No Physical CSS File

CMS only publishes local.scss and _config.scss.

No sychronization or compilation needed.

CMS becomes the Repo.

Basic + Starter CSS Applied

With Site-Specific CSS Added

Basic + Starter CSS Applied

With Site-Specific CSS Added

DevSite Files


The (one) Template

Published Flat File

Constants Defined in PHP

CMS Template - Internal & External Views

Centralized assets in CMS

Final Thoughts

Centralization   ≠   Sameness

Uniqueness can be designed in.

Allow for exceptions.

Always Look for Patterns

Recognize them through experience.

Implement and Single-Source.

Identify the Essential

Do only what is necessary.

Find the immutable, and enforce it.