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No. 227
March 5th, 2009

Check Out My New Company
You Know You Want To


New SEO-friendly Content Management System: Pixelsilk

Most readers know that I totally <3 WordPress.  So when Mark Knowles and the rest of the Smart Solutions team introduced me to Pixelsilk at SMX West, first by sponsoring the meet-n-greet on the initial night, then following Matt McGee, Adam Audette, Will Scott, Todd Mintz and I to dinner, then walking me through a demo on the showroom floor, then stalking me back to my hotel room (OK, OK, that didn’t happen), the deck was stacked against them.

Despite my overwhelming attraction to WordPress as a CMS, I have to admit, I was pretty darn impressed with Pixelsilk.

The Pixelsilk team went about the idea of a CMS with great consideration for every type of person who touches a website: from the designer, to the developer, to the marketing VP, to the copywriter, to the IT guy, etc., etc.  The SEO (including an agency SEO–doesn’t have to be someone in-house) can make recommendations for each page’s content, or title tags, or anything else on the back end–basically by leaving notes in just the right places–and a marketing or product manager can come along and actually implement the changes.  It’s SUPER-easy for the layperson to understand how stuff fits together (if you can figure out Microsoft Word, you can figure out Pixelsilk) but still allows for an awesome amount of easy customization by designers and developers.  


  • Back-end interface easy for non-techies to understand.
  • Super SEO-friendly (full customization of Title tags, descriptions, H1’s, etc.)
  • Easy to set user levels with different administrative access.
  • Easy to change individual page skins with one click.
  • Like WordPress, Pixelsilk uses Template tags (or something akin to them), but unlike WordPress–and here’s the really cool part–you can create your OWN Template tags on the fly.  This would come in super-handy if I wanted to template a particular set of pages as a dropdown menu, or a particular image gallery, etc., etc.



  • No built-in e-Commerce system. This would have been HUGE for me personally, since there isn’t really a good e-Commerce package for WordPress.
  • Not really affordable for small businesses, since it’s a couple hundred dollars a month & that would eat through most of their design and development budget.  But if you’re a big site and your hosting costs are already a couple hundred dollars a month, this wouldn’t be an issue at all.
  • ???  Maybe there are some enterprise-level issues that I don’t understand, so I couldn’t ask any questions about them.


I don’t know that I’ll use PixelSilk for too many of my own clients, just because their budgets aren’t big enough and they typically don’t require the level of customization that Pixelsilk allows (the fishing with dynamite analogy comes to mind).  And I readily admit that I have no experience working inside a large company in terms of understanding the actual flow of getting changes implemented.  But when guys like Adam Audette and Bruce Clay, who have experience on some of the largest sites in the world, are recommending Pixelsilk, I’m pretty confident in doing so as well.

So if you work for a big company, or an agency that designs, develops, or consults for big companies, you might at least head over to and ask for a demo.  And stop by their booth at Searchfest next week to ask all the questions you want!

  • David,

    Thank you for the kind words. On the stalking thing… I can’t believe you saw us! 😉 To clarify our eCommerce strategy, we chose to work with existing providers of eCommerce solutions instead of creating our own. Currently, we are up and running with both BV Software and Microsoft AX with more surprises coming later this year. The beautiful thing about this integration work is the results. Pixelsilk renders the category and product pages so, you end up with full URL and HTML control of the most important part of your online store. Once you see the way this engine renders, the lights come on, and you are off to the races. (Oops, there should have been a shameless plug warning, I got carried away 😉 Anyway, I hope this helps clarify Pixelsilk’s eCommerce strategy and thanks again for your kind words. – Mark Knowles

  • elam

    My main concerns would be that it’s hosted and it’s .Net. Any company bigger than a small business would want more access to their site than just a web browser and it seems that that is all they offer, but I may have missed something. Also, Apache is immensely popular with SEO people, webmasters and developers. Using .Net does not take advantage of the knowledge a company probably already has.

    And for a CMS that places so much emphasis on SEO this is surprising:

    doesn’t redirect to:

  • I don’t think we have a better cms that Wp or Joomla…..

    And if this is a paid one..then I think the battle is already lost…

  • Neither i think that. There is no such content management systems that can stand infront of WordPress and joomla. They are just the best. Well, i am hoping for a new CMS that allows all the plugins and themes and other useful resources of wordpress, joomla and other content management systems to install on their CMS and are compatible with them. If this type of CMS is created then i think all CMS will be down soon.

  • Thanks for sharing.

    I’m always looking for a free or cheap CMS so that you can let clients fill in the content.

    Your comment… “Not really affordable for small businesses” kills it for me.


    Keith D

  • Steve D

    My wife has a small business with 3 part-time employees plus herself full-time. Uses WordPress as CMS now. Expect to convert to PixelSilk because it is much easier to make design changes, not just content changes. On page SEO control is much greater and easier to use, too, at least in the versions I use or demoed. Since WP is free, it is a great value, but PixelSilk if it adds just one new client per year, it more than makes up for the added cost. It is far easier to learn to use as a non-technical “webmaster”working to help her site rank for keywords and create custom landing pages for Google Adwords campaigns, which have a fantastic ROI for her.

    I have no relationship with PixelSilk, other than their CMS is on my short list of vendors to consider for my employer’s new website. It is not perfect, but seems to be a great fit for my employer, a small, growing start-up in Silicon Valley.



  • ” don’t know that I’ll use PixelSilk for too many of my own clients, just because their budgets aren’t big enough and they typically don’t require the level of customization that Pixelsilk allows”

    That’s exactly what I was thinking. I love the idea of it. I love the features but it is not coagulating with our primary market.

    If ever, Pixelsilk decides to target the ‘low end’ market (e.g. local-based businesses) then I’m eager to give it a shot. Most of my clients fit into two categories:

    1) won’t be able to justify that cost.
    2) won’t want to commit to a transition without overwhelming reasons to do so.

    Any thoughts?

  • Brent,

    Thank you for commenting here, we sincerely appreciate your interest and are always listening to our customers and bringing in new ideas. Can you provide a little more information about your clients? Some of the helpful questions that come to mind are:

    1) What are their goals for their website?
    2) How successful are they accomplishing that today?
    3) How can they do better? or… what is holding them back?
    4) What are they using today?
    5) What skills do they have in-house? What skills do they contract for?
    6) What is their next “hill” they want to climb?

    Can you think of an example or two that come to your mind where these questions are easily answered? If so, please do and we’ll dig in a little deeper and see if we have any compelling suggestions.

    Thanks again for your comments, they are very helpful and I look forward to your reply.

    Kind regards,

    Mark Knowles
    President & CEO
    Pixelsilk, Inc.