World Co. shutters commercial CMS services, laying off 10 at Mediaphormedia

The World Company laid off 10 Web developers this week as it laid out plans to redirect the efforts of its Mediaphormedia division, which also provides customer service for the Ellington content management system, to focus on the company’s media properties. According to a Journal-World story, it’s “part of a plan to re-emphasize a digital and local focus.”

(Full disclosure: The World Company owns the Journal-World, which is my employer.)

“The efforts to support a commercial base of customers, as opposed to using our software internally, have become difficult in a competitive CMS field that is also serving a pretty stressed industry,” World Company CFO Tom Hornbaker told the Nieman Lab. Essentially, Nieman writer Andrew Phelps theorizes, in a world full of free CMS options like WordPress, Ellington as a for-sale product met its demise.

Nowadays, “it’s hard to compete with a product like WordPress,” Hornbaker told me. “We basically have become a hosting operation that has a pretty good suite of software that nobody likes to pay for. We think a lot of our Ellington product and think it’s one of the tops in our industry. That said, many people don’t have the resources to pay for it and would rather get something that is less expensive that meets their basic needs.” Hornbaker said Ellington has fewer than 100 customers.

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