I never need much of an excuse to try a new CMS, subsequently I’ve created a new website for myself to showcase my photographic efforts using Koken. Recently treating myself to a new camera (a Canon EOS M to replace a tired 5D Mk I) I decided I should probably create an online repository of my favorite images. Koken’s been developed (pun intended) with this task in mind, it isn’t really suited for more general sites but for photography it’s seriously slick.

I’ve also recently adopted Adobe Lightroom, something I can’t recommend enough, if you haven’t used it yet and are familiar with Adobe’s other products. Koken has a great plugin for Lightroom that allows publishing of images from within the software straight to your site - very neat indeed.

This CMS is (much like Anchor) still in its infancy although unlike Anchor it’s being actively developed, yay. Although unlike WordPress and Drupal the community is small and there is a lack of plugins and themes, not that I find this a turnoff - all the more hacking for me.

Koken management interface

The management interface has to be the nicest I’ve ever seen in and CMS, and that’s some serious praise. It works. It works really well. The layout is intuitive, using plenty of drag-and-drop elements and obvious menus. The only minor issue I have is the colour pallet can sometimes make text a little difficult to read at a glance, I must be getting old…

Images are organised into albums, and sets of albums. Albums can be public or private and generated from within Lightroom if you’re using their magical plugin. It’s all very easy to get your head around. Most importantly, everything works. I have yet to encounter something I didn’t immediately understand or didn’t do exactly what I expected, for me no CMS has ever been this easy to learn.

So far I’m really liking Koken, hopefully this experience will remain as pleasant and pain free.