Looking for CMS design patterns / best practices

For some time now (about 8 months) I've been working at projects where we had to set up a CMS for managing contents of websites. This had been the first contact of our team with this specific technology and although we had some help we had to dig up the internals and methods of creating a CMS infrastructure almost solely by ourselves.

At some point of these projects we felt the need that we should not reinvent the wheels over and over but utilize already gained knowledge in that area and looked for design- or implementation guides how to design your CMS structure in ways so that the later users of your pages "have an easy life" while managing their content.

To give a bit more background on it to make it clearer:

  • we're working with RedDot/OpenText CMS
  • we create the overall structure of the website, not the actual content
  • we also set up an area, where (at a later time) editors enter and manage the actual content of the webpage

And the last two points are the area which caused us some headache. How should we implement the structure of the webpage and set up the administrative areas so that it's easy for the editors to maintain the actual content? Are there any guidelines how to design the implementations so that if editors complain about something we can fix the structure/process without having to overhaul the complete website?

Searching through the Internet I've found a bunch of pages on how to design a CMS system itself, but none of them covered my questions...


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