Riverworks Content Management System

In effort to more fully serve our clients in the area of digital publishing, Riverworks has built a content management system specifically for online publications.

Using the popular CMS framework, October, the team at Riverworks has created backend functionality and customizable front-end details in order to satisfy the unique needs of publishers. Our newly-developed digital publishing platform offers endless customizability for a like-print feel our clients love for their online publications.

This system allows publishers to create articles then assign them to an issue, making volumes of content simple to produce. With customizability at the center of this new, Riverworks-developed platform, it can be adjusted to meet the needs of any type of publisher. At present, the team has used this new platform to build three different publications, each with their own unique set of goals and challenges.

The Sewanee Review


“Our original work with this digital publishing tool was for the Sewanee Review,” Technology Director and lead developer Kevin Ard said. “The people who create content for this publication are kind of the gold standard for this product. It’s purely literature; it just happens to be displayed on screens.”

On top of the basic functionality of issue building, The Sewanee Review required back-end options to display different types of literature. In other words, they needed a simple way to make a poem look like a poem, and a short story to look like a short story. Our team achieved this by using our platform’s article “category” function. The editors at Sewanee now simply click a button, and the article is styled for them automatically. 

“It has a slew of features to make editing feel like editing a periodical,” Ard said. “The way things are wired together, the way editing is made like a prose editor– not a website editor, just all around the way things are done. You’re not making a website. You’re publishing literature– just digitally.”

The Sewanee Review’s category function also allows them to hide content behind a membership paywall, giving them the ability to monetize their digital content without the need for advertising.

AGL Magazine

Another approach to monetizing digital content online is the inclusion of ads. AGL Magazine uses this model within their installation of the Riverworks digital publication platform. A one-time installation of AGL’s Google Ad Manager account on their site allows them to control the advertising by way of a navigable site backend that works in tandem with Google Ad Manager. 

AGL Magazine is also customized to gather article content onto a single scrollable page, making the experience more like reading an issue of a print magazine. A unique feature of this single page is that the URL changes as you scroll to each article. This makes it incredibly easy to share any single article within an issue via its very own, article-specific URL, as well as rendering the pages adequately primed for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) best-practices.

An extra custom detail to the AGL platform is their sticky table of contents. Not only does it allow the user to jump around to the articles they find most interesting, but also it has the ability to serve ads when needed, providing AGL with high-value ad spots to sell. 

Connect X Showguide


When the global health crisis hit, long time show-runner Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) needed to move their annual conference online. As part of that effort, their printed show guide needed to become digital, too. The Riverworks publication platform was a perfect fit for their needs. 

The Connect X Showguide includes all sorts of features tailored to their needs. Agendas, speaker bios, sponsor logos, company listings, and more are some of the custom categories included on their site that made a seemingly complex build almost effortless.


This Riverworks-developed publishing platform is feature rich, and ripe for use for many applications serving many clients. Some of its winning features include:

  • The platform boasts an ease of use:
    • Creating articles is simple with a prose-style editor.
    • Combining articles into issues is as simple as selecting the appropriate issue from a navigable dropdown menu.
    • Styling articles to look like poems or in other literary styles can be achieved in the click of a button.
  • Articles are separate pages, allowing for SEO optimization, easy impression and click tracking, and easy sharing.
  • Look and functionality of issues can be customized to meet the needs of any type of publication. The styling possibilities are endless!
  • Publishers can choose how to monetize their content, whether through paywalls or ad spots— or even both!
  • Framework is light and fast. Unlike WordPress, this Content Management System isn’t bogged down by extra, unnecessary code. It’s streamlined, containing only what’s necessary, making it lighting fast— even with hundreds of pages of content.

Check out our portfolio!