CMS that fits into your design

Unlike other CMS solutions that force you to think in terms of blocks or modules, Vae provides truly flexible content management. Designers are free to build out their own HTML code and upload it via FTP (or check it into Subversion), just like they would at any other web host. There are no templates or wizards that produce the look and feel of your site -- you're a designer, that's your job.

Designers can then log in to Vae and define the structure of the content that they want their clients to be able to manage. For example, if you created a website for a record label, you would want create a collection called Artists, and each artist would have a Name, Genre, and Bio. Each artist might also have child collections Albums, Tour Dates, Blog Posts, and Links.

These structures are built using our browser-based application:

Once these structures are created, Vae will generate a backstage interface that your clients can use to insert and edit their content. The interface is extremely simple and perfect for even the most computer illiterate of clients. They will only see the exact structures that you have created, enabling you to tailor to the experience level of your clients.

Now that the content is stored in Vae, designers can integrate the content into their design using VaeML, our awesome content presentation language. VaeML is extremely flexible and allows you to build basically anything that you can dream up. But we also provide access to all of your data through PHP, and we even let you extend the VaeML engine using PHP.

Built For Developers

Other web publishing solutions try to claim that their service is great for both total novices and experienced professionals (we're looking at you Squarespace). Not here.

Vae is designed by web experts for web experts. If you've never published a website before, Vae is not the place to start. But if you're a web professional looking to add awesome CMS or eCommerce functionality to your websites, Vae is for you.

We don't offer any templates, "style editors", or themes. Why? Because this is not how real web professionals work. Each person has a different workflow for building out HTML and CSS, and we don't want to stomp on what you're already doing.

Our proprietary content presentation language VaeML is designed to lay on top of the HTML code you are already writing. If you know HTML, you should pick up VaeML very quickly.

Plus, we have a great set of developer documentation that provides a full overview of the service, as well as detailed reference pages for every VaeML tag and PHP API call.

Every Designer Partner Program account comes with unlimited access to an account manager who will help you with any of your integration questions. No issue is too big or too small.


To complement our flexible CMS backend, we built VaeML™, a powerful content presentation language that lets you inject content into your pages exactly where you want it to go.

VaeML looks like HTML, but is processed by our servers whenever a page is viewed. If you know HTML, you should be able to learn VaeML very quickly. This is what VaeML looks like:

VaeML includes tags to render text, uploaded images, and links, and supports many powerful features such as looping, control flow (if/else), header/footer templates, and repetition. VaeML tags support searching, filtering, pagination, storing and retrieving session data, enforcing security restrictions, resizing images, Akismet spam filtering, and more.

VaeML provides tags that allow creating or updating content directly from your website. VaeML is also the glue that provides access to our Gravatar integration, ZIP file builder, PDF builder, and automatic asset compression.

Because VaeML is processed on the server, we also provide a local preview server that allows you to preview your VaeML pages on your local machine before publishing them to your live website.

PHP Integration

Our goal is to have VaeML work in 95% of all situations, but there will always be situations that demand something above and beyond. So, in addition to VaeML, Vae also provides full access to your data via PHP.

PHP and MySQL run normally on Vae, and we use the latest stable version of PHP (5.3 as of this writing). Our PHP Integration API provides a number of functions you can use to access your data and work with Vae via PHP.

Additionally, the <v:php> tag provides full PHP access within VaeML pages. This means that you can mix and match VaeML and PHP on each and every page.

Our API provides access to extend VaeML and VaeQL via PHP, as well as register your own code hooks that are run when different events occur.

Vae is perfect for developers that love using PHP when it is necessary but hate wading through other people's code.

Image Cropping and Resizing

Vae helps designers ensure that their websites look perfect, regardless of how their clients upload content. Uploaded images can be automatically resized to any size, directly in VaeML or through the PHP API. Use different sizes in different places if you'd like.

Vae always stores the original full-resolution version of all uploaded images, so that if you change your design in the future, Vae can build new images from the originals.

Have a design that depends on an exact image size? Vae allows designers to configure exact image sizes and will ask clients to crop uploaded images to fit the exact pixel dimensions needed. Again, you are free to have as many image sizes as you'd like across your site.

Video Encoding

Making a portfolio site for an advertising executive? Or just want to allow your clients to embed videos into their blog without having to go through YouTube?

Vae has a built-in video encoding engine that automatically converts videos uploaded in any format to web-ready lightning fast H.264 Video that can be played in Flash.

Vae also allows designers to specify the exact size and bitrate at which the video and audio will be encoded.

For an example of a Vae site that uses H.264 video, check out Tom Sachs.

Granular Permissions

We recognize that your clients might be large companies that require multiple levels of access. Vae supports a granular permissions model that enables you to restrict access per-user, per-content-structure.

For example, you could create an account that is only allowed to post to the blog section of the site. Or another account for the warehouse that only see Store orders.

It is also possible to designate accounts as read-only, create-only (i.e. blog authors), or full access (i.e. blog editors).


In Vae, designers are totally responsible for designing the structures that their clients will input content into. But Vae also provides mechanisms to make these input forms totally idiot proof.

Vae provides validations that can be enabled on strucures that ensure that they are properly completed by your users. There are four types of validations: Require a Value, Require Numericality, Require Uniqueness, and Maximum and Minimum Length.

Vae will enforce these validations when your clients go in to insert or edit content. By catching simple mistakes before they ever hit your website, Vae helps you ensure that your clients always have a quality product.

Web-standards Compliant

When building websites with Vae, you create all the HTML yourself, so you can build it to whatever standards you feel appropriate. All Vae-generated HTML code works in both HTML 4.0 and XHTML 1.0 (Transitional and Strict).

Vae supports generating RSS feeds and publishing Google sitemaps. Of course, all of these can be automatically generated from content managed in the CMS.

Because your hosting account on Vae is a full-featured hosting account, Vae also supports robots.txt and .htaccess.

Javascript generated by Vae utilizes the latest version of jQuery. While we recommend jQuery for all Javascript programming, you are free to use another library in your pages as well. Our code will play nice.

Flash support

Some sites need to be flashy, and Adobe Flash continues to grow as a platform for building cool dynamic websites.

Because data stored in Vae can be easily turned into an XML feed, Vae makes an ideal choice as a CMS for websites that use Flash. Vae works equally well on full-flash sites and sites that incorporate flash widgets in the design.

Simply design your Vae data structures just like any other site and then build an XML feed using VaeML. Then just have your Flash application read that XML feed and act appropriately. Vae will handle all the content management, as well as image resizing and video encoding.

For an example of a full-flash website powered by Vae, check out Weil Studio.

AJAX support

AJAX and Javascript are the bleeding edge of web technology and Vae supports them both fully. Since you write all your own HTML and Javascript on Vae, you are free to use any available Javascript framework or write your own.

Vae also includes a set of AJAX helpers in VaeML that are powered by jQuery. These helpers allow you to load any link any <div> on your page, all without writing any Javascript. You can also use the same technique for VaeML forms (such as Add to Cart, Checkout, Formmail, and more).

Vae's AJAX helpers also provide an easy way to build visual effects and loading animations, again, without writing any Javascript.

For an example of a full AJAX site powered by Vae, check out Gin Lane Media.


Search Engine Optimization is a must for any professionally created website. Vae makes it easy to optimize your sites for search engine consumption.

First, Vae can generate permanent links (permalinks) to any entry in any of your content collections. These permanent links are built using relevant key words from the title of that entry. For example an article called Investment Banking in Today's Climate might generate the permanent link

Automatically including these key words in the URL goes a long way toward enabling these pages to be ranked highly in search engines.

Additionally, Vae can generate Meta tags for both keywords and description, based on the data stored in a given content structure.

Support for robots.txt and Google Sitemaps enable you to tell the search engine exactly what is important on your site.

And if you need offsite promotion for your site, we've negotiated an additional 15% discount on the popular link building service Link Emperor for all Vae customers. Just ask your account manager for details.


Vae provides an extremely open-architecture with powerful APIs and many hooks that allow you to inject your own code to run when different events occur.

For example, you can register a block of code to run when a customer is created, or when a piece of content is deleted. Your code can then take further action and even prevent the initial action from succeeding. The list of available hooks is quite large.

Additionally, the VaeML parser engine can be extended to support your own tags, and the VaeQL query engine can be extended to support your own functions.

The Vae PHP API provides access to most data that is stored in the backstage, and allows full manipulation.

Here are some examples of creative ways the API has been used already:

  • Sending a welcome E-Mail to new customers.
  • Using the eCommerce functionality to rent clothing (user-provided code registers the dates on a calendar and prevents double-booking)
  • Instantly provisioning coupon codes in response to a customer's order.
  • Digital delivery of purchased eBooks.

Hosted Solution

Vae is a fully hosted solution. This means that there is no software to install, no hardware to buy, and no maintenance requirements to fulfill. We host both the Vae CMS backstage interface as well as your website on our servers and network.

Hosted solutions can be scary because they are typically very limited in functionality. We have tried to avoid this problem by providing a full-featured web hosting account for every Vae website. This means that you can run PHP/MySQL code, and even install third-party applications such as WordPress, SlideShow Pro, and vBulletin. You can't do that on any of the other hosted CMS services, but on Vae, it's easy. You can even embed VaeML code inside your WordPress templates to manage template content with Vae.

New websites are provisioned instantly onto hardware that we already have standing by and ready. Our servers are always kept up-to-date to the latest versions of PHP, MySQL, and all the standard utilities found on a hosting account. We provide full FTP and Subversion access to your web space.

We maintain a powerful network and servers and our uptime so far has been about 99.85%. That figure represents total HTTP availability and even includes scheduled downtimes. We're just as reliable as any other host that you might use.

We are often asked by government, education, and corporate IT professionals if we sell a version of Vae that can be installed on their local network. Vae is an extremely complicated platform with dozens of intricate moving parts and depends on several external services. As such, it is not possible to offer a purchased/self-hosted version of Vae. If you have this problem, get in touch with us as we might be able to help you persuade your boss into using Vae anyway.

Designer Partner Program

The Vae Designer Partner Program is our program for professional website designers, developers, and agencies. Through the Designer Partner Program, we provide all the resources you'll need to use Vae to build sites for your clients.

Membership in the program is the only way to use Vae. In the future, we plan to offer advanced levels of membership that include certification and Service Level Agreements.

Designer Partners receive access to the Vae Designer Portal, where they can provision websites, access their existing websites, edit their account data, and more.

Every Designer Partner Program account comes with unlimited access to an account manager who will help you with any of your integration questions. No issue is too big or too small.

White Label Solutions

We recognize that many designers want provide a strongly branded experience to their clients. Vae has been designed from the ground-up to enable a experience that can be resold to your customers as your own.

The color scheme of the backstage can be totally customized for every site that you build. This creates a powerful branding association between the backstage and each individual website.

You can upload a logo to be displayed in the backstage for each website. This can be your design company's logo, or the logo of each individual client. The choice is yours.

We will also put your company's name in the footer of every page in the backstage.

If you are on our Fully White-label plan, we can remove any instance of the word Vae from the backstage.

Even the login URL can be customized. We can set it up so that your clients log in at something like This is only available on the Fully White-label plan.

Vae comes with an incredible 90-day money back guarantee, so you can try Vae risk-free.

I have to say it again; Vae is really blowing me away. You have the most comprehensive, highest-quality, and best documented service I have ever come across. And the customer service? You know you're good. Thank you, sincerely. I can't begin tell you how many people I've recommended Vae to.

Robert August, Vae Designer Partner