CMS: every web site needs it

Date Submitted: October 19 2005 11:08 am
CMS:
every web site needs it

By: Ilke Akdeniz
(ilke@genuinewebsites.com)



How would you work with your computer if it was not equipped with linux
or windows? Can you imagine the difficulty of editing, saving and
organising your documents in dos?
The same difficulty
applies to your web site too. It is non-sense, time consuming and
masochistic to miss an advanced "operating system for your web site": a
Content Management System.The same difficulty applies to your web site
too. It is non-sense, time consuming and masochistic to miss an
advanced "operating system for your web site": a Content Management
System.

How Does a CMS Work?

Technically speaking, a cms is simply a package of visual templates,
database queries and scripts. When someone requests
www.yoursite/index.php the script index.php takes the content from the
database, paints it with the visual template and serves it.



A reliable CMS lets you:



-
Create a website just by uploading the CMS package to the server,
configuring and customising its properties as you wish. You do not have
to struggle with html, dreamweaver, photoshop, slicing, optimising,
checking links...



- Edit, publish, organize, update, remove
your articles, announcements or news as you were creating a simple text
file in your own computer.



- Change the visual appearance of all or parts of your site in a second.



- Give other people the ability to edit, update or comment on your content within your permissions.



- Install and administer easily tools like: forums, newsletters, weblogs, e-shops, picture galleries.



Which CMS is good for you?



I categorise CMS's in three types:



1) Weblog CMS's

These systems lets individuals post their comments, thoughts,
observations, favourite links in an chronological order. They are
suitable for only individuals who wish to publish a because it's
burdensome to change the ordering of the documents and the visual
appearance of the website.



Lately,
some people used weblog cms's for no chronological web sites. I don't
understand why they are doing such an absurd thing. Probably they liked
the cms capabilities of the weblog, and as they did not know what a CMS
is and what other kind of CMS's exist, they have tried to use weblog
CMS's for every web site.
Example: Pmachine, Movable Type



2) Online Community CMS's

They are Ideal for administering a web site joining people with similar
interests. Generally works with a membership logic. They have various
functionalities such as: who is online, chat, forum, poll...



Example: phpnuke, postnuke...

3) Web Publishing CMS's

These are are very flexible and modular systems. Their priority is to
let individuals, communities or firms publish a webzine, e-journal, or
any other article-news oriented web site. In an ideal world, %80 of the
web sites should use online publishing CMS's.



Example: Mambo, Drupal, Awf, Props




4) Portal / Intranet CMS's

These are huge systems with many funtionalities suitable for large
corporate intranets or complex web sites like yahoo. Stay away from
theses unless you play big.



Example: xoops mother



You can test many CMS systems for free at opensourcecms.com



How much does a CMS Cost?

Absolutely free, unless you are a dumb who will pay for poorer software
with poorer support instead of using free opensource systems. You only
need a hosting capable of mysql and php. I pay 5$ for month for such a
service.



Conclusion

If you are building a real web site and not a brochureware an
appropriate CMS is indispensable. Plan your site, think about your
objectives, and pick the simplest opensource cms that fulfills all your
needs.



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