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Re: [php-93] Question about Content Management Systems

From: Scott
Sent on: Wednesday, July 2, 2008 8:12 AM
On Tue, Jul 1, 2008 at 11:39 PM, Charles <[address removed]> wrote:
> I initially designed my Work website in MS Publisher, but I am now seriously
> considering using a Web Content Management System (WCMS) instead.  From what
> I understand, a WCMS allows non-technical users to make changes to an
> existing website with little or no training. (Does that sound right?)  I am
> NOT a programmer and would prefer such a tool for non-technical Web
> administrators like myself.

Generally speaking, this is a true.  A web-based content management
system uses a web page into which users can add content.  The content
that is entered is usually stored in a database.  When visitors
request your site, the CMS fetches the data from the database and
displays it in the template files used by your site.  This allows you
to radically alter the look / layout of your site without needing to
muck around too much with the content: the content simply gets
displayed in your new template.

> If I understand WCMS correctly, then I will need to hire someone to set up
> the initial site in a manner such that I can manage it in the foreseeable
> future.

Many web-based CMS products have matured sufficiently that an
interested amateur can install and manage them.  If you're not in a
rush, and willing to roll up your sleeves a little bit, I suspect you
can handle the installation of most of the more popular products.

> I would very much appreciate your recommendations.  Further, please forward
> me contact information if you or your colleague(s) have used any of the WCMS
> that you recommend.

Have you identified what features you want from your web site?  This
will help identify which CMS products to consider or reject.

Do you want to support individual user accounts?  Do you want to have
sections of the site only accessible to specific (groups of) users?
Do you want to offer a podcast?  How many visitors per day do you
expect?

These, and more, are the kinds of questions you'll want to answer
before selecting a product.  Each product makes specific decisions
about how to implement the various features, and some may better suit
your needs than others.

Speaking solely for myself, and without doing any kind of rigid needs
analysis, I like Drupal: http://www.drupal...­.  It's a mature,
robust system with a lot of third-party modules to extend the core
functionality.  It's built as a dedicated CMS (rather than as a blog
into which you can shoehorn CMS functionality).  The initial
installation can look overly tedious at first, but that's because the
developers leave it to you to decide how you're going to construct
your site.

Cheers,
Scott

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