This is a guest article written by Jose Antonio, from ZZ Multimedia, a web design & programming company based in both Madrid and Barcelona.
This article is about the capabilities and opportunities offered to you by CMS, and will cover the most important tools (most are free software) that can help us to develop very basic websites to complex platforms.
CMS means “Content Management Systems” and stands for a system that helps us to build a site from a predefined base. It means that we don’t need to build a website from scratch, making all the things that a website needs possible to the user.
The most popular CMS systems are: Joomla, Drupal and WordPress. There are many more, like Xoops, but this system in particular is not as popular as the others. In short, CMS platforms offer many tools to develop websites, but not only for simple sites, and not only for beginners. These tools can be very difficult to learn, but if you can master such tools as the RAD (rapid app development) tool, then within an hour or less you can build a simple website.
Let´s take a look at some of the most common CMS systems:
This is a very popular CMS, used on thousands of sites around the world. It has a big community of users behind it, and is updated frequently. Joomla is also Open-Source hence users are constantly suggesting improvements to the system which can be used to the advantage of other users around the world.
The most popular version is 1.5, but the latest version, the 1.7 is already making its way into the hearts of the programming community.
Also, Joomla has many plugins to add specific features to your site, such as image galleries and user management plugins. If you want to discover more features of Joomla then you can download more features from the official Joomla homepage: http://www.joomla.org.
Many people use this software to build blog sites, but this system can also be used to develop fully-blown complex websites.
It’s one of the easiest CMS tools to use and from its control panel you can manage every feature of the site without difficulty.
The core feature offered by WordPress is to publish ‘Posts’ on blogs, but it also has many plugins to customize every part of your website to your needs, and updates and new plugins are constantly being made available through its large community of users.
To find out more, visit the official page at http://www.wordpress.org
Another one of the most popular CMS platforms is Drupal, and the latest available version is 7.9. Whilst not as popular as Joomla or WordPress, notable websites known for using Drupal include the official White House website.
You can download the system at the official page: http://www.drupal.org
All these CMS platforms are open source, it means that they are free to download at no cost, as long as you agree to the terms and conditions listed in their licences.
Also, if you search on some popular search engines such as Google about these systems you can find many sites, tutorials and guides explaining how to get the best out of each CMS system’s individual features.
If this article has peaked your interest and you want to learn more about CMS systems then remember that there are a whole host of CMS programmes out there which you can use to develop your website, and even little-known programmes such as Xoops (http://www.xoops.org), can allow you to make your website dreams a reality.