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content management systems

Arguably the foremost feature-rich CMS available, award-winning Joomla is deceptively simple to use. In spite of its powerful underlying functionality, new pages and new content can be added by anyone with basic word processing skills. The Joomla CMS software is freely available for download at www.joomla.org

Content Management System: Floorfillerz - Glasgow Mobile Discos

Web pages can be updated daily and, with a click of a button, they are automatically presented on your web site with a professional look that, a few years ago, could only have been achieved by paying your web designer for an expensive web site maintenance contract. With a professional CMS, your web site can grow and evolve over time and at no further cost.

the content management concept Content management systems were designed to make it possible for non-technical personnel to add and modify web site content - the text and images - easily and quickly while retaining a consistent professional look and feel to the web site. The radical solution was to completely separate the "look" of the web site from the site content. The code that determines the layout and colour-scheme etc. is kept in one place, while the text and the images are in another. The technology that grew up around that one radical idea has revolutionized the way modern business web sites can be constructed.

The separation of content from layout works both ways. You can change either without affecting the other. For that reason alone, a CMS is the most future-proof and cost-effective way to set up a business web site. Not only can your web site content be kept, literally, up to the minute but should a new look be called for, it can be achieved at absolutely minimum cost; there's no need to start afresh with a new web site. A completely new web site design can be implemented without touching the site content and the all-important internal links (navigation) structure.

ease of useA fresh, unmodified, installation of the Joomla CMS boasts an extensive and powerful feature-set but, at the most basic level, it provides the facility for you, the web site owner, to augment and maintain a polished, professional web site, armed with nothing more than the browser that you're using to read this article.

One of the most important features of any business web site is ease of navigation and Joomla provides a menu system that is both intuitive and infinitely flexible. Let's say, for example, that you wish to create a new web page for a new product or service. You would log in to the administration area, click on "Add New Content" and start writing your new content (or even paste it in from a text document). You might add a few images and then, when it's ready, you just click on the "Link to Menu" tab and type in the text that you wish to display in the menu. When you click on "Save", Joomla has automatically created the new menu item and your new content is immediately available on the web site.

a few international sites using Joomla


content management systems: typical uses

A CMS is nothing if not flexible and Joomla is probably the most extensible Content Management System in existence. Its functionality can be easily extended to include complex business-specific requirements, producing an end-user-focused website that, only a few years ago, would have cost several thousand pounds to set up. In its simplest, unmodified form, it is has everything and more for a professional "brochure site," presenting an array of products and services. With the addition of one or any combination of almost two thousand easily integrated "extensions", the framework can be adapted to accommodate highly specialized requirements. Some of the more common uses are:

  • Corporate web sites or Portals
  • e-Commerce - various e-commerce extensions exist. Alternatively, Joomla can be coupled with osCommerce to provide the ultimate e-commerce and company-brochure web site
  • Estate Agency - easily updateable owner-specified (plus owner-created) fields for all details; quick image upload; customer contact forms and many other features specific to property sales and letting
  • Motor Trade - tailored functionality specific to Motor Trade requirements
  • Boating and Yachting - tailored functionality specific to Boating and Yachting
  • Hotel Reservations - hotel brochure site plus tailored functionality specific to the Hotel Trade
  • Community Websites
  • Magazines and Newspapers
  • Podcasting Websites
  • Classified Advertising
  • Auctions
  • Directories

Jean Fullerton - award-winning author, London (web site: Content Management System)

Organic Collection - Top of the range Organic Foods from Organico, London (web site: Content Management System)

AMS Adventures - walking, cycling adventure holidays (web site: Content Management System)