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BizWeb eGazette is an Internet Marketing publication from Jim Daniels of
JDD Publishing Co.
-- as seen in Opportunity Magazine, Inc.'s 301
Marketing Ideas, Wealth Building Magazine, Six Figure Income, ZDNet and
"Dang, Jim, you wrote the report I wish I had! This is jam-packed
with the best start-up information a person could have.
Step-by-step info for anyone to start with and build with. Kudos
on an excellent product!"
I'm either old
fashioned or just lazy. Each time I post an issue of this
newsletter I do it the old way. I open my Microsoft Frontpage
program and manually create this page. Sure, I save time by starting with the
same template each time, but it's still an old fashioned method.
Today's issue will
introduce you to the way I should be doing it -- with a
content management system. If you're creating a content-rich
site, which (as I discussed in
last week's issue) is a great way to grow a business online,
you should use a "CMS"....
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A content management
system, or CMS, is a piece of software that makes it easy to
create and manage websites. In a nutshell, a CMS simplifies the
process of updating content. Publishing new web content on a
regular basis can become complicated if the webmaster has to
make a new HTML page each time he adds an article, image, link
or other piece of content. Content management systems have been
developed to solve this problem.
With a content management system, there is no need to create new
HTML pages manually - the CMS does it automatically. The
webmaster simply enters the content into a form, clicks a button
and the software generates a new web page.
A content management
system separates the content (e.g. images, text, links, files,
etc.) from the layout. When the webmaster first sets up a new
website with a CMS, he does it with a set of templates for the pages. Whenever he
adds new content, the pages are automatically laid out based on
these pre-defined templates.
This may sound
complicated, but in most modern content management systems,
setting up the templates is simple. Users who are not confident
with HTML need not worry - most content management systems offer
some ready-made templates that can be used 'out of the box'.
Many open source content management systems offer free
templates, which have been submitted by their community of
users. It is also possible to buy CMS templates from online
template stores. Another alternative is to find a designer to
build custom templates.
These are the basic principles upon which all content management
systems are based. So how do you choose which CMS is right for
you? The first thing to establish is the size of your budget.
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Content management systems range in price from zero up to
thousands of dollars. The no-cost end of the market is comprised
of the many open source content management systems that are
available. At the high end of the market are the custom built
enterprise systems used by big corporations.
For the purposes of this article, we will concentrate on the
open source options; there are so many CMS products to choose
from in this category that there is bound to be one to suit most
needs. Open source software has an open license, which means it
is free to use and the source code is available for anyone to
Before choosing your CMS, it is important to
establish the scope of a website.
Some of these open source systems are capable of running complex
portal websites with lots of dynamic functionality, whilst
others are much more simple. Most websites exist
simply to publish standard content. For sites like this, a
complicated portal CMS is not required.
(Learning how to use a portal CMS can be a demanding task
because of the complexity of these systems. As well as managing
content, portal systems include additional functionality like
front-end user registration, polls, forums, ecommerce, mailing
lists, etc. They are powerful pieces of software and, for the
confident webmaster, they provide almost
endless possibilities in site creation. However, for novice and
intermediate users, the high level of technical ability required
may be prohibitive. Examples of portal systems include Joomla!,
Mambo, Drupal and Postnuke.)
For most simple
websites there is no point in going through this learning
process. Instead choose a simpler CMS that will require far less
time and technical skill to operate.
One of the simplest content
management systems is called sNews. Other simple alternatives
include most of the blogging software packages (e.g. WordPress,
Nucleus, Typo, etc.). Although these are called 'blogs' they
are, in fact, content management systems. By default, they have
been configured to run blog sites, but by simply changing the
templates they can be made to run many other types of website.
There are also many simple content management systems that are
not primarily designed to run blogs. These systems will run a
wide range of websites (including blogs!) and although the core
software is usually fairly simple, there may be add-ons and
plugins, which can be used to extend the system's capabilities.
A good example of this kind of system is a package called 'CMS
You should now have an overview of how content management
systems work and some of the things to consider when researching
which CMS to use. It is important to note that there are
hundreds more open source content management systems than the
handful mentioned here.
See ya in a few weeks... Jim
JDD Publishing Co.
Well, that's it for today's
See ya in a few weeks...
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