CMS or Content Management System is one of the exciting new way of administering a web site. Create a web site using CMS is such a breeze that once you have started using it you will not want to use the old method of creating a web page and uploading it individually.
Without CMS, you will at first create a web site template on your own for free or purchase a template from somewhere, create your content and insert it in the main content area of your HTML file. You will also need to update your navigational bar if the page you created is linked to it so that visitors can access the page when you have uploaded it. You will probably ended up using frames to separate the navigational side bar from the main content area which can make your web site look ugly though it is functional. HTML coding using frames is also a little more complicated.
The solution: CMS. Yes, the moment your CMS is installed in your web site, you can almost immediately publish your content. Of course you will still need to do some tweaking to your web site to customize it according to your requirement. You will notice that every page that you publish will fit in with the overall theme of your web site. Take this web site for instance – JanLeow.com, which I’m using CMS software, the overall theme for the entire web site is the same. I just needed to tweak the footer, add in the sponsors and the newsletter sign up panel. You don’t have to worry much about the templates, usually a few themes are packaged together with the installation. Most of the CMS is open source, and you can use them without too much worry about licensing fees. If you don’t like the provided templates, you can download additional templates from their web sites for free. There are many talented designers out there, so just pick and choose the template that will suit your web site and upload it to your web hosting provider.
CMS is provided together with Fantastico, I recommend you sign up with BlueHost web hosting provider as their package comes with Fantastico. Installation including upgrading is easy and quick with just a few clicks in the Fantastico control panel. If your web hosting provider does not provide Fantastico, then it becomes a little more complicated to install and upgrade the script on your own. Why not migrate your web hosting solution to BlueHost? You can save the time and trouble of installation and upgrading and use the time to concentrate on building content and promoting your web site.
CMS also requires the use of MySQL database in order to work, and this web hosting provider provides you with plenty, 50 MySQL! You only need one MySQL for one instance of CMS installation. Of course you can experiment and install the various CMS provided into sub-directory to see which version would suit your purpose best before finally installing your favourite version onto your root folder of your web site. Since this web hosting provider allows you to set up to six domain, you can install each web site with CMS and still have spare for installing other scripts like WordPress, a blogging software and any other installation script provided by Fantastico.
A quick list of the CMS provided by BlueHost Fantastico installation script:
- Mambo Open Source
Each of the above CMS has their own pros and cons. You will need to install them and check out how useful they are to your needs. Personally, I have not tested them all as there are too many to try out. I have tested Drupal, Joomla, Mambo, Post-Nuke, Xoops, etc. Each works a little differently and it takes time to experiment and understand how each one works.
But the mother of all CMS I would say is Joomla or Mambo. Theirs is the most featured pack amongst the CMS, very advance and sometimes too complicated to use. If you really need the power pack punch of your website then this is the choice to go for, otherwise choose a simpler one to work with. When it comes to template design, Joomla has the most beautifully created ones available. Unfortunately the more professional looking ones are not free and you will have to purchase it. But if you have used Joomla for awhile and decided this is the CMS to go for, you may choose to invest in a beautifully designed template for it.
CMS is program using PHP, another web language. Seems like it is a never ending learning of web languages, eh? Well, you don’t have to know them all in order to have a good functional web site. If you don’t have much time to pick up a web programming skill, just pick up some basic HTML skill. You don’t really need to know a lot, just some basic ones for rendering your content the way you want it to look, because all the hard work is already done by CMS. All you need to know is how to create blocks or modules and configure the blocks/module to display on which web pages it should appear on your web site. However do note that where the block/module appears is affected by how the template that you use because each template is design in a different way.
Another interesting aspect of CMS is that you can add in additional plug-ins to increase its functionality. Plug-ins like forum, blogging, membership management, etc. can be added in. Some of the plug-ins is provided free while others are not. Again it comes down to what you need your CMS to do for you. If a basic installation is sufficient there is no need to mire yourself with the plug-ins. A mis-step in your plug-in installation could render your CMS unusable. So do install any with care!
So overall, installing CMS when you create your web site is the right step to go since the ease of use plus the fact that you can quickly and easily create a professional looking web site without breaking out too much of sweat.
BlueHost – sign up with this web hosting provider and start creating a web site using the provided CMS installation script by Fantastico.