Jimenez197 Term Paper

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If you could not already tell from my profile page, my capstone course is already about CMS. So it will be really easy to extend it out into a wiki article. I will be trying to explain the power of a good CMS and all that it can do for you without trying to get people lost along the way.


Overview


A content management system(CMS)is a tool that a website administrator can use to easily manage the stuff on their site. A good system will help the admin develop a standardized feel to the overall website without just building up an obnoxiously big and complex CSS(cascading style sheet). A CMS will quickly and easily sort out any media that a website uses as well as provide editing environments to update pages with ease.


The Bad Old Days


Before the Advent of the CMS, a web page had to be built from the ground up by a person who had good knowledge of HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP, and any number of other supporting languages. starting from a blank text page a person would build up something simple like this...

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN"
   "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en" lang="en">
<head>
  <title>The First Run</title>
</head>
<body>
here is where we put the meat of the page
</body>
</html>

This method of web programming is still in wide use because it is easy to get things started. After that though it becomes quite difficult to get things looking good and all working properly as you attempt to get a more complex page built up. Things are easily broken by a simple typing error, which can totally ruin an entire page.


Why Use A CMS?


The answer is very simple... power. A good CMS puts a whole lot of power into a web developers hands. Any developer with a good CMS can make a website that looks like it was done by a hired web professional that cost a lot of money and time. It is easy to standardize even large websites by making a site template, which any new page will automatically adhere to. There are a lot of plug-ins that can be downloaded for free or purchase that can expand the capabilities of a website by offering things like shopping carts, paypal functionality, and many other modules that offer just about anything that could be needed by any type of website. A CMS will streamline the administration process of any website, no matter what size the website may be. Content and media management becomes a simple click to shift operation, and can even be sub-contracted to lower level site admins through the authority grants of the super-admin.


Resistance


Who would resist such an easy to use sounding tool? Old-schoolers who learned the hard way to do web programming through basic HTML hacking. Those afraid of new methods/technology. people who already have a website that was not developed by a CMS. What it basically comes down to is the fact that any new technology will face resistance by those that learned the old ways and are unwilling to let go of hard won skills and specialist knowledge. Those that have large non-CMS sites actually do have a valid reason for resistance, because of the fact that there is currently no easy way of pulling that knid of site into a CMS without taking the old site down and rebuilding it with a CMS, which could be out of the question for a business website.



align:left


Since I am currently working with the CMS, Joomla, I can relate to you through my own experience what a CMS is really all about. The basic function of any CMS is to provide the user with a powerful tool that is capable of making a highly customizable web page of their own design. Some of the better ones can be used by people with virtually no programming experience(although experience does help to access more power). After the initial setup and connection to databases and server information entering(there are some good guides for this out there), Joomla will set you up with some basic site structure. Joomla is a CMS in which the user is provided with a few basic site schemes included with the download, and then the user can even create their own designs with some CSS and a little HTML programming. After you are happy with your site, you can begin managing it to add and remove content, users, and many other resources with a very simple and easy to use interface.

You can even check out my CIS-Capstone Joomla page [Here]


Review


In order to wrap up both this assignment and my capstone at once I have been instructed to write a combined review/user guide. So follow This link to get to the last part. Fair warning unless you are involved in the CMS project, the user guide may not make much sense.



Sources


  • Me, and my experience.
  • Beginning Joomla!, Dan Rahmel.


OK - looks good. Cite some sources! Make sure this is accessable to non-CS folks.

Please link this in from the term paper page.

--Professor Peterson 22:28, 10 October 2007 (MDT)

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