Simplifying Website Management with CMS

Whoa! Before you design and build an entire website packed with HTML (HyperText Markup Lanaguage) pages, learn a little something about CMS (Content Management System), such as Drupal, Joomla, or WebYep.

A typical CMS provides a collection of tools that enable you to create and edit Web pages right online (inside your browser window) that you can later simply pull up in your browser and edit just as if you were editing a document in a word processor or desktop publishing program.

CMS functions very similar to the way blogging software performs its magic – with the help of an online database. You start with templates that contain formatting codes that control the look and layout of everything on your Web pages. (You can obtain free templates and use them out of the box or tweak them to suit your tastes. Your CMS software usually includes at least a few design templates.)

As you build your Web pages, the CMS stores the blocks of text, images, and other content in the database. When you open a Web page, the database is called into action, and it assembles all the blocks of content and lays out each page as instructed by the design template. Pages are constructed “on-the-fly.”

What makes CMS so great is that whenever you want to edit content or modify your Web site in any way, you simply pull up your Web site in your Web browser, log in with your username and password, and edit away. If you maintain the Web site with others, you can assign a separate username and password to each person and control their access to certain pages – for example, you can prohibit them from editing certain pages.

Tip: Most commonly, a CMS works best if you use it while building your Web site. If you already have a site that consists primarily of HTML pages, I strongly recommend a CMS like WebYep, which my colleague and fellow blogging enthusiast Mikal Belicove recommended to me.

 

Meet the Author

Joe Kraynak
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Author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Computer Basics.

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