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- Using PHP CMS
August 5, 2006, 9:30 pm
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about how CMS's work. I'm going to be doing a site for my dad's
business, and there will be a couple of pages on the site that they
would like to keep updated themselves. What I am trying to understand
is how a CMS works. Is it something where I have to have the system
installed first, and then I have to use the tools in that system to
create my site from scratch? Or can I have a site already created and
just plug in a CMS and specify which pages need to be managed by the
CMS? I know there are a lot of PHP CMS's out there, and I've looked at
some, but I haven't quite grasped how they work.
Re: Using PHP CMS
I can only speak to Joomla and Mambo on this. For either of them, it's
straightforward to have pages that are inside the CMS, and pages that are
For either of them, it's useful that you know PHP. While you probably can
use them without knowing PHP, it's easier if you do. Lots of times it's
quicker to look in the code, rather than trying to get answers from the
Re: Using PHP CMS
Yes, basically. You install the CMS, then create the
navigation/content structure (categories, subcategories etc.) then add
The way the content is actually displayed is usually handled by a set
of templates. A good CMS uses CSS intelligently and gives you a lot of
flexibility by editing just a couple of files.
Every CMS has its drawbacks - you can't always "shoe-horn" what you
want into the system. What I *do* like (apart from not having to
reinvent the wheel each time) is the "modular" approach. Again, a
good CMS will allow you to install/enable/disable modules very easily.
These modules usually display in "slots" that you create for them in
I know any sensible PHP programmer will also use a modular approach,
but a CMS allows a fair bit of control for users without extensive PHP
programming knowledge. To be honest, I found a good understanding of
CSS more useful for creating CMS sites than PHP.
If you already have some data, it may be possible to import into the
CMS once you've set it up. If you haven't got too much, just cutting
and pasting might be painful but it'll get you there.
I tried a truckload of them but eventually settled for Joomla, BTW.
Like anything else, it's a bit of a learning curve but there's quite a
following for it - which means lots of add-ons and tips!
Your best bet (if you already have PHP installed or have good access
to a PHP server) is to have a go!