CMS - Content Management System

What is CMS or Content Management System ?

In simple word (rewrite from  Wikipedia) is a computer application used to create, edit, manage, search and publish various kinds of digital media and electronic text. CMSs are frequetly used for storing, controlling, versioning, and publishing industry-specific documentation such as news articles, manuals, sales guides, and marketing brochures. The content managed may include computer files, image media, audio, video files, electronic documents, and web content.

CMS may also support following features:
  • identification of all key users and their content management roles;
  • the ability to assign roles and responsibilities to different content categories or types;
  • definition of workflow tasks for collaborative creation, often coupled with event messaging so that content managers are alerted to changes in content (Ability for editor to revise "Pending" documentation submitted by content creator);
  • the ability to track and manage multiple versions of a single instance of content;
  • the ability to capture content;
  • the ability to publish the content to a repository to support access to the content (Increasingly, the repository is an inherent part of the system, and incorporates enterprise search and retrieval.);
  • separation of content's semantic layer from its layout (StyleSheet + Template)

According to Wikipedia there are 3 main type of content management system, but I will look into only 1 area, which is Web Content Management Systems (2 other types are Enterprise/Component content management systems)

1. Joomla!

Joomla! is a free open source content management system for publishing content on the World Wide Web and intranets. The system includes features such as page caching to improve performance, RSS feeds, printable versions of pages, news flashes, blogs, polls, website searching, and language internationalization. Joomla is licensed under the GPL, and is the result of a fork of Mambo.

Joomla! Screenshot

The name Joomla officially ends with an exclamation mark, but this is commonly omitted.

It is written in the PHP programming language and uses the MySQL database by default.


The Joomla package consists of many different parts, which allow modular extensions and integrations to be made easily. An example of such are extensions called "Plugins". (Previously known as "Mambots".) Plugins are background extensions that extend Joomla with new functionality. The WikiBot, for example, allows the author of Joomla content to use "Wikitags" in Joomla articles which will auto-create dynamic hyperlinks to Wikipedia articles when displayed. There are over 3,500 extensions for Joomla available via the Extensions Directory.

In addition to Plugins, more comprehensive extensions are available. "Components" allow webmasters to perform such tasks as build a community by expanding user features, backup a website, translate content and create URLs that are more friendly to search engines. "Modules" perform such tasks as displaying a calendar or allowing custom code like Google AdSense etc., to be inserted within the base Joomla code.

Since it has been around longer, there are more extensions available for Joomla 1.0 than for Joomla 1.5, although native 1.5 extensions are becoming increasingly available. Some of the older 1.0 extensions can be used with version 1.5 if it is set to legacy mode.

Joomla permits administrators to set global configuration parameters that affect every article. Every page conforms to these parameters by default, but a page can have its own setting for each parameter. For example, you can elect to show or hide the article author or simply go with the global "show author" parameter. (excerpt taken from Wikipedia) Full Text of Joomla may be found here

2. Drupal

Drupal (pronounced /ˈdruː-pʌl/) is a free and open source modular framework and Content Management System (CMS) written in the programming language PHP. It is used as a "back end" system for many different types of Web sites, ranging from small personal blogs to large corporate and political sites.

Drupal Screenshot

The standard release of Drupal, known as "Drupal core", contains basic features common to most CMSs. These include the ability to register and maintain individual user accounts, administration menus, RSS-feeds, customizable layout, flexible account privileges, logging, a blogging system, an Internet forum, and options to create a classic "brochureware" Web site or an interactive community Web site.

Drupal was also designed to allow new features and custom behavior to be added by third parties. For this reason, Drupal is sometimes described as a "Content Management Framework". Although Drupal offers a sophisticated programming interface for developers, no programming skills are required for basic web site installation and administration.

Drupal can run on any computing platform that supports:
  • a web server capable of running PHP (version 4.3.5+), including Apache, IIS, Lighttpd, and nginx.
  • a database, such as MySQL or PostgreSQL, to store content and settings.
(excerpt taken from Wikipedia) Full Text of Joomla may be found here

3. Wordpress

WordPress is an open source blog publishing application. WordPress is the official successor of b2\cafelog which was developed by Michel Valdrighi. The name WordPress was suggested by Christine Selleck, a friend of lead developer Matt Mullenweg. The latest release of WordPress is version 2.7, released on 11 December 2008.

WordPress Screenshot


WordPress has a templating system, which includes widgets that can be rearranged without editing PHP or HTML code, as well as themes that can be installed and switched between. The PHP and HTML code in themes can also be edited for more advanced customizations. WordPress also features integrated link management; a search engine-friendly, clean permalink structure; the ability to assign nested, multiple categories to articles; multiple author capability; and support for tagging of posts and articles. Automatic filters that provide for proper formatting and styling of text in articles (for example, converting regular quotes to smart quotes) are also included. WordPress also supports the Trackback and Pingback standards for displaying links to other sites that have themselves linked to a post or article. Finally, WordPress has a rich plugin architecture which allows users and developers to extend its functionality beyond the features that come as part of the base install.




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