CMS (content management systems) are programs that allow web designers, web professionals or web masters to create community and database websites conveniently. These can be paid or open source programs. Typically these come with a built-in PHP code, MySQL database, log-in abilities, and much more. Most of these are fully customizable. Many people end up trying out several CMS programs before finding one that suits their needs.

What kind of CMS program do you need to create your website?

There are various types of CMS (content management systems) – some that are designed to create bookmarking sites, others can be for community websites, database portals designed for business, blogs, e-commerce sites complete with carts for shopping, forum sites, picture galleries, or any other type of website requiring dynamic MySQL and PHP databases.

Start by listing the abilities and functions you require for your website. Determine if you need features like bookmarking ability, image gallery, user publishing, discussion forum, profile additions or any other. Once you know your CMS program requirements, you can narrow down options. There are several CMS programs to choose from, so make sure you try out at least a couple before arriving at a decision.

Here are certain factors that you should consider in a CMS program:

• Is the backend part of the program intuitive? Is it easy to navigate the configuration process, or is it confusing and time consuming?

• Check that the navigation is not messy at the back or front end of your software, as it can be confusing, redundant, and not intuitive.

• You need to use backend code to configure new components, modules, and plug-ins. There are programs like Joomla that lets you add these on to the website with simple downloads, unzips and uploads.

• The program comes with too many capabilities, add-ons and components. There are cleaner, simpler options too for dynamic websites. Look again for alternatives, if the need be.

• Lack of documentation for the system is another thing that can be a problem. Open ware means the programs are free and sometimes do not come with the right documentation necessary to configure programs. Ensure the program chosen by you has the apt guides, documentation and information to help configure your website.

Some of the popular open ware CMS programs

• For Portals: XOOPS, BitWeaver, Drupal, Contenido, eZPublish, ContentNow, MODx, Joomla, OneCMS, PHP-Nuke, Clever Copy, Dragonfly CMS, Exponent.

• For Blogs: BirdBlog, LifeType, Serendipity, SimplePHPBlog, Textpattern, WikyBlog, WordPress.

• For E-Commerce: osCommerce, Zen Cart, phpShop.

• For Groupware: ACollab, eGroupWare, phpGroupWare, WebCollab.

• For Forums: phpBB, Beehive, Phorum, QuickSilver, Mercury, W-Agora.

• For E-Learning: SiteAtSchool, Docebo, ATutor, Moodle, Interact, Claroline, Dokeos

• For Image Galleries: WEBalbum, 4Images, PhpWebGallery, Singapore, iFoto, Coppermine, Gallery, Pixelpost.

Whether you are new to web designing or a techie with years of relevant experience, there are many CMS (content management systems) available for your use regardless of the type of site you are building. A bit of research, trial and error is necessary before you zero in on the perfect CMS.

Source by Patrick Lemay

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