SF2012:Making sense of Free and Open Source Content Management Systems

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Penguin Day: Intro to CMS

Led by Matthew Garcia of AspirationTech

When you download a CMS and use it to put together a website, you get a core set of features:

  • create pages
  • create blog posts
  • upload images
  • theme it in different ways

The content being managed could be articles.

Why Open Source CMSes?

  • Organizations want to be able to customize things to their needs. With open-source, they get access to the code to make the changes themselves.
  • With open source, there’s often a huge worldwide community, so a lot of developers will help internationalize it.
  • Developers will fix bugs, enhance features, etc.

Biggest open-source CMSes:

  • Wordpress
    • Is a full CMS now, but is a bit lower on database integration and building modules (e.g., photolight boxes, shopping carts)
    • Slightly less powerful than the other two if your organization has very advanced needs
    • Is more creative, lots of good design themes
    • Good for simple websites, shorter learning curve for beginners
    • Can switch a backend setting to make it look like a website than a blog
    • Can edit the footer.php to remove the “Powered by Wordpress” line
    • Tutorials at lynda.com
    • Discussions at wordpress.org
    • Wordpress.com is a free instance of a website from Wordpress.org
    • Wordpress.org → download CMS for free and host it on your own (paid) host server
    • Lynda.com has a 3-part tutorial for Wordpress.org:
      • Beginning your site
      • Doing it on your own computer
      • Migrating it from your own computer to a hosted site
  • Drupal
    • Enterprise-wide system
    • Most complicated, but more commonly used than Joomla
  • Joomla
    • Enterprise-wide system

Why CMS and Which CMS?

  • All 3 are designed with GUIs so you don’t have to know how to code in order to use them
  • The idea of using a CMS to create a website is that you don’t have to touch the code if you don’t care to
  • Before choosing a tool, you should investigate how to get the data out, so you know how to get out when you need to exit from the tool
    • Plan the pre-nups for the divorce before the marriage