introduction - cms systems

introduction - CMS

what is a CMS:

CMS: content management system
content: The meat of your website: the words and pictures.
management: Editing, updating, changing, organising.
system: The tools and procedures you use.

A CMS is a web application: a program that runs on the web server.

Joomla, Wordpress, SPIP, and Drupal are all CMSs. There are many more!

You use a CMS to make and edit your website, through a web interface: through its own web page with forms and buttons.

Most of the popular CMSs these days are written in PHP, with MySQL as the database.

You don't have to know PHP or MySQL to use or administer the CMS — but if you do have any knowledge, it will be helpful.

With a CMS:

Who is using a CMS for their website?

Should you use a CMS?

A CMS can be very useful, but it is not the right thing for all websites.
A CMS is most useful if:

Yes, a CMS makes it much easier to edit the website. But — just like everything else in life: Anytime something is easier, on the other end things will be harder and more complicated.

So like any tool, a CMS brings a new set of things to learn and problems to solve. Darn!!

more info:

planning for a CMS:

choosing a CMS:

There are many different CMS programs. Just like anything else, no one is best for everybody. Each CMS has different suitablity for the people working with it, and for the site.

These days, we are usually choosing between Joomla or Wordpress. We might consider Drupal. If we are specialising in a certain thing on the website, such as videos, we might dig a little deeper: what extensions are available for a particular CMS? Is there a CMS that specialises in, for example, videos?

The things to think about

more info:

comparing systems:

One of the best ways to decide, is to ask other people who are using a CMS. Find out which one they use, why they chose it, what they like and don't like about it.

The best CMS comparison i have read on the web, with explanations of how to compare CMSs, is at

Here are some files with information about comparing some CMS's

Here is a list of websites comparing CMS's:

(This is a summary of a great talk by Claire Spencer in March 2006, with unauthorized additions by James Walker.)