Joomla Consultant

How can you tell what CMS platform a site uses?

Answer by Frank Geluso:

There is a cool site called builtwith.com that may of help, but for me its looking at the source code and if the ‘code generator’ meta tag is not helpful, check out the links to css files, the directory path can be a hint as well. As already answered , like the old saying , if it walls like a duck …. in this case if it looks like drupal , you have your answer. Look at the head section’s relative paths for css and themes stuff of a few drupal sites and you will learn (recognize) a tell tale pattern.
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I want to build a website to act as a repository for multiple content types for people to add to and search - I have no experience of web…

Answer by Frank Geluso:

CMS’s like Joomla (with the possible addition of the K2 Component) and Drupal would take you a long way. Multiple content types are handled by these products through components like K2 and the CCK (Content Construction Kit) in Drupal each with add-on advanced search technologies and ACL (Access Control List) functionality should also be employed. Realizing these are ‘out of the box solutions) to answer your deeper question , if you were to build a system from scratch, you would need skills in HTML, CSS, various programming languages and frameworks of which there are many options and the working of a relational database like MySQL, SQL Server and others. Both front end and Back-end (Server Side) development would also be needed using language like PHP for example, Even though much of what you need is already available ‘out of the box’ you would still need programming skills as there is always some customization needed on bothe the front and back end so development skills are also needed to fully meet your speicific requirements   with any project a well thought out requirements definition is the most important step which precedes choosing the appropriate technologies.Depending on your requirements, building from scratch may be required.
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How do you select a CMS for a new project?

Answer by Frank Geluso:

As with any professional and properly executed project the first and absolutely vital step is to come up with a complete set of requirements. This should be one of the most time consuming and well thought out phase of your project. Focus on what needs to be accomplished and how much Access Control needs to be present as that is an important area where many CMS platforms vary in their capabilities.

Once defined check out what are considered the top CMS platforms out there ie Joomla, Drupal, Concrete5 etc. and match them up to your requirements keeping in mind that the requirements WILL change and grow. If your building a ‘store’ look at commerce centric solutions like Big Commerce, MagentoGo and many more. In the case of eCommerce I have have found that hosted solutions are very strong with stability and support. As far as the CMS’s them selves , some very important considerations include:

  • How long has the the CMS been around.
  • How large is the development community, an easy way is to check their forums and see how busy they are.
  • See how many extensions are available , this is a good sign of how popular the CMS is and how large the community of developers is based on the fact that a CMS with many extensions means its worth the effort of the extension developers to create extensions because their is a lrge demand.
  • Is the platform open source allowing you to change anything you want if you require that flexibility based on your requirements. If not open source , do the developers do customizations.
  • Is the CMS proven to be scalable as you grow.
  • Are there complete and well written support resources. i.e.: Forums, Documentation, Examples etc.
  • Once select3d many times their are hosting companies that excel in hosting and supporting certain platforms specifically.

It’s worth repeating that the CMS must meet and definately exceed your initial requirements. If your requirements are farly simple there are 10’s of products available that will do the job. But if a more complex solution is needed , stick with the biggies in terms of maturity, extensibility, how often they are updated, are they security conscious, and is there a large support network.
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Is anyone using a good old web CMS to manage print magazines, like magazines?

Answer by Frank Geluso:

You could use a cms Like Joomla to buid an online magazine using exsisting components. The hoem page could be the magazine cover with excerpts from the various ‘articles; within the magazine which drill down to the full articles. You could also add an auto feed of blogs and articles via automated importing of properties via rss feeds. You could also make it a subscription type site like a magazine subscription. I realize this answer is how to use a CMS as an online magazine and not sure if it answers the original question as Posted. My backround is in web and not prited media , but perhaps this is a proper approach , at least as a proof of concept if not exactly what is being asked , but is robust enough for for production.

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