Blog 2 – CMS

1. What is a Content Management System (CMS)? Describe the main characteristics of a CMS. Why might you use a CMS?

A content management system (CMS) is a computer application that allows publishing, editing and modifying content, organizing, deleting as well as maintenance from a central interface. Such systems of content management provide procedures to manage workflow in a collaborative environment.

Main characteristics

  • Single-source functionality
  • Content reuse
  • Bi-directional link management
  • Integrations with editing tools
  • Full unicode support
  • Extensibility
  • Digital asset management
  • Remote access
  • Authorized access control
  • Graphical workflow
  • Global change capabilities
  • Structural flexibility
  • Corporate stability
  • On-site training and ongoing customer support

Why CMS?

Content management systems and blogging platforms make publishing your content much easier and cost effective. And a growing part of marketing your business online involves publishing content on a regular basis. If CMS is not used when managing content, user will spend more money on content that user really need to spend and also user will not be able to publish good content as often as he/she should.

2. List five well known CMSs.

  • WordPress
  • Joomla
  • ModX
  • TextPattern
  • Drupal

3. What is an open source CMS? Describe the main characteristics of an open source CMS.

Open source systems let you see what makes the software tick, and you can often change it to suit your needs. Use this to your advantage when it comes to differentiating yourself from the rest of the pack.

However, because of the popularity of open source systems, many people are familiar with open source code, which creates a higher risk for hacking. If you choose to design in an open source system, your development team is going to need to put time and work into preventing third-party tampering. This difficulty will scale based on many factors such as how many people need to have access to sensitive areas of the site (like the admin panel).

4. Describe the pros and cons of the following approaches to web development:

a. Manual creation (in HTML)

Pros: Plain text, easy to edit. easy to pack up/ learn. Supported by most browsers across most if no all platforms.

Cons: need to be manually updated. Does not rendered correctly in all browsers. Is not really as flexible as other standards or technologies

b. Commercial CMS

Pros: Web hosting, site maintenance, support and automatic upgrades come included. Website functionalities come standard. Security, Specially-trained support team.

Cons: user may pay a licensing fee, does not accept third-party plugins.

c. Open source CMS

Pros: available to the public, free of charge. The ability to choose from a huge community of website development companies. Thousands of plugins available to enhance web site’s functionality. Wisdom of the crowd.

Cons: open source cms community may eventually provide a fix but there are no guarantees as to when. Plug-in security issues, updating versions

d. Free CMS

Pros: Free to use, developers may create new modules for free

Cons: not managed, user need to manage by themselves.

5. What are the differences between Drupal and Google Sites?

Google sites are easier to use and free, simple to set up. We need more knowledge to use Drupal. Google does not provide multilingual options. If we want to change the web site’s name, google provides it for free where as Drupal asks for payment.

6. What are the differences between Drupal and Joomla?

Both of them are full featured Web CMS platforms. If a business only needs a simple blog or wiki, both will feel bloated and it would be better served with a simpler platform such as WordPress. If the business requires complex content hierarchy, tagging and authoring, that business is now in the realm of these two platforms.

If the site involves serving of various pages and content based on a hierarchy while keeping to a consistent style and the ability to author pages easily, than Joomla will fit your needs.

Where it falls short and where Drupal excels is in more complex content relationships. If the business or user need an advanced system with specific content appearing in different ways on different pages in different places, then Drupal’s ability to have complex content relationships and access control of content will allow the flexibility to fit any project.

Drupal’s highly modular architecture in all areas of functionality are what allows for this flexibility and also provides a good platform for extending it to fit the exact needs of many projects. While this sounds great, the flip side can also be considered a boon for Joomla. Its architecture, while less flexible, is very structured and many features are built into Joomla out of the box and are very stable and very easy to work with.

7. What are the differences between Drupal and Plone?

Both Drupal and Plone can be used for both enterprise and web content management systems (ECMS, WCMS), Plone seems more ECMS oriented and Drupal more WCMS oriented. Indeed, Drupal will let you publish your web CMS in no time and get started with adding pages, blogging, and styling. Plone is a heavier system to get configured and moving but provides several enterprise level features that Drupal doesn’t have out of the box (advanced workflows and specific content types for instance).

CMSShowdown_final2

8. Find examples of five sites made using Drupal. Place links to these sites on your blog.

http://www.virgin.com/

https://www.whitehouse.gov/

https://www.911memorial.org/

http://www.teslamotors.com/

https://www.ing.com/en.htm

9. Design a web site about something that you like (preferably business or educational in nature). The web site must be of a small to medium size (no less than ten pages). Keep your web site design within scope as you will be required to implement it using Drupal.

Describe exactly who the anticipated audience is, and how the particular characteristics of this audience will affect the design and implementation of your web site. You must be very specific. Outline the target audience’s characteristics such as:

i. Gender;

ii. Age;

iii. Demographics; and

iv. Socio-economic background.

10. Create a Google Site. Place a link to your Google Site on your blog. Use the Google Site as a prototyping test bed for your web site design from Question 9. Be sure to set the permissions correctly so anyone can view your site. When the time is right, you can transition the content to your Drupal site for your CMS implementation assignment.

11. Try out the Drupal demo at: http://tinyurl.com/drupaldemo

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