Put simply a content management system helps you manage the content on a website. I know you could have guessed that from the title.With an old school 'flat HTML' style website, you built each page individually out of a special code called HTML. You manually linked one page to another using this code. When you added a new page to your site you had to go back and edit your previous pages to also link to the new page. At its worst you could end up editing an awful lot of pages. Things did get slightly better over the years - there were tools that helped the web administrator automate this process. Typically these tools ran on his PC and he maintained all of the working files on his PC occasionally placing updated files onto the Internet. Of course only this one person (or a very small very well co-ordinated group) could do this because only they had access to these 'working files'.
Is Joomla right for me?
A Content Management System such as Joomla takes this to the next level. By doing a similar task of automation, but doing it through the website itself, we are freed from both the bottleneck of having any one person holding all of the files and from the danger that our one developer will disappear leaving us stranded. With a CMS anyone who is given the correct permissions can log into a special area of the site to edit existing web pages or create new pages. Also, because this process is interactive, so much more is possible. Because sections of our pages are built 'on the fly' using information stored in a database together with clever computer programming (also known as coding or scripting) our site can offer interactive features that react to user input. Such things as contact forms or online votes (also known as polls) with real time viewing of the results to-date are possible.
Additional blocks can be positioned around our pages showing the visitor the latest articles added or the the most commonly visited pages on the site. And with clever coding a CMS such as Joomla can allow a third party programmer to create an add-on that can add a whole new feature such as an online store or video playing elements - a whole new world of possibilities are opened up.
In summary, I hope it can be seen that a Content Management System such as Joomla allows an end user with a moderate level of computer skills to create, maintain and manage an interactive, expanding website with a minimum of fuss and far more flexibility than was previously possible.
Why choose Joomla?
Here is a quote from the joomla.org website:
"Joomla is the world’ s most popular open source CMS (content management system). With 2.7 percent of the Web running on Joomla, the software is used by individuals, small & medium-sized businesses, and large organizations worldwide to easily create & build a variety of websites & web-enabled applications."
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