CMS Made Simple FAQs
1. What is a content management system?
A CMS is a web application you run on your web server to help facilitate creating a website. A good CMS should be flexible, unobtrusive and help you to make a great site. It should provide you with tools to help the layman keep track of content, while letting more experienced webmasters handle look and feel. It should also provide tools to make repetitive things less repetitive. Like, for example, News entries.
2. Why CMS Made Simple?
CMS Made Simple is an open source (GPL) package, built using PHP that provides website developers with a simple, easy to use utility to allow building small-ish (dozens to hundreds of pages), semi-static websites. Typically our tool is used for corporate websites, or the website promoting a team or organization, etc. This is where we shine. There are other content management packages that specialize in building portals, or blogs, or article based content, etc. CMS Made Simple can do much of this, but it is not our area of focus.
CMS Made Simple provides a mechanism for the website administrator to create and manage "pages", their layout, and their content. CMS Made simple is unobtrusive.... You can create a table based layout, or a fully validating XHTML/CSS layout.
CMS Made Simple makes managing the navigation in your website a breeze... you can re-organize your pages any way you want, and navigations are automatically created from your page hierarchy. This tool makes creating numerous different navigations with the entire page hierarchy, or a subset of it "simple".
CMS Made Simple separates layout code from content code, so that editors can manage content without having to know much about how websites work, so that layouts can be easily edited and take effect on numerous pages, and can be easily shared. With CMS Made Simple you design once, and easily use that same design over and over again. Smarty (a php based templating engine) is used to provide most of the caching, templating, and logic capabilities. This basic building block also provides the ability for website administrators to virtually eliminate any duplication of code or content.
The Core package provides the ability to manage news articles, search functionality a contact form, a WYSIWYG editor (for your customers or editors) and numerous other built in functions. Additionally, there are hundreds of third party add-on tools that are quickly and easily installable to allow building websites with many different capabilities.
CMS Made Simple is built in PHP, and allows you to integrate many existing PHP scripts or PHP snippets into your website... Though you definately don't need indepth knowledge of PHP to use CMS Made Simple.
3. Who should use CMS Made Simple?
If you have found that sometimes maintaining a simple corporate or organization website is difficult in some of the other content management systems. If you have found that other CMS's are sometimes "overkill" for what you need. If you want to be able to hand off the content management to editors... If you want a simple, easy to use, yet expandable tool - then CMS Made Simple is probably for you.
CMS Made Simple is not a replacement for packages that build static websites like Dreamweaver or FrontPage, etc. These packages don't use databases, provide little in the way of dynamic content, and usually content cannot be edited by customers.
4. Is CMS Made Simple really "simple"?
Yes it is. Many of our experienced users find it a simple tool for building many websites. However, that does not mean that there isn't some learning to be done. You will at the least need to learn our vocabulary, explore the package and it's options, play around a bit, and probably do some learning. To learn more about the CMS Made Simple basic functions please click here.