Home > Technology, Web > WebCMS: web publishing done right

WebCMS: web publishing done right

Some time ago I was a “Web programmer”. This means that I was making a programs which operated with users through web browser. Even before that I’ve made several sites using raw HTML. HTML is good. You can edit it with simplest text editor and with powerfull editors like FrontPage, DreamWeaver or HomeSite. And, very important, it’s very easy to generate from code. Yes, HTML has it’s limitations, and it’s not a universal UI, but for presending information it is good, and now it is becoming a very widespread UI, because of zero-installation and platform independence.

For a long time I didn’t use HTML, because I’m developing system software, with no UI at all. But now I want to establish small Web site, mostly with static rarely edited content. In single word, if somebody asks me what I will do with this site, I’ll answer “publishing”. From my previous experience first approach whould be writing whole site in static HTML. But now I’m arrogant and lazy, and don’t want to write HTML by hands. WYSIWUG editors also is not an option: for me it’s easier to edit HTML then to learn how to change page’s look using those bloated and non-intuitive tools. So I’ve started to look for solution which will allow me to consentrate on content. First idea about tools which allow editing static web content was blogging software, so I’ve opened Wikipedia and typed “blog”. Following links led me to more general-purpose software genre called “Web content management systems”.

Reading all available info I undestood that finally Web done it right. People who make content should not take a burden to learn HTML, software should do everything for them. And tools for editing content should also be web-based. WebCMS allow versioning, workflow, and also provide extensibility so they could be enchanced and integrated with custom dynamic parts of Web site. It seems that at time I’ve stopped doing web programming those systems were uncapable, but now they become powerfull enought to be useful.

So, I’ve decided to pick a WebCMS and try. Now the question: where to start ? Looking at sities like CMS matrix made me panic, because there are so many of them. Obviously I want free CMS. Digging different sities, forums, message boards and “review” pages give me several candidates: Joomla, Drupal, Lenya, Plone and WordPress. So now I’m having fun evaluating them personally. Expect some impressions very soon.

For somebody interested in topic, here is a very good presentation describing WebCMS.

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Categories: Technology, Web
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