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Listed below are some popular and free Content Management System links. You can download and install the CMS onto your Web Server host and go through a configuration setup process. Documentation is provided and should be read carefully before proceeding. This website is built on the Joomla! free open source CMS that has a large community of users and a huge library of extension add-ons available, some free and some are paid downloads.

Ensure your chosen Web Content Management System is compatible with the Hosting Service Providers web server. The content in these articles on Web Burble work around the principle of downloading and installing a Web CMS on a fully self managed hosted service which can provide complete control.

A Web CMS software provider may also be able to offer hosting on their own servers or recommend hosting services. An example is Wordpress.Com that can also host your web domain. You should ascertain the level of self managed contol provided by any one particular hosting provider and determine if it meets your requirements.

Another consideration is you may have seen a perfect template to construct your website content, but it only works with a particular Web CMS.

 


Why Do I Need A Content Management System?

You will need to have a system where you create content for your website. A CMS allows you to build and manage your web pages, upload and store images, create menus, use web page templates, enable users profiles for people to create articles and administrators to manage the system. These are the basics of a Web CMS.

There is a vast array of different CMS available, and a few well known such as Wordpress, Drupal and Joomla which are all general website content systems. These are all free to use and open source whereby changes can be made to the code if required. There are also many more general type Web based CMS and also many more that are designed for specific needs where they excel in a particular area such as eCommerce on-line shopping. Other systems on offer are Website Builders such as Wix where it is very easy and quick to implement a website but you do not have full control that a CMS offers.

Installing and configuring a CMS can be fairly technical to varying degrees but they have a great deal of help documentation. All the CMS systems work differently and it would take time and a great deal of practice to be proficient. Commercial (and expensive) web design and publishing systems are normally used by companies that design and create medium and large enterprise systems.

A CMS will also usually have add-on extensions that are software modules that perform extra functions such as having a Blog added to your pages, on-line shopping eCommerce, communicating with a payment portal such as PayPal, implement security measures, perform backups, and many many more. They are particular to each CMS type. Extension modules can be a free or paid download. Many are free with limited features with a paid upgrade to get the full version.

 


Which Web Content Management System Is The Best?

The answer is the Web CMS that suits your budget, time, capabilities, and your business requirements.

 

wordpress
Easy to use without the need of technical knowledge. You will not need a great deal of time to learn how to use the software because it has a relatively simple interface. It is the most popular Web CMS which is probably due to it being designed for non-technical people and also having the ability to create a web presence very quickly. You will need technical capabilities to leverage its full potential. Wordpress is well suited for individuals and small businesses who require a simple web presence, but not a large website. Wordpress is ideal for blogging or displaying a portfolio.

 View the YouTube video on installing a Wordpress Website and Blog

 

joomla
A steeper learning curve to understand how to use the interface but Joomla is a feature rich and powerful CMS which gives a great deal of control and flexibility. It requires technical knowledge and time to learn how to use the more advanced features of the software effectively.  Joomla can be easily used by non-technical people once they grasp how the software works. This CMS is recommended for simple and complex websites, small and large. There is a community portal and a large support forum.

View the YouTube video on installing Joomla!

 

drupal
This CMS requires technical knowledge and also provides full control and flexibility. It is highly scalable and designed to be used for high traffic websites. It is not a typical CMS but more of a framework to create a website and is favoured by many developers because it is powerful and flexible. Drupal has enterprise-level security and many features that governments and large enterprises require.

 

 

concrete5
Easy to use interface and is often used for blogging, artists portfolios and magazine websites. Editing is as easy as displaying any page from your website and the editing toolbar will give you the controls to update the content. Requires technical knowledge to leverage its full potential.

 

 

modx
Designed for developers and non-technical content authors. It is a powerful Web CMS and very customizable and flexible. MODX does require technical knowledge if you want to develop it fully and you have total control over modifying the CSS, HTML, and Javascript code.

 

There are many more Web CMS available and the more popular systems may not be suitable for your requirements. Enterprise level Web CMS may provide a better solution for your needs but are not free.

 


Considerations when determining a good CMS

A general type of Web CMS with available add-ons or one that is only designed for a particular need such as for social networking or an eCommerce shopping site.

The amount of personal time or the budget available having some-one to manage the CMS. Or use a easy and quick Web Builder.

Are all the features you require as add-on extensions available. Having an extension coded specifically for you would be expensive.

Is there a community of users that offer advice, and is there support from the vendor.

 


Technical considerations for a CMS

Get the minimum technical requirements of the CMS and ensure the Web Host provider site you eventually select has all of these minimums installed. Many providers advertise they are compatible with certain CMS types but you would want to verify the latest CMS version requirements are met.

There are also certain features on the hosts web servers that would need to be off or on, installed or not installed, but if the host advertises it is compatible with a certain CMS then this should not be an issue.

The check list below lists the basics for Linux type servers which are used by the majority of Web Servers around the world. There are also Microsoft IIS Web Servers and several other Web Server systems.

Software version for programming. e.g PHP 5.3.10

Web Server type and version. e.g. Apache 2.4 and above

Database type and version required. e.g. MySql version 5.1 and above

 


Installing a Content Management System

Installation of a CMS is usually easy by following the install instructions. Modern CMS installs have a friendly user interface but you will need to do some preparation work beforehand by firstly creating a database and a administration username and password. If you are using an Apps installer such as Sofaculous then the database will be created automatically and you should have options to modify the settings if required.

It is best to verify which version of the CMS is current and stable. The CMS provider site should list current versions for download which may also include a Beta (testing) version which i do not advise to use if this is the first time you will be using a CMS.

 

Pre-Installed CMS

Some hosting providers have plans with a pre-installed CMS for the popular systems such as Wordpress and Joomla!  You can start creating articles and content for your new site immediately. Higher priced plans may be available where you can have a "staging environment" where the website can be designed and tested before copying to the "live" environment.

 

Create a Database

cpanel databases

The database to be used for the CMS should be created first because you will need to tell the CMS installer which one is to be used for storing data. If you are using an Apps installer then the database will be created automatically and you can skip this step.

You will be creating a blank database with no tables because the CMS installation afterwards will be inserting these tables and creating default data in some of them.

The database name and the table names within the database should be given complex prefix or suffix characters so as to increase the security level and prevent hackers from trying to gain access to the database. An example would be a database name like  joomla6797@!Pz0   instead of a very guessable plain joomla.  Also use complex table prefixes like yplzt_  so all the table names in the database will begin with this prefix  e.g.  yplzt_articles .  All these questions will be asked when you run the installation of the CMS.

The image above shows a "cPanel" hosting control panel section. Create a database for your CMS by using the Database Wizard, which is an easy step by step method. This assumes your hosting plan allows for multiple database creation. If you only have one database available then the CMS can usually install the required data tables into the database with the prefix of each table name unique to any other previously installed system using the database.

When creating an administrator "User" for the database during the wizard install ensure the administrator is given "All Privileges" so that the CMS administrator can have full control of the database. You could use a non-standard name instead of the usual "Admin" or "Administrator" so as to increase security and prevent your database from being hacked.

 

Setup Using Apps Installer

cpanel apps installer

Your hosting contol panel should have an apps installer to easily setup a Web CMS. There would be a lot more apps available than just Web CMS. Above is an example of the Softaculous apps installer system on cPanel.

If the web hosting provider has cPanel available the Softaculous Apps Installer could also be installed which provides for a "demo"  for each CMS. The demo is a very useful method of choosing which one to select without having to actually install it on your website.

The "Install" option for each CMS is an easy method of performing the setup and configuration but you should ensure it uses the latest stable version of the CMS.

You may need to have created a database first before installing the CMS if required, but the script that installs the CMS will probably create a new database automatically. You will probably be able to change the settings. Use a non-standard administrator name to increase security. Instead of the normal "Administrator" or "Admin" you can use a unique name only known to yourself.

 

Setup Using CMS Installer

An alternative method to install a CMS is to download the installation files from the CMS provider. It is usually all within a single zipped file which you download to your computer and then upload to your web server.

The zip file would normally be uploaded into the "public_html" directory(folder) if you are using a Linux type web server unless you need it installed in an add-on domain which is a second website off your main domain. Note that the "public_html" directory is the web root for your primary domain and the "www" in the root directory is an alias that points to the "public_html" location.

It is not advisable to unzip the files on your computer before uploading else it will take a considerably long time to upload individual files and there is no guarantee the individual files are not corrupt. Unzipping a compressed file on the web server will ensure the files are in good condition. If a configuration file requires modification which is usually for entering database names, admin user name and password, then re-zip up all the files including the modified file before uploading. Be careful re-creating the zip so that you are not zipping it up using the folder where they all are located. In other words, you are not adding a top level folder name into the  zip  file else when you unzip it on the web server domain it all ends up inside a (for example) "temp" folder.

Use the File Manager in cPanel to upload the zip file or an ftp client such as Filezilla.

public_html   - install the files if you require the CMS installed for your Primary Domain.

public_html/myotherdomain.com      -install the files within the add-on domain if the CMS is not for your primary domain. This assumes you actually have more than one domain website. Note the ".com" extension which indicates it is a website domain type directory.

Run the installation from a browser. e.g.  http://mydomainname.com/install.php   or whatever the install instructions require. Ensure you perform this without delay and not leave the installation on the web server for any length of time as this would be a high security risk. The installation file would either be automatically deleted as the last step of the install or require manual deletion because it is a huge security risk to have it remain on the web server.

 


Security and Hacking

It cannot be stressed to much that you need to be very vigilent and maintain a high degree of security with logins, updating CMS software to patch security vulnerabilities, being wary of bogus emails and research Add-Ons for security flaws before installing. Websites are "hacked" into very regularly and your website will be tested on a daily basis by hackers attempting to log into your administration or test "backdoor" flaws in software. Regular backups of the website and databases are critical. Read more on security for your website...

 



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