View Full Version : I'm looking for a CMS Conceptual overview tutorial

03-23-2006, 06:53 AM
I need to get some sites built quickly with functionality which is way beyond my programming ability. I have been looking at CMS's as a possible answer and installed Joomla on a test site. I can find lots of information about installing and using joomla. I can find lots of comparisons of the features of the many CMS's. What I can't find is tutorial(s) that explains the kind of content which work well within the CMS conceptual model.

For example, I have a Joomla guide that describes their Sections, categories, items arrangement. It looks like this could corespond to a books title, chapters, and pages. If that is correct, then content about which I could conceive a book should work well within the Joomla framework.

Another example. Used car dealers are being killed by new paperwork requirements. As one dealer said "There are three places to write in address, and I got three different addresses!" They have to fill out 20 forms to do a single deal. My thought is to install Joomla and strip out everything except the login screen; then install a forms processing extension and see if I can bring up an online application to buy a car. Knowing that when "feature creep" rears its inevitable head I can activate more modules. I have no real idea if that kind of use is a good "fit" with the Joomla "framework".

Thanks for any ideas.

03-23-2006, 07:52 AM
Not to brind you down, but CMSs have their problems too. I use Postnuke alot (http://www.postnuke.com) and am pretty comfortable with thier API and write my own plugins. My problem is that all CMSs update their core code base regularly to add new features and fix bugs. If you modify the core code any, sometimes you will get stranded when they post an update. You almost have to update regularly too since any bug or vulerability will quickly get exploited and leave you with some problems.

That said, I still use Postnuke reguarly and try to keep on top of things. I'd suggest downloading some of them and installing them on a test server to really give them a go.

If you have a specific application mind a CMS will probably not work. Most CMSs are generic enough to apeal to a wide audience. If you really want a specific application, you will have a hard time getting a CMS to work for you.

03-23-2006, 08:11 AM
I agree, especially about the rate of change with updates. However, what I am really after, and having trouble describing, is a very high level description of the subtile strengths/weaknesses of these programs.

Maybe the difference between Excel and Access makes a good example. I suspect most people find it easier to build a spreadsheet application. As Excel applications grow they often begin to look more and more like a database. At some point it becomes clear that the spreadsheet model won't stretch anymore. The boundary is very fuzzy. If you are clever you can make the old paradigm last a long time. However, at some point you have to move on.

I am trying to develop an understanding of that boundary area in the CMS world.

03-23-2006, 08:37 PM
It sounds like you need to put the project out for bid to Rent-a-coder to me!