Archive for May 31, 2012

Using WordPress to Set Up a Traditional CMS Website

May 31, 2012

If you wish to establish an online presence then your first step is going to be to get a website up and running. You will save a lot of money by building the website yourself and this does not have to be as technically challenging as it first appears.

One of the easiest solutions is to use WordPress as your platform. WordPress has traditionally been known as a means for creating blogs, however there are now a number of themes available which allow you to use it in the traditional website format.

WordPress is ideal for those who do not have a great deal of technical expertise because, not only is it easy to use but it has new plugins being developed constantly which add all kinds of helpful features, and it also has really great support and forums, where pretty much any question will be answered.

When you set up your first website you will be amazed at how easy it is to make it look professional. Most WordPress themes have done all of the hard work for you from a design point of view, so all you need to focus on is the content. At a very minimum you should include an ‘About Us’ page, terms and conditions, a privacy policy and contact details. You then need to create the content which will tell the world about your information, your skills or your products. This will hold true for whatever niche or business type you are involved in.

Have a look around at other websites in your niche, not with the aim of copying any of the content or layout, but just getting a feel for what works and what doesn’t. If you find an interface clunky or non-intuitive, then guess what your customer probably will do too, and thus you can avoid making the same mistakes.

Simplicity is the key element in the success of a website. Yes the theme can have a great design and this will make it aesthetically pleasing, but the method of moving from one page to the next should be intuitive and everything should be clearly marked and easy to find. You know yourself that if you go to a site and that you can’t find what you are looking for pretty quickly you are going to click away and find the information or the product you need somewhere else.

By using WordPress to build your website on, by installing a theme that is CMS based and by following these tips on the layout of the site, you will soon be up and running and have a firm base on which to build your business.
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Homestead or Joomla? What is the difference?

May 30, 2012
Which is better between Joomla and Homestead? If I am looking to create a great looking website, where should I go? I started out with Weebly because it was simple, I have now moved to Homestead and it is okay. My main problem is that I am not terribly web savvy. I don’t have foresight to think of a page and build it. I am not terribly creative that way. When I look at templates, I don’t see potential, I just see what is shown. Is my best bet just having someone else build my site for me?
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Joomla Church Templates

May 23, 2012

Finding a Joomla template can prove to be difficult. Because Joomla is an open source software program, just about everyone can write extensions and variations of it. This has caused saturation in the market for everything Joomla. Yes, there are tons of styles available out there; however, that makes finding the right one for you time consuming and difficult.

Joomla themes come in two different formats and they are: back end designs and front end designs. They come in Flash designs, eCommerce styles, Clan themes etc. If you desire a special design, it is probably out there somewhere, but finding it will prove to be the difficult thing.

These themes are what will give your website the overall layout, style and feel that you are hoping for. Front end themes will work on the side of the website that your visitors will see. Back end designs work on the side that the webmaster, administrator, will see whenever they log into their accounts. So this all means that if you are looking for a website design to liven up your website you will want to make sure that it is a front end template.

Templates for Joomla come in two different versions as well, based upon what version of the initial Joomla software that you have installed. So when choosing that right guide you will want to make sure that the version you have chosen will match the version of software that you have. It will either be 1.0.X or Joomla 1.5.

Now we have the basics taken care of, you can choose your template to best suit your needs. These designs can pinpoint certain industries and businesses as well as hobbies. For examples, if you are looking for a design theme for your church website, then guess what? They are available.

These church themes are available all across the web. They will give your web page inspiration, as well as the feel that you are looking for. Whether it be just a plain template or a flash template, it will help to liven up your page and reflect your church in a professional, welcoming and inviting manner. You can find anything from bible verses and layouts to beautiful sky scenery that’s letting that light shine down. They are so beautiful that you won’t be able to stop by your page without checking the design out and adoring it for a period of time. They are truly inspirational.

You can find these software church themes everywhere. Your best bet is to perform a search with your search engine and the results will come back astronomical. Start browsing the results until you locate that perfect template. Yes, it can be time consuming and difficult; however, in the end when you do find what you are looking for, it will all be worthwhile.

Templates can be acquired for free; purchase or you can have a designer design one for you. Whatever your choice may be, when you find that right one, your belief and inspiration will become that much stronger.
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Using PHP and MySQL to Develop a Simple CMS – Version 2

May 23, 2012

In version 1 of our simple CMS we introduced the following four files:

cms.sql updatePage.htm updatePage.php, and index.php

Together, these files formed a very simple CMS.

In this article we’ll extend the CMS slightly so that the database contents are extracted and presented in the form (UpdatePage.htm). This will make it easier to edit the contents, rather than simply overwriting them.

In order to make this modification, updatePage.htm needs to become a PHP file. I’ve called it editPage.php because updatePage.php already exists.

Here is the contents of editPage.php:

1. < html >
2. < head >
3. < title >Really Simple CMS< /title >
4. < /head >
5. < body >
6. < h1 >Really Simple CMS< /h1 >
7. < ?php
8. mysql_connect(“localhost”, “root”, “password”);
9. $result = @mysql_query(“SELECT contents from”);
10. while ($row = mysql_fetch_assoc($result)){
11. $contents = $row[‘contents’];
12. }
13. ? >
14. < form name="form1" method="post" action="updatePage.php" >
15. Enter page content:< br >< textarea rows="10" cols="60" name="contents" >< ?php echo "$contents" ? >< /textarea >
16. < input type="submit" name="Submit" value="Update Page" >
17. < /form >
18. < /body >
19. < /html >

Most of this file is fairly simple HTML that doesn’t need explaining. However, the following bits of code are probably worth discussing.

Lines 7 through to 13 contain PHP code to connect to the database and extract the contents of the web page.

Line 15 contains a tiny bit of PHP code to display the contents in the form’s textarea. This line shows how easy it is to integrate bits of PHP code into lines of HTML code.

Remember though that in order to use PHP code in an HTML page, the file has to have an extension of .php. If it does not, the PHP code will not be processed by the web server.

Although very simple, the content management system described above could be used as the basis for a more substantial, and therefore realistic, CMS.
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What CMS to Install For a New Website?

May 20, 2012

Are you starting a new website? If you are, then you have several decisions you need to make. First, you have to decide whether your new site is going to be a large site with hundreds of pages of content, or is it going to be a site with just a few pages. Knowing that will help you decide on the appropriate CMS to use.

CMS used to cost individuals and small businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars. Fortunately, all thanks to the open source community, you now get fully functional software at zero cost. In fact, you may get confused over the right CMS to install because there are so many options out there.

My personal favorite, is a CMS known as WordPress.

WordPress started out as a blogging platform. If you are running a blog, then this is the software that you must install. However, it has since evolved into a much more versatile application. Let’s take a look at what WordPress can do for you.

1) Template based.

This is very useful for a simple website. There are no lack of templates available for download on the Internet. Most of them are free, provided you add a link back to the creator of the template. If you wish to remove the credits, you can always pay for a template. Changing a template is as simple as pushing a button, and the entire website looks different in an instant!

2) Tons of additional plugins.

You have tons of useful plugins to choose from. These are developed by third party developers and most of them are free as well. My favorite plugins include Flickr Tag, Pretty Links, SEO all in One, and Akismet (for trapping spam comments).

3) Intuitive admin panel.

This is a bonus for me because I just hate complex admin panels! WordPress has a very intuitive admin panel, which means that you can get things done without having to read lengthy and boring manuals. For example, installing a plugin takes just 2 easy steps.

Step 1: Upload all the files to the plugin folder.
Step 2: Click on “Activate” in the admin panel.

That’s all.

4) Active community.

Having an active WordPress community means that the software is constantly being upgraded. There will always be new and innovative plugins that will be made available for download. Bloggers are constantly exchanging ideas and coming up with new stuff each week. Do you know that you can even add leads to your auto responder as soon as someone leaves a comment on your blog? That’s innovation.

5) Customizable.

Finally, WordPress is a very customizable system. For instance, you never wanted a blog. You just want a website with a few static pages. No problem, you can easily customize WordPress to become a website CMS. All comments can be closed, so that no one can leave comments. And you can add pages to the website like you would for a normal website. It even comes with an easy to use WYSIWYG text editor.
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Joomla eCommerce Templates

May 16, 2012

Joomla is the most popular open source content management system on the web today. Because it is an open source program, anyone and everyone can write extensions that will work with the initial core components of the software. This is why you will find thousands of extensions that you can download for Joomla and Joomla templates are no different.

Templates is what will define you look and style, as well as layout of the website. They come in two different formats: back end and front end templates. The back end designs are what the administrator, editor will see whenever they log into the account. The front end templates is what any visitor to the actual website will see whenever they come to your page.

Depending upon what type of website you have will depend upon the style of the template you will want to use. For those of you who either already have a store online or for those of you who are getting ready to launch a new store site, Joomla eCommerce templates is what you need. You can find them all over the web and they have already got the Virtuemart capabilities built right into the template. All you have to do is a search and then locate which one that you want.

As mentioned earlier, this program is an open source software program and any designer or regular Joe can write a layout version of their own that will work with you initial Joomla core software. So you can just imagine how many possibilities there are that are available across the World Wide Web. The most difficult thing that you will have to do is find one. If you have a special layout in mind, it has probably already been made; however, locating it by sifting through the thousands that are available can prove to be a little difficult and time consuming. Another option of yours is to hire a designer yourself to write the template that will fit your specific needs. At least this way, you will be guaranteed to have that one certain layout that none of the other millions of web pages will have. It will be truly unique to your website and your website only!

This programs eCommerce templates can be a little more expensive than that of a normal layout because of the integration of the Virtuemart capabilities. So you can plan on spending a little more for your layouts; however, there are free eCommerce layouts available across the web. Just make sure that they will suit your needs before you download them. Usually one download will only work for one website; so if you have multiple sites, you will have to download the template more than once. Another option is to join a template club. You can purchase a membership (depending upon the length of the membership depends upon the price) and for that amount of money you can download any layout you desire as long as your membership is valid. If you have multiple sites, this can prove to be your best option if you can’t find a free template that will work.
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So You’ve Got Your First Website

May 15, 2012

You’ve jumped off the deep end and decided to start your very own website. Congratulations are in order, this is a great decision that will allow you to interact with people online and give you a wonderful creative outlet! Instead of just browsing the Internet, wondering where your next paycheck is gong to come from, you have decided to step up, invest a little bit of money, and try to turn that money into something that might just pay dividends – a website.

At this point you’ve probably done at least a little bit of research, so it won’t seem as daunting as it may have just a few days ago. You have probably heard about something called a domain registry, and about something else called a web hosting service. After looking into the various web hosting options you may be really confused as to what you need. Most than any other options you’ll likely see recommendations for shared, reseller, VPS and dedicated hosting.

The advice you should most listen to is relaxing, this is the most important step. At first all of this stuff will likely be quite confusing, but after a few hours it will likely click and you’ll have a good grasp on things. Some things you just can’t learn through research, you’ll only learn from experience. Fortunately it’s tough to make any major mistakes and you can avoid most of the larger pitfalls using your common sense and a decent amount of research.

Through all of your decision making, keep in mind that web hosting it the most important aspect of having your own website. Now, if you are just starting out, you will almost definitely want to get into shared hosting first. When you get too large, or your needs get to specific, you can start looking at VPS or dedicated hosting. Remember that researching the Web host you plan on using is a good idea, but also remember that if you get started and your Web host turns out to be hard to work with, you can always leave and find another one.

Why DotNetNuke and Other Content Management Systems Click

May 3, 2012

One thing that makes Content Management Systems click is the way they’ve made website creation a breeze. Now it makes you wonder why you’ve had to be intimidated by those web programming languages when they would have little use by now. Of course, Java, PHP, ASP and the others will always mean the world to those who practice them, but as far as non-technical users are concerned, this development in web design technology is unsurpassed.

Probably the most popular CMS type used today is the module DotNetNuke which is incredibly simple and effective as a web design tool. It has a smooth and easy-to-follow interface which only requires common sense and basic computer operations from its user. Now you can easily put up multimedia web pages as well as provide a safe place for your documents and other information. In other words, a content management system is a versatile way of managing your site from all aspects of your website, from appearance to document maintenance.

Although all of them will have the same basic features and capabilities, there are several other types of CMS such as Bespoke which is known for being highly customizable to the user’s working environment. Two other examples are Enterprise CMS which boasts of its workflow and security management properties and Open Source CMS which comes rich with freely available tools and functionalities.

There’s no question about ease of use being the main factor that makes CMS a hit. Although they rely on the same platform used for hardcore web programming languages and databases, they have simply become the more practical alternative for anyone who could use time and cost savings on their web design projects.

However, it is not wise to rest on these systems’ usability because they remain mere tools that could not guarantee web visibility and traffic on their own. What you put in your website and how you put it together will still be ultimate arbiter of your website’s success.
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