HTML and CSS Reference
In-Depth Information
General-Purpose Content Management Systems
There are far too many general-purpose content management systems to list here. Some
content management systems are just toolkits that enable you to build something on your
own. Others are highly structured with tons of features that you control via configuration,
rather than by writing code on your own. Here are some features that these general-pur-
pose content management systems tend to have in common:
Templating system —All content management systems provide some way for you
to specify how your content will be laid out on the page and how the pages con-
taining the content will look. Most templates take the form of HTML files with
special markers that indicate where each piece of content goes. In many cases, the
templates are just regular PHP, JSP, or ASP pages. In other cases, the content man-
agement system will provide its own template language.
Data repository —Content management systems produce web pages, but they usu-
ally store the data in some structured format, whether it's in a relational database or
in XML files. When users enter data, it is stored so that the system can merge the
data with the templates to generate HTML when the documents are
Workflow system —Controlling who gets to edit which content as well as manag-
ing processes for moving content from draft to published status are big parts of
many content management systems. Some provide rigid systems that you have to
work within; others let you modify the workflow to suit your own organization.
Generally, complex workflow features are part of larger content management sys-
tems. They're not useful for individuals or small groups.
System for writing and editing content —All content management systems pro-
vide some way for you to get your content into the system. Some enable you to
enter it using HTML forms; others provide integration with external tools such as
Microsoft Word.
System for publishing content —After content is in the repository and has been
approved for publishing, a content management system has to merge that content
with a template and publish it on a web page. Some content management systems
produce actual HTML files; others generate the HTML on-the-fly for every
request. Which approach is used usually depends on how much dynamic content
appears on the page. Most content management systems that don't publish static
files provide some mechanism for caching so that data that hasn't changed can be
read from the cache rather than being generated dynamically.
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