What is a Content Management System?

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A content management system is a framework for creating database driven web pages. Currently, open source content management systems like WordPress, Joomla and Drupal are very popular for creating websites and blogs. A content management system or CMS like Joomla or WordPress are a collection of programmed pages written in a scripting language that works well with databases like MySQL or PostgreSQL. {loadposition adposition5}WordPress and Joomla are written mostly in PHP but there are other popular scripting languages like Ruby for Ruby on Rails and ASP.net. Content management systems make it very easy to create and manage webpages in a systematic way. All website data and content is stored in the database as well as users, menus, links, etc.. Database driven webpages in a CMS are considered dynamic in that the web pages are created on-the-fly by calling or retrieving the data from the database, i.e. dynamically.  

WordPress and Joomla are open source projects that are free to download and install. A WordPress or Joomla website consists of two main elements: 1) the framework which is a collection of scripted files, folders, and images organized into a single folder, and 2) the database which holds all of the web site’s data. Since a CMS website’s webpages are dynamically created on-the-fly by the interaction of active scripted pages and a database, you need a web server to interpret the scripted pages and a database server to respond to queries for database data. The diagram below shows the Apache Webserver, the MySQL server, and the PHP language all installed on a server. Outside of the web server, the diagram depicts how the Joomla and WordPress CMS systems have been downloaded, extracted, and placed in the web server’s web directory or public folder.   


Video Tutorial


Next >> Installing Apache MySQL and PHP with WAMPserver2

Installing Joomla and WordPress

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Now we need to get full installations of Joomla and WordPress, which you can download from their websites. If you are running Windows you will want to download the zipped versions of Joomla and WordPress. {loadposition adposition5}Once you have download the zipped packages, you will need to extract or unzip them by RIGHT+Clicking on them and selecting ‘Extract all’. Once extracted, you will see that the both the Joomla and WordPress frameworks consist of files and folders within once central folder. The files types consist of php, css, html, javascript, xml, jpg, and png files, etc.. A Joomla and WordPress website starts with that central ‘folder’ and all of the folders and files contained therein.

A Joomla and WordPress website is essentially a folder with all of the Joomla or WordPress files and folders located inside, connect it to a MySQL database and you have a Joomla or WordPress website. When you download Joomla or WordPress, you are downloading the whole thing (minus the database) in one compressed folder, which you then have to decompress (unzip). Once the folder is unzipped, you can rename the folder to anything you like to differentiate it from other sites (folders) on your webserver. Each ‘website’ is another instance of this complete folder or directory. In computer lingo, the word "directory" is often substituted or preferred over the word folder. Repeating this concept, if you decided to host multiple Joomla and WordPress websites on your server, each website will need its own uniquely named directory containing all of the files and directories within, as well as a MySQL database to go with it. 


You will need to go to the Joomla website and download two version of Joomla. I recommend downloading the zip versions of Joomla 1.5.x, a classic older version, and Joomla 2.5.x (the x signifies the latest sub version.

You will also need to go to visit WordPress website and download the latest zip version of WordPress currently it is WordPress 3.4.2.


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Video Tutorials

    This series of video tutorials will walk you through installing Joomla 1.5, Joomla 2.5, and WordPress 3.4.2. The goal is to set up three development websites on your local computer in order to begin learning how to use Joomla and WordPress.


    Preparing to install three websites in WAMPserver

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Creating the databases 


Install Joomla 1.5.x


Install Joomla 2.5.x


Install WordPress 3.4.2 

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Install WampServer

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In order to develop a Joomla or WordPress web site on your local computer, you will need to install the following services: a webserver (Apache), a database server (MySQL server), and the PHP scripting language. There are a few popular programs out there that package together the Apache webserver, the MySQL server, PHP and PHPmyAdmin into one easy installer with a handy user interface and control panel in order to easily start and stop all of the services. My favorite AMP tools (Apache, MySQL, PHP) are WAMPserver2 and XAMPP. If you are runnning Apple OSX than search Google for a MAMP distribution.

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WAMP Video Tutorials

In this series of video tutorials, I cover the basics of downloading of installing and running WAMPserver2.

Installing and Managing WampServer2 – Part1 New!


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Installing and Managing WampServer2 – Part2 New!

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Managing the Apache www web directory

How to Install Wampserver part 1 (older version): http://youtu.be/VSZSPBKknAA

How to Install Wampserver part 2 (older version): http://youtu.be/y5ytVz6qmF4

Apache MySQL Extra Learning

 In this video, I show you how to secure your WampServer by adding a root password to the MySQL server

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