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.   


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Author: Dan

Dan teaches computer networking and security classes at Central Oregon Community College.

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