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Getting Started with Joomla! or any Content Management System (CMS)

Filed Under (General) by kimloon on 29-08-2009

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During my course as a webmaster for various volunteering community, there are a few members who wanted to find out more on maintaining a website. All these websites are running on a Content Management System (CMS). I gladly create administrator accounts for these members. Most of these members were confused on the first sight of the administrator page. They do not know what to do. Some asked for further instructions. Out of these, few went further to the next stage of adding an article or post to the site.

I could understand the confusion, because I went through the same r organization. And they wanted to website to have a CMS engine. Although I have experience in writing webpages using HTML and writing website scripts, that was the first time I came across the term CMS.

Luckily, there was another webmaster who was working with me. He has the technical knowledge in creating CMS based website. So he started to create a Joomla! CMS based site. Upon receiving the account information, I logged in and started learning how to organize and add the contents.

Initially, I was confused. I had no idea on the terms used. I did not know what was section, category or menu meant in the Joomla! CMS. So I began to add in the structure which I think what the organization wanted. I created a number of section, category and menu items. I also added in the articles in a manner which was quite differed from what the organization wanted.

Coincidentally, the other webmaster was also online working on the site. He was quite shocked on the way I was adding content to the site. He quickly called me and briefly explained structure wanted.

From there, I had better understanding on the system and structure. The rest was history. I would install a CMS for all the future sites which I was the webmaster. I also explored other available plugin or add-on modules to enhance the usefulness of these sites.

Through this initial experience, I also learnt an important lesson on CMS. The best way to get started with CMS based website was to start messing with it and adding items. The key feature of CMS is that no technical knowledge is required to do so. The best thing about most CMS is that the administrator Graphic User Interface (GUI) page was written in such a way that, only allowed functions were displayed. Till now, I have not found a way to cripple a CMS-based website using the administrator GUI page. As long as nothing was deleted, most of the damage was reversible.

Just like my first contact with CMS, I just need to re-organize the items and soon it was what the organization wanted.

Administrating Joomla! or any Content Management System (CMS) based website can be confusing initially for most people. The best way to learn about it is to mess with it and add items, just like I did initially. And soon, most will discover that CMS is a very useful tool to maintain a website without any technical knowledge required.

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