Newer posts are loading.
You are at the newest post.
Click here to check if anything new just came in.

December 16 2013

07:30

Blogging with Ease: Best Resources for Ghost


  

Finally! A new blogging service that can compete with WordPress! It’s called Ghost and was just released this year on October 14. So far, it has proven to be exactly what the founder, John O’Nolan, envisioned – a simple, clean, easy, no-nonsense publishing platform for bloggers and writers. Yet more than just content creators are using Ghost. Some of the recently released themes work beautifully as a clean portfolio website for photographers and other artists. But an easy-to-use platform isn’t the only perk: Ghost is an open source platform, meaning that it is completely free. And so are many of the themes and resources.

December 02 2013

11:00

Pico: Free, File-based Content Management System for PHP-Developers


  

Pico is the name of a fairly new CMS, which doesn’t need any database connection at all. Its developer Gilbert Pellegrom calls the system "stupidly simple". I’d object and say, that this is only true for developers. If you are a PHP aficionado and like to write your posts using Markdown, Pico might just be the CMS for you.

Sponsored post
feedback2020-admin
20:51

November 22 2013

03:00

32 Well-Designed eCommerce WordPress Themes

Advertise here with BSA


One of the amazing things about WordPress is its versatility. It is not just for blogging. It’s not just for portfolios. It’s not just for business/corporate websites. You can find a WordPress theme for almost any type of organization, from bands to restaurants to retail stores. In fact, eCommerce themes are one of the easiest themes to find, beside general purpose themes, and eCommerce layouts come in all shapes and sizes, with many being responsive themes as well.

But creative eCommerce WordPress themes aren’t always easy to find. Many seem to follow a certain format, very often with little visual stimulation…except for the collection below. In the following list, we have compiled some of our favorite well-designed eCommerce WordPress themes for your enjoyment and, perhaps, your benefit if one happens to be perfect for a project. Be sure to click on the Demo links since most of these themes come with more than one layout or extra skins. Have fun browsing!

1. StyleShop

Demo & Download

2. eStore

Demo & Download

3. Boutique

Demo & Download

4. Cance

Demo & Download

5. High Fashion

Demo & Download

6. Flatshop

Demo & Download

7. ClassicShop

Demo & Download

8. Responsive Prestashop

Demo & Download

9. Bistro Store

Demo & Download

10. Glamshop

Demo & Download

11. Moderns

Demo & Download

12. Beautyshop

Demo & Download

13. Autumn

Demo & Download

14. Trego

Demo & Download

15. R.Gen

Demo & Download

16. Shopper – Magento

Demo & Download

17. Alysum

Demo & Download

18. Warehouse

Demo & Download

19. Transformer

Demo & Download

20. Journal

Demo & Download

21. Nina Bobo

Demo & Download

22. Velvet Sky

Demo & Download

23. Legenda

Demo & Download

24. Agritourismo

Demo & Download

25. Agriculture

Demo & Download

26. 123Interior

Demo & Download

27. All Around

Demo & Download

28. Balita

Demo & Download

29. Merchant

29-ecommerce-wordpress-themes-merchant

Demo & Download

30. Clock Magazine

30-ecommerce-wordpress-themes-clock

Demo & Download

31. Handmade Two

31-ecommerce-wordpress-themes-handmade

Demo & Download

32. Sliding

32-ecommerce-wordpress-themes-sliding

Demo & Download


Advertise here with BSA

September 02 2013

06:30

Ionize CMS: Multilingual Developers Dreams Come True


  

Moving on with our series of CMS reviews, today we will be focusing on another developer-friendly Content Management System: Ionize CMS. Ionize CMS is a flexible open source CMS, that uses PhpStorm and CodeIgniter. Managed by Studio Partikule of France, it has its own module engine and can be used to power a wide plethora of websites. Also, Ionize CMS is equipped with the very liberal MIT license.

August 26 2013

06:30

Picking The Ideal Open Source eCommerce Option: 5 Major Players Overview


  

With the number of active users on the internet ever on the rise, more and more people are turning towards online shopping as compared to regular market shopping. As a result, several e-stores are coming up, including ones that function entirely as a web-based eCommerce store, or others that have both physical outlets and eCommerce solutions. If you are planning to start your own eCommerce website, or intend to sell your products and services online via your site in an easy manner, you have come to the right place. In this article, I shall be evaluating the pros and cons of some of the most popular and well-known open source eCommerce Content Management Systems and solutions.

August 22 2013

06:30

Potato-Proof: Content Management Uncomplicated with CouchCMS


  

Back in June, I did a review of ImpressPages CMS, a popular drag and drop Content Management System that has been designed with the end-user in mind. Carrying from ImpressPages, today I shall be taking a closer look at another CMS meant for the end users — CouchCMS.

July 12 2013

08:00

IM-Creator: Free HTML5 Homepage Builder for John Q. Public


  


  

Homepage construction kits, website builders or whatever you might want to call them are not shrinking in numbers. Instead, their numbers grow constantly, and, what’s more, their feature sets improve, as do their visual approaches. Today we take a look at IM-Creator, one of the freshest specimen of its kind.

June 25 2013

06:30

ImpressPages CMS: Drag and Drop All the Way!


  
impresspages-main Last week, we covered ProcessWire as part of our regular CMS feature here on Noupe. Today, in this article, the CMS under consideration shall be ImpressPages. ImpressPages is an open source Content Management System with a drag and drop interface, designed with the end user in mind. We will be discussing its mode of operation, followed by additional details such as community, documentation and pros and cons.

June 10 2013

09:35

Joomla! Does WordPress Spell Doom For It?


  
joomla1 Today we will discuss a question, fans of Joomla! will not want to investigate to far into. Joomla! tries to get on its feet again, yet shows weakness in doing so. Is there still a chance for the CMS or will WordPress sink it into oblivion? What is it that WordPress does so much better? Sufyan Bin Uzayr thought things through...

March 15 2013

13:30

What a CMS Won’t Do for You

Jonathan reads the New York Times, from his computer every day. Sarah prefers her RSS feed. Tom emails articles to his friends and family. Lisa, like Jonathan, reads the Times online, but does so from her smartphone.

For a newspaper whose content is naturally divided into “chunks” – such as headlines, excerpts, article bodies, images, and video – delivering content everywhere is a challenge, but not an overwhelming one. For other companies it can prove much more difficult. A CMS can help, but content strategists must take an active role in designing the right CMS for their organization.

A content management system, or “CMS,” is a program that enables a company to collaboratively edit and publish content. Because CMSs provide structured templates, multiple content authors can publish identically formatted content.

And yet they get a lot of flack. To quote Jared Spool:

If we try to pick out the most frustrating parts of all of our users’ experiences, including those of the content governor, we’re likely to find our CMS at the top of the list. As responsible designers, we need to take the CMS design seriously and give the content governor an interface that makes it easy to create and manage great content.

Jared Spool, UIE

Content strategists or content governors – those in charge of updating content once it has been created – are frequently frustrated by CMSes because the structures mandated by these platforms can feel creatively stifling. For example, if the content-authoring templates of a CMS provide space for both a headline and a sub-header, then an author who wants to replace the sub-header with a quote – or any other uniquely formatted type of content – is out of luck.

This means that CMSs must be designed with an eye towards the future: will authors ever need to use quotes in place of sub-headers? Should the system account for this? Jared Spool puts the impetus on designers, but why are they responsible for learning what content strategists and content governors need? In reality, it is the content strategist’s obligation to take an active role in CMS creation and implementation planning.

Adaptable content

Responsive design suggests that the ideal format for displaying content is entirely dependent on the situation in which it is accessed. In order for content to fit the variety of formats demanded by responsive design, that content needs to be separated into a series of tagged elements, thus making it “adaptable.”

Adaptable content is flexible, and thus contextually appropriate within a range of environments. Tablets, phones, laptops, desktops, all with multiple size and screen options? This is the present. It’s also the future. An approach championing both responsive design and adaptable content is the only responsible way to ensure that an experience designed for one device will translate to another.

Content strategists must therefore plan for content with the expectation that it will exist in multiple contexts. In the past, authors might have written articles as “content blobs.” Today, it is up to content strategists to facilitate the creation of (for example) a synopsis, tag line, headline, primary story, and image for every article. The resulting CMS then provides an organized space to separate out all of those different elements.

Allen Tad does a wonderful job of presenting the spectrum of possible CMSs, ranging from low effort with low flexibility, to high effort with high flexibility. At one end, content creators work with inflexible forms (as are sometimes found in out-of-the-box CMSs); at the other, a flexible, custom-made design exists for each new piece of content. Allen concludes that the future of content management systems is essentially a more advanced CMS, with options tailored to the content itself – the “interface that makes it easy,” as Jared Spool mentioned above.

So, why not out-of-the-box?

The default article template for WordPress – arguably the most popular CMS on the market – provides spaces for tags, titles, and categories, in order to encourage content managers to create adaptable content. Its out-of-the-box installation also provides areas for a featured image, a synopsis, a headline, and the article itself.

And for many content managers running company blogs, this is a good thing; it’s an approximation of the ideal publishing experience. But purchasing and implementing out-of-the-box CMSes without proper planning leaves content strategists with only two options:

  1. Follow the default templates, regardless of the lack of flexibility they afford.
  2. Learn the ways of the CMS. Add plugins at will. Be a one-man/woman team.

Fortunately there’s another way. Rather than waiting to become involved until after the CMS has been purchased and implemented, content strategists would do well to get involved in brainstorming sessions and CMS discussions early on. That way they can work with designers and developers to help specify templates, categories, and other customizable aspects of the CMS before they become part of the organization’s publishing culture.

Sara Wachter-Boettcher details the value of content strategist involvement in her recent interview with UX Booth:

The problem is that quite often, CMS purchasing and configuration decisions are being made by an IT person with a checklist, rather than someone with deep knowledge of the content being managed. The content crowd is oftentimes too daunted by the technical bits to try to poke their nose into the conversation. What I want is for content people to see that CMS decisions affect the success of their work, and to get comfortable enough with the vocabulary that they can be an advocate for users, and for the content itself, when CMS decisions are made.

Sara Wachter-Boettcher

Once content strategists take part in the CMS discussion, the choice of out-of-the-box CMS becomes far less important than the customizations the team decides to implement.

Content (strategy) everywhere

There is no one-size-fits-all CMS. For every team that needs pages with three custom images across the top there is another team that needs 2px borders surrounding every third block of text. The frustrations that content creators face have more to do with nuance than with any particular flaw in the options available today.

The solution is forward thinking. Content isn’t meant to be perfected for one page, where it will live forever untouched; it’s meant to appear on Jonathan’s desktop, Lisa’s mobile phone, Sarah’s RSS feed, and Tom’s email. That level of detail and flexibility means content creators need to work harder and smarter.

We need to get involved!

Talk to developers, and discuss what pre-made templates are required, and what design elements need to be incorporated. Learn about responsive design and adaptable content; determine the structure your CMS needs to provide in order to accommodate. If one CMS solution isn’t working, list the missing elements, and identify the new requirements. What strategy works best for your organization? What sort of system(s) do(es) your content require?

The world of content is vast, with many, many CMSs. These ideas barely scratch the surface of what a CMS could do for your (adaptable!) content. The key is just getting involved. No one knows where the content is going better than content strategists.


The post What a CMS Won’t Do for You appeared first on UX Booth.

April 18 2012

21:00

Introducing Breezi CMS Meant For Designers: Review

This is the link to the original article creator of this site, if this message appears to another site than 1stwebdesigner - Graphic and Web Design Blog - 1stwebdesigner is a design blog dedicated to bloggers, freelancers, web-developers and designers. Topics focus on web design and inspirational articles. it has been stolen, please visit original source then!

Are you looking for a good hosted CMS solution for designing your next website? If so, a good option for you to consider might be Breezi.

Breezi is a visual CSS Editor and Edit-in-Place CMS meant especially for designers. The Breezi CMS is supplemented by to-the-mark style control and multiple apps that lend great functionality to your website.

Major Features

Breezi: A CMS Meant for Designers

Breezi: A CMS Meant for Designers

  • Edit-in-Place: To begin with, Breezi CMS lets you edit your website simply by clicking on the item that you intend to change. Thus, you can change your layout, styles and content – all by simply clicking on respective regions.
  • Control Over Style: Breezi provides precise control for many design features such as drop shadows, line-heights, opacity, etc.

    Style Control features in Breezi

    Style Control features in Breezi

  • Working with Images: Breezi lets you edit and resize your images in a simple drag-and-drop interface. Of course, the standard functionality such as crop and/or zoom is there as well

    Edit Image Feature in Breezi

    Edit Image Feature in Breezi

  • Applications: Breezi’s apps are, to a great extent, the equivalent of WP’s widgets. You can add them to your website to provide enhanced features, such as Facebook boxes, live Tweets, forms and so on. Apps can be added via a drag-and-drop interface, and the number of apps is growing at a steady pace.

    Breezi has several in-house apps to extend its features

    Breezi has several in-house apps to extend its features

  • WYSIWYG: Breezi’s WYSIWYG Editor lets you edit text and other content quite easily. Apart from standard WYSIWYG features, the Editor also lets you adjust factors such as drop-shadow, line-height and letter-spacing. Plus, you also have many website backgrounds at your service!

    Different Backgrounds in Breezi

    Different Backgrounds in Breezi

  • Map Your Own Domain: Even though Breezi is a hosted CMS, and it provides you with a sub-domain for your site, chances are you’d prefer to use your own domain. You can easily point the domain to your website.
  • Fonts and Forms: Breezi offers many fonts from the Google Font Library. Plus, you can use the Breezi Forms app to create as many forms as you like.

    Breezi supports several fonts from Google Fonts Library

    Breezi supports several fonts from Google Fonts Library

  • Pages and SEO: Breezi allows you to have unlimited number of pages for your website. Of course, you also get to configure SEO settings such as meta keywords and description.
  • External Embeds: Don’t like the default functionality within Breezi? You can embed code from other services using the Embed app. For instance, you can embed code from services such as MailChimp for newsletters, and/or Google Analytics tracking code for site stats.
  • Multi-Site: If you’re into franchise web development and would like to have a multi-site version of Breezi, you can consider using Empowerkit.
  • Support: Support is offered via Live Chat, email, video tutorials and Knowledgebase articles.

Modus Operandi

At present, Breezi has just one pricing plan – $12 per month. Comparing it with other hosted CMSs, the pricing is reasonable, though not super-cheap. There is a 30-day free trial, so you can check things well before deciding to spend money.

Currently, Breezi is still in BETA, so there aren’t many themes. However, for a simple website, the available options will suffice. In the screenshot given below, I decided to go with the Minimal theme. As you can see, there are blocks in place for adding images and other widgets.

In-context editing in Breezi

In-context editing in Breezi

When it comes to adding Apps, your options include Text/Photo Block, Image Gallery, Video Gallery, FB Fan Page, RSS, Twitter, Scribd, Contact, Embedded HTML, Slideshow, and few others. All in all, you have the required ingredients for a decent website.

Major Apps in Breezi

Major Apps in Breezi

You can also edit the layout or add new pages from within the same toolbar.

Managing Pages in Breezi

Managing Pages in Breezi

The sitewide settings page is rather bland – your domain, administrator’s name and email, and Analytics code (if any) are the only options.

Website Settings in Breezi

Website Settings in Breezi

Verdict

So, is Breezi worth it?

Well, at $12 per month, it is a decent deal when it comes to hosted CMSs – the pricing includes the CMS features and addons, as well as web hosting. If you are a designer who’d like to use a hosted CMS for managing and creating websites, Breezi should be definitely considered, though you should also bear in mind the fact that Breezi is still in BETA. Further more, considering the fact that Breezi is still in its infancy and there are many new features yet to be added, it surely looks to be an interesting CMS in near future. In my opinion, Breezi’s popularity can be further enhanced if they offer a free package for their CMS, perhaps with limited number of websites per account – much like CushyCMS does.

However, on the downside, a hosted CMS is not everyone’s cup of tea. Often times, you find them lacking in terms of functionality – there is no PHP to dig into, no grand CSS tricks to perform magic! While such drag-and-drop functionality can make life easy for you if all you need to do is build websites for the average user, and the applications can help you implement even a decent looking blog, at the end of the day, if you need highly advanced features and customization, you’d be better off without Breezi (or any hosted CMS for that matter).

Of course, you can try Breezi for free for 30 days to decide whether it is meant for you.

Links:

April 12 2012

15:00

Power Your Blogs with Habari: The Next Generation of Blogging

This is the link to the original article creator of this site, if this message appears to another site than 1stwebdesigner - Graphic and Web Design Blog - 1stwebdesigner is a design blog dedicated to bloggers, freelancers, web-developers and designers. Topics focus on web design and inspirational articles. it has been stolen, please visit original source then!

If you are running a blog on a self-hosted platform, chances are you’re using either WordPress or perhaps Drupal. There is no denying the fact that both of these CMSs have excellent capabilities. They are ideal for many different genres of website. However, at times, when all you need is a small personal weblog, running Drupal is a bit overkill. In other instances, when the need of the hour is a no-nonsense and nimble CMS, WordPress might seem a bit bloated to some users.

If this is the case for you, Habari might be the CMS meant for your blog.

First Look

Habari is a blogging CMS with a modular, object-oriented core. With that said, Habari, unlike WordPress, is not everyone’s blogging platform. If you are planning to create a video blog or a photo blog, Habari may not impress you. It caters to the traditional blogger – and it does its job well.

Habari -- The Blogger's CMS

Habari -- The Blogger's CMS

Habari supports multiple database back-ends including MySQL, SQLite and PostgreSQL. There is support for Atom feeds, and the plugin repository contains importers for WordPress blogs.

However, the USP of Habari, as we shall soon see, does not lie in its blogging prowess (seriously, of the features mentioned in the above paragraph, which one is new?). Habari’s main forte is its minimal and swift operation – the CMS comes with an admin interface which is reduced to the bare minimum.

Before we decide the pros and cons of Habari as a CMS, we shall evaluate it under different categories.

Interface, Usage and Performance

The first thing you’d notice once you login to Habari’s back end is the ‘clean’ look and feel. The interface is neat, with the navigation menu sitting nicely in the upper left corner. Just like WordPress, Habari presents you with a Dashboard once you log in. By default, it shows details such as number of Posts, Comments, logged in Users, etc.

Habari presents you with a Dashboard after login

Habari presents you with a Dashboard after login

You can use keyboard shortcuts to navigate in the admin panel – ‘Q’ for Dashboard, ‘M’ for managing existing articles, ‘C’ for comments’, ‘N’ for New Post, ‘A’ for tags, ‘T’ for themes, ‘P’ for plugins, and so on. Of course, if you are editing an article, such shortcuts become void for the duration you are using the Editor.

Speaking of editing an article, the New Entry Editor is plain simple. There are no excessive elements – in fact, it resembles WP’s Editor (after you maximize the latter to full screen).

Habari's Article Editor sports a minimal and clean look

Habari's Article Editor sports a minimal and clean look

Along similar lines, the Options page too is rather minimal and, to a great extent, empty. It lets you enter basic info about your blog, time and date, language, and other similar settings.

Habari has a simple Options page

Habari has a simple Options page

In the My Profile section, you can edit your details – name to be displayed, password, Gravatar address (you can also use an image hosted elsewhere by placing its link).

User Settings Page in Habari

User Settings Page in Habari

Extensions, Plugins and Themes

Habari comes with several themes and plugins to its merit. However, most of the addons are developed in-house and/or by the community. So if you are looking for Premium Theme Stores resembling those of WordPress, you’re in for disappointment.

Among plugins, you also have the likes of Akismet and Defensio to secure your website, importers for platforms such as WordPress and Serendipity to import your previous data, as well as many others.

Habari is backed by several community driven plugins

Habari is backed by several community driven plugins

Community and Support

Habari has its own user group and IRC channel. The community is quite dedicated and the CMS has a loyal user base. However, the size of the community is rather small as compared to most other CMSs. This can be attributed to the fact that the CMS is still in its infancy (the latest version being 0.8). By the way, the frequency of updates is awesome.

The Good and Bad

Before we pass judgment, let’s sum up the advantages and disadvantages Habari.

Pros:

  • Extremely nimble and easy to use
  • No-nonsense, minimal interface
  • Dedicated community
  • Good documentation and support options
  • Support for multiple databases
  • Ideal for regular blogging

Cons:

  • Relatively younger
  • Small user base
  • Not meant for photo/video blogs
  • Few third-party developers

The Verdict

So, is Habari worth it?

Definitely yes!

If you are looking for a CMS with a clean interface for your blog, you should surely consider Habari. Unlike WP, Habari does not try to do many things – its target audience includes regular bloggers, and it serves them well. Yes, the CMS can indeed make use of few Premium themes and plugins, but all in all, it has all the ingredients to power an average-sized blog.

Links

Habari Home Page | Demo | Wiki

April 05 2012

23:00

18 Hosted CMS to Solve Your Needs and Grant You Unlimited Jedi Power

When it comes to choosing a CMS, there are a lot of options to choose from. One can go with traditional ones, such as WordPress, Drupal or Joomla! Alternatively, one can opt for a hosted solution too.

Hosted CMSs tend to be quite popular with designers. While they may not be able to compete with self-hosted ones in terms of scalability, they have several advantages of their own. Apart from included hosting, they also come with A+ grade support from the CMS manufacturer, and thus you know that if something were to go wrong, you won’t be left feeling lost. Secondly, most of them feature intuitive interfaces to help you develop websites easily.

Apart from that, almost all hosted CMSs come with Reseller Tools – you can re-brand and re-sell the websites you create to your clients. Thus, using a hosted CMS allows designers to not just work in an easy manner but also gain a residual flow of income. You have ready-made hosting, support and CMS deployment at your service – all you need to do is create websites and receive payment! Also, almost all hosted CMSs nowadays offer a free trial, so you can try before you buy.

In this article, we take a look at some of the major hosted CMSs. However, before we take the plunge, it is worthwhile to point out that this article, for the sake of clarity, mentions CMSs that project themselves as Content Management Systems in the proper sense of the term. Thus, awesome services such as WordPress.com have been left out (although WP.com offers WordPress as a hosted solution, it projects itself as a blogging tool and not a regular CMS).

1. Agility CMS

Agility CMS lets you manage your content and create websites in a snap. The CMS comes with its own Content API. You can also use Agility CMS to manage websites built with ASP.NET

Agility CMS

Agility CMS

Pros: Great Rich Text Editing, support for JSON API and ASP.NET.

Cons: Bit overpriced, may seem too sophisticated for some clients.

Pricing: Basic Plan at $200 per month (includes two content editors).

Website

2. LightCMS

LightCMS is a CMS specifically meant for designers. You can create a free website with 3 pages, but if you wish to resell and create unlimited websites, you’ll have to opt for the paid plans. The CMS does not have the typical Admin Dashboard – instead, it features in-context editing, that is, you can edit your website simply by clicking on the respective regions.

Light CMS

Light CMS

Pros: e-Commerce Tools, Reseller options, special plans for web designers.

Cons: Needs better documentation.

Pricing: Basic Plan with 1 GB storage at $19 per month.

Website

3. Squarespace

Squarespace is another hosted CMS that lets you create a blog, website or portfolio. The CMS offers excellent templates, stats and specialized features for particular websites such as photo galleries.

SquareSpace

SquareSpace

Pros: Awesome apps for iOS and Android, Importers for WP, Blogger and others.

Cons: Virtually nil

Pricing: Standard Pack at $8 per month (billed annually) with 500 GB bandwidth and 2 GB storage

Website

4. HiFi

HiFi lets you create websites with zero design constraints. It offers a slick API and intuitive interface.

HiFi

HiFi

Pros: Excellent SEO settings, easy to use interface.

Cons: Plans should be limited in terms of bandwidth instead of pages.

Pricing: Starter Plan for $19 per month (maximum 25 pages).

Website

5. Adobe Business Catalyst

Adobe Business Catalyst is an all-in-one platform for building websites, online stores and managing businesses. As the name suggests, it is useful only if you have enterprises and businesses as your clients. Apart from content management, BC can also help you with turn-key eCommerce, CRM, email marketing and other similar tasks.

Adobe Business Catalyst

Adobe Business Catalyst

Pros: Ideal for businesses and organizations.

Cons: May not suit the needs of non-businesses.

Pricing: The Basic+ Plan is available for roughly $12 per month. It includes 1 GB of storage and 1 TB of bandwidth, along with hosted emails.

Website

6. Webvanta

Webvanta lets you build websites with ease. You can embed functionality such as blogs, photo galleries, slideshows, forms, etc. As a designer, you also have the option to become a partner and re-brand the CMS. For end users, there is a free plan with limited functionality.

Webvanta

Webvanta

Pros: Special plans for designers, priority support, monthly webinars.

Cons: Pricing on the higher side.

Pricing: Starter Plan at $149 per year (includes Premium Hosting).

Website

7. Webpop

Webpop is another cloud-based hosted CMS for designers. Unlike others, Webpop does not offer unwanted abstraction and instead allows you full HTML and CSS control. In fact, Webpop’s pricing plans too are modeled around designers’ usage – Personal, Freelance and Agency!

Webpop

Webpop

Pros: Excellent stats and analytics, gorgeous layout.

Cons: Virtually nil, though it can use a limited features’ Free Plan.

Pricing: Personal Plan is at $19 per month, which allows you to have 1 GB storage, 5 projects and 1 client/collaborator.

Website

8. Edicy

If Webpop is meant for designers, Edicy caters to end users. It offers out of the box SEO, responsive templates and layout, and support for building multilingual websites (native support, that is – you don’t have to do the translation).

Edicy

Edicy

Pros: Multilingual features, Competitive pricing.

Cons: Edicy’s own website seems to be slightly slow in loading (compared to others).

Pricing: Pro Plan at $9 per month, with 5 GB storage (Free Plan also available).

Website

9. Shopify

Shopify is a hosted CMS meant for creating e-commerce websites and stores. It provides you with all the functionality you need to run your e-commerce website, such as product/inventory/customer management, payment gateways and even fraud detection.

Shopify

Shopify

Pros: Ideal for running an e-commerce website, good tools for designers.

Cons: Not useful for non-e-commerce sites.

Pricing: Basic plan at $30 per month with 1 GB storage and unlimited bandwidth.

Website

10. Magento Go

Magento Go is another hosted solution for e-commerce websites. Basically, it is the hosted version of the famous e-commerce web application Magento.

Magento Go

Magento Go

Pros: Terrific features for e-commerce stores.

Cons: Awkward pricing (after 800 MB, the next storage option is 5 GB, with no other price point in between).

Pricing: ‘Get Going’ Plan at $15 per month with 200 MB storage and 4 GB bandwidth.

Website

11. Highwire

Yet another e-commerce CMS, Highwire lets you manage orders, customers, products and marketing in an easy manner. As a designer, you have full HTML and CSS control, and as an end-user, you have unmatched e-commerce tools at your service! There is also a free ‘Facebook’ Plan for users.

Highwire

Highwire

Pros: Awesome stats and analytics, good tools for e-commerce.

Cons: Can use a better documentation.

Pricing: Bronze Plan at $19.95 per month (unlimited features, but your sales volume cannot exceed $1500 per month).

Website

12. SolidShops

SolidShops is a solution for e-commerce stores. Bored of e-commerce already? Well, SolidShops is different from the rest in the sense that it focuses on designers, not end users or store owners. The feature set is mere essential, and the focus is on simplicity. Also, it offers full design control.

SolidShops

SolidShops

Pros: Meant for designers of e-commerce websites.

Cons: Simplicity in features may not suit everyone.

Pricing: Basic Plan at $29 per month with 100 MB storage.

Website

13. Volusion

Volusion is a hosted CMS meant for (yes, you guessed it right) e-commerce websites. It offers several beautiful templates, management tools for orders, customers, products, as well as many unique features such as email newsletters, customer wishlists, daily deals, etc.

Volusion

Volusion

Pros: Many unique features for e-commerce websites.

Cons: Needs better documentation.

Pricing: Steel Plan at $19 per month with 1 GB data transfer.

Website

14. Concrete5

Concrete5 is primarily a self-hosted CMS like Drupal and WordPress. However, they also offer hosting and thus, Concrete5 can be run as a hosted solution too. Speaking of the CMS, Concrete5 is easy to use, features many unique elements and can power many different genres of websites, from enterprise entities to blogs. I once did a two-part review of Concrete5 here and here.

Concrete5

Concrete5

Pros: Awesome CMS with in-built Sitemaps, Stats and SEO.

Cons: Slightly expensive (CMS itself is free, but the hosted version isn’t).

Pricing: $45 per month with 5 GB storage and 25 GB bandwidth.

Website

15. Breezi

Breezi is a visual CSS Editor and edit-in-place CMS meant for designers. It offers great control over style, useful apps, powerful WYSIWYG, custom tracking codes, integration with Google Fonts Library, and several other features.

Breezi

Breezi

Pros: Interesting set of features, good support.

Cons: Still in BETA, so may not be everyone’s cup of tea.

Pricing: $12 per month.

Website

16. CushyCMS

CushyCMS is a simple CMS meant for designers. It is versatile and swift in operation and offers several features.

CushyCMS

CushyCMS

Pros: Extremely easy to use.

Cons: Features may seem limiting as compared to others.

Pricing: Pro Plan at $28 per month (Free Plan also available with limited functionality).

Website

17. Vae Platform

Vae Platform is an integrated CMS and e-commerce solution along with redundant hosting. It includes support for shopping carts, newsletters, analytics, etc. Also, the CMS offers full support for PHP, CSS, MySQL, and Subversion. It also comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee.

Vae Platform

Vae Platform

Pros: Perhaps the best pick for e-commerce websites.

Cons: May seem expensive if you do not need the advanced features.

Pricing: Solo Plan at $299 per month which allows hosting 10 websites.

Website

18. PageLime

PageLime is a CMS meant for designers. It offers reseller tools and support for mobile devices. We did a detailed review of PageLime here.

PageLime

PageLime

Pros: Reseller tools, iPhone app.

Cons: Feature set not as advanced as other CMSs in this league.

Pricing: Professional Plan at $19 per month which allows you to have 50 websites (Free Plan with limited functionality also available).

Website

With that, we come to the end of this round-up. Do you use a hosted CMS? If so, feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments.

March 05 2012

10:00

March 03 2012

10:00

Joomla! 2.5 – Does it Have What it Takes to Beat WordPress?

Joomla! has long enjoyed the reputation of being one of the leading CMSs. Whether you are running a blog, a corporate website, a news site or a site of any other genre, Joomla! has the ability to suit your needs and power your website.

However, of late, Joomla! has lost some of its market share – particularly due to the rise of WordPress.

Sometime back, Joomla! released its version 2.5 (which has already had a security update by now). As with any product, Joomla! is also trying hard to shed its older image of being the geek-friendly CMS and contest WP for its crown of being the end-user’s CMS. The latest release, version 2.5, has taken many strides towards that strategy. In fact, it is the first major release after version 1.5 (the interim ones such as 1.7 were short-term releases).

In this article, we shall compare Joomla! 2.5 with WordPress. But before going any further, let us catch a glimpse of what Joomla 2.5 has to offer.

Joomla! 2.5 – Under the Hood

  • First up, Joomla! 2.5  now offers multi-database support, including Microsoft SQL server. This is a great addition as until now, Joomla! was (by default) compatible only with MySQL databases.
  • Next, Joomla! 2.5 comes with automated script updates, improved search and auto-complete functionality within the Article Editor.
  • Arguably, the most notable new feature is the Joomla! Platform version 11.3 (with added support for third party extensions, Offline Mode and CAPTCHA Services, and new additions to the j* class).
  • Code Mirror has replaced TinyMCE as the default editor. You can still use the old editor if you so desire, though.
  • Categories under Article Manager now support fluid hierarchy and you can filter sub-categories as well.
  • Better localization
  • Support for Unicode Aliases for URLs – you can now have URLs in languages such as Hebrew and Arabic too.
  • Enhanced security – over 240 major vulnerabilities have been fixed.
  • Eye-candy and better appearance – even the thumbnails seem to float when you hover the mouse pointer over them!

It is also worth noting that support and updates for older versions of Joomla! will no longer be available. In other words, unless you have a very good reason not to do so, you should upgrade to Joomla 2.5

Usual Stuff!

Joomla! 2.5 doesn’t really ‘revamp’ the admin back-end to the extent one would expect it to. Still, the admin area has the following major menus:

Admin Dashboard in Joomla 2.5

Admin Dashboard in Joomla! 2.5

  1. Site: You can tweak the site-wide settings here, such as making global changes, clearing the cache, and editing the logged in user’s profile.
  2. Users: In this section, you can set up user accounts, groups, define access levels and permissions and configure mass mail functionality.
  3. Menus: Menu Manager and associated features.
  4. Content: The Article Manager, Category Manager and Media Manager are here.
  5. Components: Miscellaneous stuff, such as banners, news feed, redirects, links, etc. are placed under Components.
  6. Extensions: Extensions (modules, plugins, templates and language packs) can be found in this menu.
  7. Help: Obviously, this is where you’d turn for Help files, documentation and wiki pages.

As we can see, Joomla 2.5 comes with many vital additions to its set of features. But does it have what it takes to beat WordPress? Let’s take a look by comparing it with WP.

(Note that, the focus here is to evaluate the performance of Joomla! 2.5 and WP under certain categories).

Joomla! 2.5 versus WordPress

Ease-of-Use and Mode-of-Operation

Joomla! supports a lot of features natively that WordPress does not – for example, sitemaps and mass emailing. While WP can surely be extended by means of plugins, at the end of the day, Joomla! comes with a more handsome set of built in features.

However, WP is easier in terms of usage. For instance, take a look at the Article Editor.

Article Editor in Joomla 2.5

Article Editor in Joomla! 2.5

In Joomla! 2.5, the Article Editor flashes a lot of features – formatting tools, SEO tools, metadata tools, and what not!

WordPress, on the other hand, also has a powerful Editor. Yet, once you use both of them, you realize that WP comes with the more nimble options.

Article Editor in WordPress

Article Editor in WordPress

Bottomline: though Joomla! has an equally awesome Editor, it does not beat WP in terms of speed of operation and usability.

Extendability and Addons

Both Joomla! and WordPress come with an excellent repository for extensions or plugins. However, WP does score way above Joomla! when it comes to themes/templates.

WordPress is being served by numerous designers and developers and you will come across thousands of themes for WP, both free and premium.

Whether you’re running a job board, a news site or a photography portfolio, you can be sure that you have many ready-made themes waiting for you.

While Joomla! 2.5 is also backed by a decent collection of templates, the choices here are nothing compared to what WP boasts of. Theme makers such as RocketTheme and YOOtheme have been creating Joomla! templates for quite some time, but your options are limited – even with these two theme providers, WP is the main forte.

Bottomline: the list of premium template providers for Joomla! is small when compared with WP.

Overall Website Management

Website management, in itself, is one such area wherein one CMS cannot exactly outperform the other. It depends mainly on the user, to be precise.

Anyway, Joomla! 2.5, as stated earlier, comes with many additional features. Naturally, its Settings and Configuration mechanism will be more loaded than that of WordPress. You can tweak email settings, article editor’s features, menus, layout, etc. All in all, Joomla! comes with a neat website management and settings’ section.

It is also worth noting that Joomla! offers many features natively, that are otherwise available in other CMSs only by means of extensions/plugins. For instance, to really gain terrific SEO features in WP, you will probably need to use third-party plugins. Joomla!, on the other hand, has loaded the SEO goodness natively in the CMS itself.

SEO Settings in Joomla 2.5

SEO Settings in Joomla 2.5

Along similar lines, Joomla! lets you setup email newsletters and mail accounts from within the CMS itself. Such functionality serves as a real blessing if you are running a large site.

Mail Settings in Joomla 2.5

Mail Settings in Joomla 2.5

Bottomline: Joomla! 2.5 has several ‘useful’ features that WP doesn’t have, natively.

Support and Community

Both WordPress and Joomla! have a loyal and active community, so you are in safe hands if you need help. Further more, both of them have an elaborate documentation, always ready to help you.

If you are a Joomla! developer, you can always head to the Joomla! Developer Network or Joomfish if you need support.

Lastly, Joomla! also has its own community magazine.

Bottomline: Joomla’s documentation and community support is at par, if not better, than WP.

The Verdict

Joomla! 2.5 has taken giant strides and added many new features to its arsenal. There is still ample scope for improvement – the CMS can use a few good responsive templates and support for mobile devices definitely needs a facelift. Still, version 2.5 has done a good job in enhancing the user experience overall and adding to Joomla!’s credit.

So, does Joomla! 2.5 really have what it takes to beat WordPress?

Well, Joomla! has been the coder’s CMS for quite some time, but of late it has been trying to be the end-user’s weapon of choice. It now has many interesting features that make it stand apart from the crowd of CMSs, but all said and done, it still does not beat WordPress in terms of ease of use and user friendliness. Managing a website can be cumbersome task at times, and WP does well to take that burden away from the user, as much as possible. Joomla!, though a very powerful CMS, just does not fit the bill if you are considering it as a viable option to WP in terms of ease of use.

February 28 2012

10:00

11 CMSs to Help You Create Your Own Social Networking Website

This is the era of social networking. Websites such as Facebook and Google+ dominate the time we spend on the internet. Needless to say, most (if not all) of us find them addictive or, to say the least, interesting.

In this article, we will take a look at some of the CMSs that can be used to create  social networking websites.

1. Dolphin

Dolphin is a CMS that lets you create social networks, dating sites and web communities. It comes loaded with video chat, recorder, video player, forums, groups, events, video messaging, emails, file sharing as well as desktop and mobile apps.

Pros: Wonderful mobile apps, good support for multimedia file types

Cons: Update frequency can be better

Dolphin

Dolphin

Demo | Download

2. Jcow

Jcow is a flexible social networking CMS coded in PHP. It features news feeds and ad blocking scripts. The community isn’t very large, so don’t expect instant replies, and the documentation isn’t the best out there.

Pros: No-nonsense interface, easy to get a hang of

Cons: Documentation isn’t up to the mark

jCow

JCow

Demo | Download

3. Oxwall

Oxwall is a swift and easy to use CMS that caters mainly to social networks and communities, but can also be tweaked for usage in enterprises and other collaborative environments. Oxwall can power many types of websites, including educational networks and other specialized genres of sites.

Pros: Easily extendable/scalable

Cons: Slightly less extensions/templates

Oxwall

Oxwall

Demo | Download

4. Beatz

Beatz is another CMS that focuses on social networks and community websites, though it is more apt for social communities related to music and artists.

Pros: Ideal for creating a music social network

Cons: Difficult to extend

Beatz

Beatz

Demo | Download

5. Etano

Etano lets you create a social network, dating website and other collaborative sites. It doesn’t really offer many unique features, but it can surely suffice for a small social networking project.

Pros: Good for smaller networks, customizable

Cons: Slow updates, less readymade extensions

Etano

Etano

Demo | Download

6. PeoplePods

PeoplePods claims to be “a developer friendly social software toolkit”. The CMS is flexible and is well-backed by active development.

Pros: Flexible, easily customizable, good documentation, active community

Cons: Free extensions can be better

PeoplePods

PeoplePods

Demo | Download

7. Elgg CMS

Elgg is a powerful open source CMS that has a strong community and loyal user base. It can cater to different types of sites and is not strictly meant for social networks. Some of the major sites powered by Elgg include UNESCO and The World Bank.

Pros: Active community, great documentation, good update frequency, decent set of extensions

Cons: Can be confusing for a newbie, slightly steep learning curve

Elgg

Elgg

Download

8. MonoX

MonoX is a social networking CMS based on ASP.NET Its documentation, though decent, isn’t really backed by a super-active community.

Pros: Ideal for ASP.NET users

Cons: Community support can be better

MonoX

MonoX

Demo | Download

9. LiveStreet CMS

LiveStreet CMS lets you create social networks and team blogs. It offers many extensions and multilingual translations.

Pros: Awesome extensions, language packs, etc.

Cons: Not the most nimble or swift CMS

LiveStreet CMS

LiveStreet CMS

Demo | Download

10. Pligg CMS

Pligg CMS is one of the easiest to use CMSs that can power social networks and other interactive websites. Just like Elgg, Pligg too caters to different types of websites.We once did a review of Pligg.

Pros: Easy availability of plugins/templates, good documentation, active community

Cons: Most modules are paid/premium

Pligg CMS

Pligg CMS

Demo | Download

11. Hotaru CMS

Hotaru CMS can be used to create social networks and other such websites. It is a robust CMS and offers numerous plugins and themes.

Pros: Good community support, good documentation, nice repository of themes/plugins

Cons: Even though CMS updates are regular, patches/fixes for extensions take their share of time

Hotaru CMS

Hotaru CMS

Demo | Download

With that said, you can also use mainstream CMSs such as Drupal, WordPress or even BuddyPress for powering social networks and collaborative sites. Here are two working examples: DesignBump (Drupal) and Wordtaps (WordPress).

What do you think of these social networking websites’ CMSs? Do share your thoughts with us in the comments!

February 17 2012

21:00

PageLime: A CMS Specifically Made for Web Designers

Picture this: you are building a website and wish to steer clear of the complexity of present day Content Management Systems (due to lack of time and/or other factors). Or, in other words, your website is a rather small entity (that perhaps does not require the collaborative abilities of Wikipedia or the social networking databases of Facebook). In simplest terms, you’re looking for an easy to use and nimble CMS that, though performs all the functions that you want it to, does not talk the geeky lingo.

Alternatively, picture this (comparatively better) scenario: you are a web designer (if you are reading this blog, chances are that you indeed are a web designer). You need a hosted, no-frills solution that lets you create websites for your clients (who may or may not be tech savvy), and resell them.

What is PageLime


If either of the above mentioned cases hold true, allow me to introduce you to PageLime, a web-based Content Management System.

PageLime

PageLime

PageLime is a hosted CMS service that lets you quickly set up and publish websites. Depending on the plan you opt for, you can add features to your site such as custom domain mapping, unlimited users/administrators, etc. You can also use it to re-brand the websites that you create and resell them to your clients. Sound good so far? Let’s dive in to check out its features!

Plans, Pricing, and Features


PageLime currently offers four plans, namely:

  • Free: As the name suggests, this plan is free to use. You can create up to three websites and have an unlimited number of users (but only one of them can have administrative privileges). However, you cannot map your own domain or use the websites for reselling. Plus, you will have to tolerate the PageLime logo on your site.
  • Professional: This plan lets you create 50 websites and have unlimited users (again, just one administrator). Additionally, you can use your own logo and colors, as well as map your own domain. And just in case you need it, reseller tools are also allowed in this plan. The Professional plan costs $19 per month.
  • Business: The Business plan gives you everything under the Professional Plan, with the added bonus of unlimited websites (and unlimited administrators). It costs $69 per month.
  • Enterprise: This plan targets large enterprises and service providers. The USP of the Enterprise Plan is that you can host it on your own server.

Also, you can try the Professional and Business plans free for 14 days before making up your mind.

Modus Operandi


We shall now take a look at the manner in which we can perform basic tasks in PageLime, and how it fares as compared to traditional CMSs. Please note that here, ‘traditional CMSs’ refers to what we’ve been using, such as WordPress, Drupal and Joomla!

Since we are evaluating PageLime as a potential alternative for traditional CMSs, for the sake of simplicity, each category of operation will be looked at individually.

Running Multiple Websites

As mentioned above, PageLime lets you create multiple websites (ranging from 3 to infinite, depending on your plan). Each website has its own admin panel, domain/sub-domain, and user accounts. You can login to your master account, and then select the website that you wish to modify/manage.

Running Multiple Websites

Running Multiple Websites

Speaking of traditional CMSs, support for multiple websites within the same installation, though possible, is cumbersome to say the least. Movable Type lets you create user blogs and websites within one installation, and so does LifeType. WordPress, on the other hand, tries to make the task comparatively easier, but it too caters to “a large network of blogs“. All in all, PageLime comes with excellent support for multiple websites.

Editing the Website(s)

PageLime offers an easy interface for editing websites – pretty much on par with other CMSs – bit more ‘beautiful’, but nothing out of the ordinary. Once you add the Pagelime editable CSS class to the code, you can edit pages, links and other components of your website. However, since PageLime caters more to websites, rather than blogs/journals, it offers features such as Live Preview that lets you view the changes that you make to your website on the fly. Furthermore, another unique feature includes Content Versioning – your previous drafts are saved, and if you ever mess anything up, simply head to Restore!

Editing Your Websites in PageLime

Editing Your Websites in PageLime

Among traditional CMSs, many offer the Versioning and Restore feature, and Concrete5 has been supporting Live Preview for quite some time.

Data/Media Management

PageLime comes with a built-in Image Editor (no, do not expect Photoshop). You can zoom, crop, sharpen and resize images. Beyond that, you can modify colors or use some predefined effects. All in all, you can happily upload images and modify or tweak them for the web within the CMS.

Managing Images

Managing Images

Hardly any other traditional CMSs offer this feature – though some offer file management options, but image editing is something you’re expected to do BEFORE uploading. CMSs especially built for image galleries, such as Piwigo, however, do provide you with such editing abilities.

‘Smart’ CMS

You can save pages as templates in PageLime for future editing, and it also comes packed with a Code Editor. Further more, it offers several pre-defined ‘templates’ that make your task easier.

Saving Pages as Templates

Saving Pages as Templates

This is perhaps an area where traditional CMSs do a better job, with no strings attached. While PageLime delivers what one would expect of it – you will definitely miss the freedom of WP Themes and Drupal Modules.

SEO, White Labels and Other Goodies

PageLime offers SEO options out of the box – you can edit metadata and other related info easily. Plus, the Business and Professional plans offer detailed statistics for each website that you create.

Detailed Stats

Detailed Stats

On the other hand, many CMSs such as Joomla and even Concrete5 offer sitemaps and SEO natively. At the most basic level, WordPress does the same by the use of plugins.

Reseller Tools

Quite unarguably, PageLime’s USP lies in its Reseller Tools. While the Free plan isn’t much, all other plans come with awesome reseller abilities. Apart from hosting multiple websites (each with its own admin panel and domain), you are provided with the option to re-brand and resell the websites (instead of PageLime’s, it shows your logo in the admin panel). Further more, your Reseller Panel shows you client payments, subscriptions and other sale-purchase transactions. And if that isn’t good enough, PageLime can automate recurring payments and invoices to make your life easier.

Reseller Tools

Reseller Tools

Obviously, such re-branding and reseller tools are not offered in any traditional CMS natively. WordPress and, to some extent, Drupal have plugins/extensions that can help you take care of the same, but the CMSs in particular do not come with reseller features.

The Verdict


So, the bottom line. Who should use PageLime?

Well, if you are a designer or a developer, you should consider using it for the ease of use and the reseller tools that let you offer it to your clients.

Also, if you do not possess the geeky expertise of web administration, Pagelime might just fit the bill for you. However, in this case, you should also bear in mind that in order to get the most out of it in terms of customization, you’ll probably need a rudimentary knowledge of HTML/CSS.

On the downside, the product seems a bit over priced if you do not wish to resell and make money using it. If, for instance, all you need is a simple no-frills website and are considering PageLime in order to avoid the other complex CMSs, even the cheapest plan will cost you $19 monthly (we are not considering the Free option as it does not have custom domain mapping, and a yourname.pagelime.com sub-domain is not something you might want for a website).

At the end of the day, PageLime is described as a “simple CMS for your clients”. In other words, it is full aware of the fact that its forte lies in the Reseller Tools.

Thus, PageLime should be in your arsenal if you are managing multiple websites or need an easy to use solution for your clients’ needs. For all other reasons, you’ll be better off using tradition Content Management Softwares.

If you have used or are using PageLime, feel free to share your views in the comments!

December 16 2011

21:00

A Tale of Two Competitive CMS’s: WordPress And TextPattern In The Spotlight

WordPress and TextPattern are two very popular blogging platforms. Both of them began as blogging platforms (and somehow insist on being blogging tools even to this day), yet have quickly evolved into full-fledged and extremely powerful CMS’s. Both of them have pros and cons, and each boasts of a very dedicated user base as well as communities and forums.

In this article, we shall attempt to compare TextPattern and WordPress and see which one emerges victorious.

Before proceeding further, a short disclaimer: the division of this comparative review under multiple headings does not essentially have a logical explanation – I’ve simply attempted to compare it using four basic, but very important, categories, functionality and usability, mode of operation, extensions and plugins and finally, community and support.

Furthermore, I guess many users of WP and TXP will either agree or disagree with my views. To be honest, using a particular CMS also requires a certain amount of personal choice, what might work for me, may not work for you, and vice-versa. Differences in opinion are always welcome!

So without further ado, let us begin with our comparison.

Functionality and Usability


When it comes to functionality and usability, WordPress seems to win easily. While this does not mean that TextPattern is, in any way, less functional than WordPress, WP simply beats TXP in terms of ease of use! With the advent of version 3.x and higher, WP now boasts of a super organized administrative panel that lets you manage your website with ease. Don’t believe me? Take a look at WP’s admin panel. ‘Dashboard’, ‘Posts’, ‘Pages’, ‘Settings’ – which of these sections are not self-explanatory? Customizing the blog becomes a matter of few clicks. Take a look at the ‘Settings’ page of both the CMSes.

WordPress Settings Page

WordPress Settings Page

On the other hand, TextPattern’s administrative panel, though equally capable and powerful, seems ‘outdated’ in comparison to that of WordPress. Of course, TXP is equally robust in its admin panel, but overall the interface is not as easy to use and may even be confusing for beginners.

TextPattern Settings Page

TextPattern Settings Page

Availability of Custom Plugins/Extensions and Themes


Apart from ease of use, the next thing that defines any piece of software is the availability of extensions for it. However, more often than not, there is a spiral between ‘ease of use’ on one hand and ‘extendability’ on the other. For instance, when it comes to mobile operating systems, Android is more popular than Samsung Bada. While this does not demerit Samsung Bada itself, Android’s popularity can be attributed to its ever-growing app market, which in turn is increasing because developers take an interest in it due to its easy extendability and wide usage, which ensures their efforts will not go unnoticed. Again, due to developers’ keen interest, the apps keep growing, and the users keep coming to Android.

Both WP and TXP support themes and templates as well as multiple plugins and extensions. However, WP has more themes and plugins then TXP. While this may or may not prove WP’s superiority, it surely plays its role in contributing to WP’s user base. Since many commercially viable tech blogs and websites are powered by WordPress (not to mention the millions of blogs at WordPress.com and Blog.com), it is but natural that WP has a large number of themes and plugins. Certain providers, such as WooThemes, offer themes for both WP and TXP. Yet, in this case too, WP dominates TXP in terms of the number of available themes.

If you have exemplary coding skills, fret not! You can easily tweak TXP and design your blog or website the way you wish to. But if you are an end user just looking to get a blog or website up and ready with as little technical expertise as possible, WP should be your safest bet!

Mode of Operation


Modus Operandi is by far the most debatable topic when it comes to comparing any two CMS’s, let alone WP and/or TXP.

To begin with, WordPress comes with a WYSIWYG Editor that makes editing posts and articles extremely simple.

WYSIWYG Editor in WP

WYSIWYG Editor in WP

TextPattern, on the other hand, has an equally awesome (though not so end-user friendly, as it takes some ‘getting used to’) editor, which can do almost anything you want it to, but will surely leave many beginners confused. In TXP, Textile and other related features can either be your best friends or your worst enemies.

Article Editor in TXP

Article Editor in TXP

In the admin back end as well, you will notice that mundane tasks such as updating the CMS, installing themes/plugins, or even navigating the back end – all seem easier on WP rather than TXP for a novice. However, the confusion vanishes once you get accustomed to the interface.

Community and Support


A CMS is only as good as its user base. Both TXP and WP have a good and fairly active community and many forums where you can seek support and advice.

In terms of documentation, TXP seems to win outright. WP is well documented, but it comes nowhere close to beating TXP – apart from the usual website, TXP also has its own User Documentation Website and another TXP Resources site.

Speaking of support, WP is updated on a more frequent basis as compared to TXP. However, this can be interpreted either way – supporters of WP will consider the frequent updates as higher level of activity at their developers’ end, while supporters of TXP can attribute the lesser updates to a sign of maturity of TXP in itself.

To sum it up


Before coming to a conclusion, let us recap each CMS’s pros and cons:

TextPattern:

Pros:

  • Textile is a wonderful component, and if you get used to it, you will never, ever, miss WP.
  • You can tweak your website as much as you want. There is negligible encapsulation done.
  • Extensive documentation.

Cons:

  • Admin back end looks outdated.
  • Interface confusing for beginners.
  • Lesser number of themes/plugins (as compared to WP)

WordPress:

Pros:

  • Perhaps the easiest CMS ever
  • Several themes/plugins
  • Excellent update mechanism

Cons:

  • WP is intended to power only one blog at a time (unless you’re using WPMU)
  • With plugins/extensions, it may becomes bloated
  • Editing article meta data is difficult
  • Notorious for frequent security bugs and issues

And the Winner is…


As I stated above, using (or not using) a particular CMS is a matter of personal preference too. More often than not, our choice for a CMS is governed by our needs (and, perhaps, bias towards a personal favorite).

WordPress and TextPattern are both great at what they do! If you need a CMS just to power a blog or a small website, look no further than WordPress. If, on the contrary, you wish to run multiple blogs, or prefer to tweak your articles before posting them (or simply like to do things the geeks’ way), TextPattern might be your ideal solution. In simple terms, TXP should be chosen if you wish to define the dynamics of your website just as if you were ‘programming’ software.

Have you used WP and/or TXP earlier? Do share your experiences with us in the comments!

December 10 2011

10:00

14 Wiki CMS To Help You Build Your Own Wikipedia

Wikis are a rare breed of websites – we all would agree on that. Designing a portfolio, corporate blog or any such website is an entirely different concept from designing wikis. When it comes to wikis, not only does the website ‘rise’ in terms of its size, but also in terms of complexity. Wikis need to be so designed that the finished website does not look clumsy or unorganized – no matter how much data it has, and at the same time is simple enough for even the most novice user to understand. Following that, and perhaps most importantly, wikis need to be edited not by an individual but an entire community – again, simplicity and ease of use come into play!

Content Management Systems meant for wiki websites, too, like wiki sites themselves, need to strike the right balance between robustness on one hand and ease of use on the other. In this article, we take a look at some of the most popular wiki CMSs out there!

1. MediaWiki


Who doesn’t know Wikipedia? MediaWiki is used by Wikipedia as well as many other projects of Wikipedia’s parent organization Mediawiki Foundation. If you’re looking for a CMS for your wiki website, MediaWiki should be your safest bet! Not only is the CMS powerful, it is also very versatile and is ideal for any sort of wiki website.

MediaWiki

MediaWiki

2. DokuWiki


DokuWiki is meant for developer workgroups, collaborating teams and small enterprises. As a CMS, it restricts itself mainly to documentation websites. The syntax is powerful and creation of structured texts is simple. Further more, DokuWiki does not need any database to run on as it stores all its data in plain files.

DokuWiki

DokuWiki

3. PhpWiki


PhpWiki is another versatile wiki CMS. Unlike DokuWiki, it uses databases to store the information and is therefore, a slightly bulkier CMS. If you are looking for a nimble wiki CMS, PhpWiki might not suit your purpose. However, overall the CMS is a worthy competitor to all the others in the game.

PhpWiki

PhpWiki

4. PmWiki


PmWiki attempts to bring the WYSIWYG approach to wiki websites. In general, you do not have to employ extensive knowledge of HTML in order to develop a website using PmWiki. Indeed, such features make PmWiki ideal for users who are not well-versed in HTML. On the downside, PmWiki’s update frequency has been erratic in the past.

PmWiki

PmWiki

5. TikiWiki


TikiWiki is known to offer many features ‘out-of-the-box’, such as setting permission levels for even the home page. It is loaded with numerous features, many of which might leave even the most experienced user overwhelmed. Currently standing at version 8.1 (stable), TikiWiki is a very popular CMS for wiki sites. It also features a bug/issue tracker mechanism as well as native support for RSS feeds and Calendar/Productivity addons.

TikiWiki

TikiWiki

6. WikkaWiki


While WikkaWiki may not be known due to its modest feature set, it is one of the swiftest CMSs coded in PHP to date. Its speed and ease of use are remarkable, and if you plan to create a small wiki site that may not require heavy CMSs, you should consider WikkaWiki as an option. It uses MySQL databases to store information.

WikkaWiki

WikkaWiki

7. JAMWiki


JAMWiki is a JAVA clone of MediaWiki. Thus, it uses the same syntax as MediaWiki and is one of the leading wiki CMSs coded in JAVA.

JAMWiki

JAMWiki

8. Enterprise Wiki


Confluence Enterprise Wiki is an enterprise CMS that targets teams, workgroups and other collaborative entities. It is a paid CMS – for a website with 11-25 users, you’ll have to shell out $800. You can also opt to host it on their servers, for a monthly hosting fee. In any case, Confluence is an option mainly for enterprises and is definitely not the CMS for your not-for-profit website.

Confluence Enterprise Wiki

Confluence Enterprise Wiki

9. Canvas ColdFusion Wik


Canvas ColdFusion Wiki is a CMS built using Model-Glue. It keeps track of all the editing and revisions performed on each page and is a decent CMS for teamwork.

Canvas ColdFusion Wiki

Canvas ColdFusion Wiki

10. XWiki


XWiki offers a generic platform for developing wiki websites. It is built using JAVA and is licensed under the LGPL open source license.

XWiki

XWiki

11. TiddlyWiki


TiddlyWiki is a unique concept in its own right. In fact, it is not even a full-fledged CMS. It is a single file, that brings to you all the characteristics and functionality of a wiki (including the style sheets, editing, saving, searching, tagging, etc.). Since it is nothing more than a single file, it comes with the added advantage of portability – you may upload it on your web server, copy it on to your USB drive or email it to your friends.

TiddlyWiki

TiddlyWiki

12. DekiWiki


MindTouch DekiWiki is another enterprise solution. It aims to boost the productivity and efficiency of enterprises by offering a simple and non-interfering CMS.

MindTouch DekiWiki

MindTouch DekiWiki

13. ScrewTurn Wiki


Don’t let the name fool you! ScrewTurn Wiki is a fast, powerful and simple ASP.NET wiki engine. It is free and open source (commercial licenses are also available). The installation process is straight-forward and ScrewTurn Wiki has also been localized into multiple languages.

ScrewTurn Wiki

ScrewTurn Wiki

14. TWiki


TWiki is an enterprise collaboration platform and knowledge management solution. It is a structured wiki CMS that can act both as a groupware solution or a collaborative resource over the internet or intranet. TWiki’s niche lies in the fact that it is backed by a massive gallery of plugins/extensions.

TWiki

TWiki

With that, we come to the end of this round-up. If you’ve used any/all of the above CMSs, do share your experiences with us!

November 23 2011

10:00

Pligg: A Social Networking Content Management System

What is Pligg? Don’t we use WordPress as the “default” Content Management System? Enough, you WordPress dreamers! The world outside WordPress is huge and you got to jump out of your favorite content management system so as to discover the rest of the virtual world. Today, we will break some shackles to travel outside our comfort zone. It is time to discover one Content Management System which has been doing rounds for quite some time: Pligg.

P.S. You will notice how by the end of the article I slowly drift into the favor of WordPress (even when I won’t mention this openly). After all, WordPress rocks!

So, What is Pligg?

I know, I ended up pushing all my energy into my introduction which resulted in the major question being left unanswered. So, let me bite my tongue and introduce you to the definition of Pligg.

Pligg is an Open source Social Networking Content Management System (CMS) Combining social bookmarking, blogging, and syndication and a democratic editorial system enables users to collaboratively submit and vote articles. It was influenced by the extremely popular English technology site Digg, where when a user submits a news article it is placed in the “upcoming” area until it gains sufficient votes to be promoted to the main page. – Wikipedia

The above definition of Pligg really wraps up everything that can be said about Pligg. While WordPress was solely launched as a CMS for blogging purposes, Pligg on the other hand was launched as a social networking Content Management System. It has been designed to handle multiple authors who can be registered users controlling the website’s content. Those who know Digg (almost all of us do) might have already figured out Pligg’s initial purpose. Although the uses of Pligg have evolved in recent years yet the voting system remains the backbone for Pligg.

Features of Pligg

There isn’t much about Pligg so I don’t want to push lot of useless content in this article. Pligg is still growing. Their Wikipedia Page isn’t complete yet! To give you an example - Pligg.in is a news site which nowhere deals with Pligg although it uses Pligg as its backend.

Let us go through the features of Pligg before we jump over to the Pligg Showcase:

  • Voting - Well, that is the obvious feature of Pligg so I do not need to discuss more of this. Although I will like to specify that Pligg also offers “5 star” voting system other than the Digg like voting system.
  • User Profiles - Pligg lets users create their own profiles thus giving them the much required personal feeling. One can view other profiles, add others as friends, check what others are voting for and a lot more.
  • Private Messaging - One can use the private messaging feature of Pligg for private communications.
  • Groups - Like minded people can create groups where they can share stuff that will be appreciated by all.
  • Module System - Like WordPress Plugins feature, Pligg has Module System which can be utilized by users to add extra features to their Pligg based websites.
  • Smarty Templates - Website designed can be changed by using Smarty Templates which are more or less like WordPress templates. They won’t affect the backend of your website and will just change the front look of your Pligg based website.
  • Easy Upgrades - Like WordPress, Pligg offers automatic upgrades and easy installation features thus making it more user-friendly.
  • RSS Feeds – I guess I don’t need to explain this. Pligg offers its own RSS Feeds system which can be used by visitors of that particular website to keep themselves updated with latest updates from that Pligg based website.
  • Multilingual Support - Pligg supports multiple languages thus making it widely available for users from other countries. Also, you can join the Pligg Translator Group to help them add your country in Pligg if it isn’t already present.

Suggestions for Pligg

Although Pligg seems to have some future, they still have a lot of room for improvement. The below suggestions are solely my thoughts and must not be misunderstood.

  • I am not sure why this exists but Pligg’s About Page has “Advertise Here” sections just above the footer. I mean why is a Content Management System looking for ads like a regular blog would? Also, they charge only $70 per month. Well, does this mean that they aren’t famous? Really, Pligg, remove these “Advertise Here” images right away.
  • Free up some of the modules. I was checking out the Pligg’s Pro section and there were modules that just amazed me. Don’t get me wrong. They didn’t amaze me due to their features. They did so because they were charging for modules that only offered basic functions. Like the Twitter Module is worth $23.99! I mean why would I spend that amount of money for Twitter integration. If Pligg wants to stand against the best CMS then they got to give away stuff for – FREE!
  • Expand yourself, please. Pligg, as a community, needs to start working in order to expand their reach. I have so many webmaster friends who know nothing about Pligg. Why is that? They are failing somewhere for sure. They must re-think their marketing strategy to improve their reach.

I have a lot more to tell them but I would rather give them time to improve. They still have a lot to learn and a long way to go.

The Showcase

As is the case usually, I cannot let you guys go away without an inspirational showcase of websites that run on Pligg. Believe me, there is lot of niche Digg like websites that have a stronghold in their regions. Here we go …

1. Ball Tribe

2. Biz Sugar

3. Blog News

4. CG Digg

5. Community Radar

6. CSS Leaf

7. Cute A Holic

8. Dealigg

9. Design Float

10. Design Poke

11. FAQPal

12. Furryne

13. Fuze News

14. FWISP

15. Graphic Design Links

16. Mascota Tube

17. Motatagz

18. Open Faves

19. Snoogle News

20. Sphinn

Older posts are this way If this message doesn't go away, click anywhere on the page to continue loading posts.
Could not load more posts
Maybe Soup is currently being updated? I'll try again automatically in a few seconds...
Just a second, loading more posts...
You've reached the end.
(PRO)
No Soup for you

Don't be the product, buy the product!

close
YES, I want to SOUP ●UP for ...