Announcements

Where Are The Templates?


Often I find topics on the forum where people inquire about finding professional templates specifically made for CMS Made Simple. Almost as often there are also critical voices, usually amongst the replies to those topics, saying that CMSMS needs more templates, both freely and commercially available. In my point of view CMSMS has the largest repository of templates in the internet.

Category: General
Posted: March 26, 2015 by JoMorg

Often I find topics on the forum where people inquire about finding professional templates specifically made for CMS Made Simple. Almost as often there are also critical voices, usually amongst the replies to those topics, saying that CMSMS needs more templates, both freely and commercially available. That leaves the impression that the lack of sites where such templates can be found is one of the reasons - if not THE reason - why this CMS sometimes is believed to lack projection.

Well... there are many reasons why a CMS such as CMSMS may have less projection than others, and I'm not the best person to try to explain all of those reasons, apart from the fact that they don't necessarily have to be bad. But that apparent gap is surely not one of them. And there lies the main point: apparent! Because it actually isn't a gap.

The CMSMS Template Engine

Lets go deeper into the root of the engine CMSMS uses to work with templates: Smarty. Smarty is the template engine adopted by CMSMS to make life easier for all the web-designers who choose this CMS to work with. There is a lot of discussion on the merits of any template engine which works on top of what was already meant to be a template engine i.e., PHP. But for better or for worse: PHP gained a place of it's own as a scripting language for web applications, and it's syntax typically is not one web-designers want to learn.

Regardless of how other template engines work, Smarty has a simple syntax for beginners, but allows for a web-designer to grow. Smarty templates can be quite complex, as one's experience and knowledge expands, but it always keeps presentation and logic separated, as it should be.

Dynamic content with tags

In practical terms, and with relation to Smarty integration in CMS Made Simple, the notion is simple. There are placeholders, generically called tags, which are given by the developers of the application (the CMSMS core) and its extensions (plugins and modules), to the webdesigners. The webdesigners, in turn, design for CMSMS as they would for any static page, or site, just replacing the (soon to be) dynamic bits, by the tags provided.

This has one only consequence: one can reuse templates from virtually any source, be it free HTML templates sites, paid for templates sites or even templates made for other CMSs (virtually any other CMS template can be used). Even templates made for other web applications, such as forums, e-commerce, etcetera.

Adapt a template to become simple

There is, of course, the need to adapt all these templates to some extent. Some more than others. In most cases extensive adaptation of templates is because these, on other applications, are scattered through so many files that it becomes a puzzle that needs to be rebuilt to become simple again.

How easy is it to reuse a template in CMSMS? Try this:

Get a pure HTML template from a site of your choice that offers them freely. Create a new template in CMSMS, and delete all the default content. Paste a full page HTML from the template. Now there is only one extra step you need to take: paste at the very top of the template, just before the first HTML tag the following “{content assign='content'}“ and save. And that's all.

You have now a new template you can assign to any page and see how it looks on your site. Is there no content being displayed? Of course not, not yet: you still have to replace a few blocks with those tags I mentioned before. But that's how you can start working on a new template on your new site. That's how simple it is to use templates in CMSMS.

Now back to the question: where can I find templates for CMSMS? Everywhere on the web! In my point of view CMSMS has the largest repository of templates in the internet.


Our Partners: