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Posted March 2, 2007 by Tatu Wikman
Today we will start a new article "Featured Site of the Week" which will show you some of the sites created with CMSMS usually found from "CMS Show Off" forum. This weeks site is brought to us by forum user kovver. I had the pleasure to interview him a bit about the site. tsw) Who are you and where are you going to? kovver) My name is David De Beukelaer and I'm studying in Holland for Waldorf teacher. Currently I live in Belgium and have studied art in Ghent. I work as a freelancer every once in a while, mostly making artwork for myself, but sometimes making sites for friends and relatives. I also do book illustrators and writing but only in dutch. tsw) So what is this site all about? kovver) Its the artist portfolio for me and a friend. I designed the whole concept in photoshop after styling the color palette. We will have regular updates on the site, mostly with links, archive products, etc... Me or my friend will do the updates. I did the design for this version. Another large project of mine is: http://www.anthros.net which is mentioned in eight CSS galleries tsw) Why did you choose CMSMS? kovver) I discovered CMSMS a half year ago. I work with it when applicable and useful. Sometimes i write extras on it or fix bugs, etc. That makes me think that i should mention them more often, end even help on the development. If needed... tsw) How do you create your designs? kovver) Its very useful to make the design completely offline, in photoshop, with guides, color codes and separate layers. tsw) What have been your major problems with CMSMS? kovver) The largest problems are currently the bugs between IE opera safari and mozilla. tsw) But aren't those problems more CSS related than CMSMS? kovver) Mostly it is a horror experience for every designer, included the ones not using CMSMS, but. So to answer the questions above: no problems that can't be solved. tsw) How did the site launch go? kovver) I did not yet get pointers or opinions from others, because the site is only redesigned for three days now. I don't really know how much traffic I receive daily, some 3500 a month I suppose... tsw) In your own opinion what's good about this site and what's bad? What would you do differently? kovver) Iâ€™m recently developing an own style in web-designing which leads me to simplicity! I was wondering what makes a site worth looking at and in the meantime proudly presenting a clear overview, with valid XHTML. This is a new episode in my search for it. tsw) Thank you very much on taking the time to answer these questions. Now, what would you like to say to fellow CMSMS'ers. kovver)
- Focus on your CSS skills, they are the basis
- Try, if capable to contribute to the CMSMS development.
- Make your designs in photoshop, know what you want before you change the css.
- Post your designs, take a look and learn form others. Never copy, it might not satisfy!
- I question the overload on css-galleries! So I'm looking for serious volunteers to make one board to connect them all, but how?
Posted February 13, 2007 by chead
Development / DesignDuring development and design, you'll spend a lot of time on the same few templates and stylesheets, and adding new content. Speed access to those functions with these shortcuts:
- Edit Stylesheet / Edit Template Most sites have a few key page templates and CSS stylesheets, and you'll probably find yourself editing them frequently during development. Add one-click access to these frequently-accessed templates and stylesheets for quick direct editing.
- Collapse & List Pages If your site has a lot of pages or complex hierarchy, it can take several seconds for the page list to display completely. Add a shortcut to the "Collapse All Sections" link on the page list, and your page list will display in a snap, ready for navigation.
- Module Help Working with a particular module frequently? Link to its "help" page for fast access to reference on its syntax and features.
- Add Page You'll be adding a lot of pages when you first build your site. Get right to it with a shortcut to the "add new page" option from the page list.
Site MaintenanceOnce your site has been developed, the focus shifts to content. You can streamline the process of keeping online information up to date, and reduce the need for user training by focusing editors directly on their content. Give your page owners and editors quick access to the areas they're responsible for with these shortcuts:
- Edit Key Content Your site probably has a few pages or global content blocks that change more often than others. Make a shortcut directly to these key pages and editors won't have to navigate the pages menu to get there.
- Instant News / Events Add a shortcut to "Add Article" and "Add Event" links in the News and Calendar modules to add new items with a single click.
- "Edit My Pages" If your site has multiple page editors, add shortcuts to the pages they can edit for each editor's account. You'll have less to explain and they're less likely to get lost.
- "Change My Password/Email" Give users one-click access to basic account login information by linking directly to the My Preferences/My Account page.
- Site Standards / Documentation Link directly to any site documentation, standards guides or cheatsheets you've developed for your users.
General Tips / Tricks
- Open Shortcut in A New Window/Tab Add '" target="_blank' to the end of the URL in your shortcut to make it appear in a new window. Include the double-quotes, but exclude the opening and closing single-quote, and note the space after the first double-quote and before "target." You can also right-click any shortcut link and select the option to open it in a new window or tab.
- Use Relative Paths For Portability If you want shortcuts to work even if the host changes (such as a development site that will later be migrated to another host), use relative paths instead of absolute paths. You can delete everything through "\admin\" on the left side of the path. For example, to add a page, all that's needed in the URL is "addcontent.php".
- Sort Shortcuts Shortcuts are sorted alphabetically by name (in ASCII order). Add punctuation or numbers as prefixes to display items in your preferred order.
Your ShortcutsHave you found other handy shortcuts? Share yours in the comments!
Posted February 8, 2007 by Ted Kulp
CMSMS 2.0 is the largest project I've ever taken on. Not only that, I've basically signed myself up to do this solo. Well, at least the first large bits of work to the undercarriage will be/were done by me. Here is what is done so far:
- Versioning on an object level
- Totally restructured API
- Function caching
- Full page caching
- Started installer
- Rewrite of content
- Smarty tags for module api functions
- Smarty tags for admin functions
- Rewrote how admin themes work (smarty templates) and how menus are loaded (xml file)
- Rewrote News to take advantage of module api changes
- Finish installer
- Versioning interface
- Overhaul of language handling -- addition of the language manager to download translations
- Total rewrite of translation center to be database centric and able to create language files for download on the fly
- Admin interface overhaul -- especially content and permissions
- New block types, especially image
Posted February 7, 2007 by signex
As a designer I love cmsms, its simple, its easy to use for editors, its stable and pretty clean. I found cmsms back when version 0.10 was introduced, now I loved it ever since but there is one thing that keeps bugging me. Cms Made Simple, by default, is pretty small but I for one don't like that the search module is shipped with it, in my opinion not even the news system should be shipped within. The install system (module manager) for modules is so easy that I don't see a reason why modules like news and search would be shipped with it, same goes for allot "user defined tags" off course I mean the ones not used in stock templates. When I build a small website I don't need most of these functions, and if I did I would just import them with the module manager. Most people with speed issues delete all unnecessary modules and functions to increase speed. Why not have it that way by default, its only a matter of seconds to import a module if you need one. This way cmsms would keep getting known as a simple system and easy to expand if needed. So for CMSMS 2.0 I would make the following changes to the module managing system. Make some changes to the module manager and get 3 tabs like.
- One list of top 10 most used modules. Which could be news, search, FEU, FCKeditor, etc.
- Functions list, all tested and stable functions ready to be imported for user defined tags.
- All other modules the same way it is now.
Posted January 25, 2007 by signex
In Part 1 I wrote about choosing a hosting package (shared/VPS/Dedicated) this part I`m writing about how to choose a webhosting company. In my country(Holland) hosting prices vary allot, I've seen a couple USA hosts and it isn't much different, only difference is that bandwidth is way cheaper in the US then it is in the Netherlands. One of the problems with choosing the right company is that you cant always see who is behind the beautiful corporate looking website, because it just could be a 16 y/o just trying to make a quick buck, not caring about his costumers at all. Which makes it even harder is that prices vary so much, and off course nobody wants to spent too much on something that you can get way cheaper. The first thing for you to decide is how important is your website for you, or how much is your client willing to spent. You can get a shared hosting package for 10$ a year, but the same package costs 100$ a year somewhere else, so where is the difference? here's a small list of things that could make this difference.
- Do they make backups on a second server
- Do they use an A brand for their hardware
- Are their spare parts on the spot in case off hardware failure
- Which datacentre are they located in, try to find reviews or opinions
- What Control panel do they use, Directadmin is cheaper then Cpanel
- Do they have phone support, or only mail support
- Do they have a 24/7 phone support when your server is down
- What is their write-off period for a server, 3 or 5 years can make a big difference
- Find reviews from other costumers
- Ask about the hardware they work with
- Ask how long they exist
- Try out mail and/or phone support, is it fast enough for you
- Guaranteed uptime? then what is the compensation when they fail
- Prices to good to be true? ....they are
- Ask uptime reports from the last 6 to 12 months
Posted January 25, 2007 by signex
I know this topic isn't really about CMS Made Simple, but I see quite allot topics in the forums with problems that would never occur if everyone had the right web hosting company for their CMS Made Simple website. Basically this post is split in 2 entries; Part 1: Finding out the right solution for your website which suits your needs. Part 2: Finding a suitable company, comparing price vs. options, testing the chosen company. Step 1: Decide what kind of website it will be, and what kind of hosting it will need. basically this can be divided in 3 options.
- A small personal website - Shared hosting will most likely fit your needs.
- A corporate website (small or medium sized) - Most company websites need to be more stable a need en more secure hosting platform, but sometimes a whole dedicated server just isn't worth it. Go for a VPS (Virtual private Server).
- A big community/corporate website - Go for a Dedicated machine just for you.
- Its very cheap.
- Less secure, if other people use broken scripts and a hacker gets in, most of the time the whole server gets defaced.
- Less stable your websites speed can be heavily affected by other users.
- Not really flexible in most cases.
- Cheaper then a Dedicated machine, more expensive then shared hosting.
- Way more stable then Shared web hosting, you'll get guaranteed RAM(on Linux vps'es you'll also get burstable RAM) and CPU. Therefore you are not affected by other vps users on the same server.
- More Secure, if another VPS on the same server crashes because of software errors or gets hacked, you`re not affected.
- More flexibility, you can choose your own Operating System, your own Control Panel, and basically all software you need.
- You can do remote Reboots, you can get SSH access (possible on shared hosting too, but not many web hosters will let you gain access).
- Pretty expensive, you cant divide Control panel licences to multiple users also.
- Most secure option .
- Most stable option.
- You can be in total control.
- Direct Admin ( easy of use, but not many function, its cheap though)
- Plesk ( not much experience with it but don't like the interface, more expensive then Direct Admin)
- Cpanel (Lots a functions but its really expensive)
- VHCS (Open source, when I found CPanel, this wasn't a stable control panel then, but have no recent experience)
- Helm / windows only ( No experience with that one at all)
- Apache when using Linux, or IIS when using Windows
- PHP 5.x (php 4 will run with the current cmsms but cmsms 2.0 will require php 5)
- MySQL Databases (only 1 Database is required for cmsms, but make sure you get at least 3 to 5, for testing other software, or beta's.)
- PHP safe mode OFF (This isn't required but Safe Mode ON in php, I think, really is annoying, and doesn't work well with CMSMS)
- PHP Memory Limit set to at least 16MB (default is 8MB, and this works well for simple CMSMS websites, but bigger ones with lots off modules will need at least 16MB)
- PHP Max Upload set at 10M (default is 2M, find a host which is willing to set this at 10M, again this isn't required though)
- GD or Imagemagick (not really required but very handy)