When and Why to Use Joomla! Moodle Or WordPress

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Creating a website is a task full of challenges. One must answer several questions like, how big is the page. How often will it be updated? Who will update it? What kind of content will be published? Is the team doing the update trained to work with an HTML page?

Answering these and other questions, the person in charge of creating the page can decide if an HTML page is viable or if its better to use a Content Management System (CMS). CMS is defined as:

A program that allows you to create a framework for creating and managing content on web pages primarily by the participants.

It consist of an interface that controls one or multiple databases which hosts the site content. The system can operate independently of the content and design. It is possible to manage the content at any time and give a different design to the site without having to give back to the content format, and allows easy and controlled publication on the site to several publishers. A classic example is the publisher of the content uploaded to the system and a higher level (directory) that allows content to be visible to the public (the approval).

I work as a graphic designer at a university in Puerto Rico. I also complly with the duties of Information Technologist and Quasi webmaster. In my adventures as a webmaster, I have created databases and installed Content Management Systems (CMS). Through this experience I can write about the advantages and disadvantages of CMS, and above all, help you decide which the best option is.

The CMS is a simple way to enter, classify and distribute information. How the user as an author can, without any knowledge of HTML, create and publish information online. The author can post images, video and audio into his or her article with great ease. If the user has administrator privileges, they can easily create site navigation, add content, delete content and even change the look of the site. One of the biggest advantages is that many of these programs are free.

The type content that will be published is important in deciding what type of CMS should be installed. If the content is educational, a log or publishing articles, the CMS will vary. For educational content, use Moodle. It is a CMS (Course Management System) specifically designed for educational materials. It has some tools for enrollment, creation of tests and assistance. If it is to post news, a diary or digital items in chronological order for access through the world, a blog is what you need. My recommendation is to use WordPress because it has a wide variety of "plug-ins" that will help you enter and manage content. Conversely, if you want to publish articles, some for the general public and some for registered users, using Joomla! This CMS contains tools for creating menus, and ease of publishing articles with restrictions.

The biggest drawback I've found for CMS is to create templates. There are many free online, but if you want to have a unique template, then you have to create it yourself or hire a professional designer. The free templates can be modified, but preferably you should have a template specifically design for you.

The CMS is not for everyone. If you want a page to sell or promote a product, the CMS is not for you. The possibility of creating a unique and different page from others is the great advantage of HTML.

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