What's a CMS?

Content Management Systems

A content management system is software that keeps track of every piece of content on your Web site, much like your local public library keeps track of books and stores them. Content can be simple text, photos, music, video, documents, or just about anything you can think of. A major advantage of using a CMS is that it requires almost no technical skill or knowledge to manage. Since the CMS manages all your content, you don't have to.
In the past, websites were made of html pages linked together through hyperlinks. If you wanted to update the content, you needed to update each page individually. Changing a color or style meant changing it everywhere it's used.
With a Content Management System, updating the content changes it everywhere it appears on each page throughout your website. You can simply change your colors, font styles or settings, and update every page and section instantly.

What's the difference?

A traditional, or Web 1.0 website, is in it's simplest form a group of html or css-styled pages tied together by hyperlinks. In the mid and late 1990's, MS Word-created websites were fairly common - documents made in Word that contained text or images hyperlinking to another document. Dreamweaver and Flash-based sites function much the same - images and text hyperlinked to another document, or "page". With a CMS, such as Joomla, there are no "pages". What we have is a collection of content - news articles, products, information articles, videos, etc. - that is essentially "in the cloud". Menu's are created to group content and built out the frontend architecture, pointing to the content, content category - or directly to an application that manages content in a special way. Since the frontend of the website is basically a display of source content, it has three major effects: The display of content can be controlled without changing the content itself Rather than changing every page a piece of information is on, you can simply change the source content itself and the changes will be reflected anywhere the content is displayed on the website. Menus can be changed, moved, added or removed without ever breaking any links. This means you can decide to put a news article under "News" today - and move it to "Press Releases" tomorrow in about 20 seconds, with no broken links.


Joomla is the most powerful full CMS. It's aimed at solutions for websites with features, integrations and more serious business needs. These site provide admins and employees with a simple, powerful solution that can be managed with hired help.


WordPress is a popular micro CMS. Originally a blogging tool, it has expanded over the years to handle many business needs as well. Admins and website owners often leverage 3rd party plugins to extend WordPress' features and abilities.
*We also provide development and support for other CMS solutions such as PageKit, Drupal and Magento

Templates or Themes

With Joomla (or WordPress), a template is essentially a "skin". The basic elements of a template are module positions, module variations, menu and of course graphics. Depending on the developer or firm, a Joomla template can be as old-fashioned as any Dreamweaver or Flash site - or can be truly state-of-the-art. This is because it takes a significant amount of development to create a modern frontend template that harnesses all the features we would expect - HTML5, CSS3, jQuery, etc. Newbies often start out with a free template developed by a company specializing in Joomla templates. Sadly, the lack of technology in the template can give users the impression Joomla itself is a second-rate system.

Widgets & Elements

Being able to create and publish content from the Front-End of your website had been accessible to most business' since 2007. However, until 2011, this was reserved strictly for administrators. Company employees and small business owners would login to the Front-End with restricted access, and edit or publish a new page or article. This changed with the introduction of custom Apps. With a CMS like Joomla, and powerful Content Construction Kits like Zoo, we began producing custom Apps.

Let's use the Craigslist-style marketplace as an example. We would want our application to allow website visitors to create and publish content - in this case a listing - on their own, without any help. We might also want to extend options to registered users, that public users don't get access to. This is a pretty standard, simple application need.

We'd need a bunch of categories for listings to be posted to. We'd also want to configure item creation for the listing model. Some elements that would make sense here would be the Title, Images, Price, Description, Contact and maybe some Tags. We might also want a Date element so the items can be sorted by Most Recent when visitors are browsing or searching to buy things. Lastly, we'd want a Related Item element to associate the User Profile with the listing itself. With the Related Items element, we could automatically show every listing from a user when you look at their Profile. In reverse, we could automatically show a link (or Name and Image, etc) to the user's Profile on every listing.

Common Widgets

  • Grid
  • Gallery
  • Slideshow
  • Slideshow Panel
  • Switcher
  • Slideset
  • Slider
  • Popover
  • Accordion
  • Parallax
  • Map
  • List
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We've Proudly Served

  • Aetna USHealthCare
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  • California Women's Caucus
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  • K&C Investments
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  • NIA Creative, Inc
  • Needle Addicted Tattoo
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  • The Oakland Athletics
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  • USA Cancer Free
  • Young's Market Company
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