CMS

Free, faster.

Ethan Marcotte, on time- and budget-constrained organizations websites:

Between the urgency of their work and the size of their resources, spending months on a full redesign isn’t something they can afford to do. Given that, a free theme for, say, WordPress can yield a considerable amount of value, especially to budget-constrained organizations. They can launch their redesign more quickly, and continue reaching the people who need their information most.

So Ethan takes a look at a bunch of free themes, so at least a responsible choice can be made there, and finds

the results were surprising: on a 3G connection, the slower themes I tested took anywhere from 45-90 seconds for any content to appear. In other words, the pages took roughly a minute before they were usable.

Pretty rough.

What I find particularly scary is that these are just empty themes. I usually attribute the slowness of sites in this category (off the shelf, slap-a-CMS on it) to be what happens on top of the theme. Stuff like uploading too many/too large of images and installing a million plugins that load their own set of resources.

I think it shows off some recent technology in a new light: saving us from ourselves. HTTP/2 makes concatenating resources less important, and that's saving us from ourselves and those million plugins individual CSS and JavaScript files. WordPress does responsive images by default now, that's saving us from ourselves and ensuring we aren't loading more image than we need. AMP, as a technology, is saying y'all have lost the plot here and we need to save you from yourselves.

Build a Custom CMS for a Serverless Static Site Generator

Static Site Website Generators have been getting increasingly popular within the last 2 years. Much has been written (like this and this) and there have been many great open source projects and even funded companies launched to help you get up and running.

What if I told you that you could build a Static Site Generator with your own custom CMS without the need for a database? Not just that, but we can get to Hello World! in under 100 lines of JavaScript.

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The API-Based CMS Approach

For each type of content you need for your site, you develop in three steps:

  1. Create the custom content type and configure its fields
  2. Set up your app to retrieve that content from the API
  3. Load the content into your page template

Let's take a look at each of these steps in a little more detail as I walk through how to set up a simple news article website (demo website) with a homepage and article pages.

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Learning to COPE with Microservices

I vividly remember my first encounter with a content management system: It was 2002 with a platform called PHP-Nuke. It offered a control panel where site administrators could publish new content that would be immediately available to readers, without the need to create/edit HTML files and upload them via FTP (which at the time was the only reality I knew).

Once I'd made the jump to a CMS, I didn't look back. CMSs quickly became part of my toolkit as a web developer, and I didn’t really stop to question how they worked. I spent a lot of time learning my way around the various components of the web stack; falling in and out of love with different languages, paradigms, frameworks and tools. It took me a long time to stop and think about the most important part of any system: how it manages and stores content.

I set out on a quest to learn more about what's under the hood of a CMS (more…)

​Sponsor: ​LightCMS

LightCMS is the fastest growing white-label Content Management System on the market. Their Developer Program gives you all the tools you’ll need to build your web design business on a top-tier, cloud-based platform and your customers don’t ever have to know it’s not your CMS. They’ll even invoice your customers on your behalf. You’ll of course have full access to the HTML and CSS of your sites and you’ll even get a free website for your business.

If you're sick of patch updates and security vulnerabilities, LightCMS may be a good option. You can try it free for 14 days. No credit card required.

Building a Jekyll Site – Part 1 of 3: Converting a Static Website To Jekyll

The following is a guest post by Mike Neumegen from CloudCannon. Mike and I talked about doing a little series on building Jekyll sites, which of course I was into because Jekyll is great and more education around static site generators is a good thing. Full disclosure, Mike's company CloudCannon is a CMS on top of Jekyll. As part of this series, he's going to show you how to use that, so I requested it be a sponsored post.

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PHP for Beginners: Building Your First Simple CMS

The Magic of PHP + MySQL

It's safe to say that nearly every website that's up-to-date these days is using some form of content management system (CMS). While there are a ton of great free options that provide us with a CMS to power a website (WordPress, Drupal, etc.), it doesn't hurt to peek under the hood and get a feel for how these systems work.

To get our feet wet as back-end developers, we'll be creating a simple PHP class that will:

  • Create a database
  • Connect to a database
  • Display a form with two fields
  • Save the form data in the database
  • Display the saved data from the database

Download Files

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