Content Management System Overview
Written by Nikolay Gul
- Category - A container which holds one or more content items. Categories form the middle layer of the three tier hierarchy that mambo uses to organise content.
- Content - The text and pictures that make up a website, as opposed to the display characteristics like font size, colours, positioning, borders, etc. The idea of Joomla is to allow you to easily organise and control the content of your website without worrying about how it is displayed. Display characteristics are governed by the template that you use.
- Content Item - An individual article which forms the lowest layer of the three tier hierarchy used by Joomla to organise your website. Content items can be split into two parts: the 'Intro Text', and the 'Main Text'. This is useful for displaying your content in a 'blog' (short for 'weblog') style - where you display a list of content items, showing only the intro text, and the visitor has to click on an item to view the full article (intro and main). When not using a blog, you only need to enter your content in the 'intro text' part.
- Component - A collection of files which can be installed as an add-on to Joomla to provide extra features that are not available in the basic installation. A component usually has a back-end configuration utility, accessible through the 'components' menu in Joomla Administrator, and sometimes must be used in conjunction with a module and/or mambot in order for the end result to be visible in the website front end. For example, VirtueMart is a component which adds e-commerce capability to Joomla - but to access the shop's menu system in the website front end, you also need to install the corresponding module.
- Mambot - A small program that is executed immediately before any content item is displayed in the website front end. The program can manipulate the output, and replace special tokens or tags embedded in the content with some kind of functionality or formatting. For example, there is a mambot available which restricts the visibility of content depending on the access level of a user. There is also a built-in mambot which allows you to include images in your content. Mambots are usually implemented in content by inserting a special tag delimited by curly braces, and can have parameters which allow you to configure how the mambot works.
- Module - A 'window' or section of the screen used to present some form of content in the website front end. Modules are normally positioned around the edges of the screen, while the main content is displayed in the centre. Examples of modules include the built-in search box, polls, and who's online. Each menu is also displayed through a module.
- Mosbot - Another name for a mambot.
- Section - A container which holds one or more categories. Sections are the top level of the three tier hierarchy that Joomla uses to organise content.
- Template - The 'presentation layer' of a Joomla website. A template usually consists of a file called index.php, which defines the general layout of all of the site's pages, and a css (cascading style sheet) file to define the formatting to use. You can apply different templates to different menu options if you want to create a different look and feel for certain pages. The template governs where the different module positions will be physically displayed on the screen, what fonts and colours the site will use, etc.