DIY CMS Part 1



A Tame CMS is a dynamic PHP website framework that uses text files in place of a database.  

How Does it Work?

If I'm making cookies, I need a recipe.  The recipe is a string of instructions that specify the ingredients to gather and the method for combining them.  In the same way, when someone clicks a menu page on A Tame CMS, the server application uses a recipe to gather pieces of content along with instructions on how they should be displayed.  

The recipe for that page is the information encoded in a string of characters.  Each page has it's own string, compose of 'fields' separated by delimeter characters.. 

"Ingredients' are blocks of content.   This could be text, an image, links, or a menu for example.

Format for a page character string:

Title###layout###page-specific text###featured image###main section content blocks###sidebar section content blocks###footer content blocks

Example for a real page:

New Page###2-column-layout###This is a new page...who knows what you will find out!###new-image.jpg###latest-blog-post,,,###upcoming-events-box,,,,###latest-post-grid

Stayed tuned forPart 2...

Current Capabilities

So far, A Tame CMS provides the following features.

  • an administrative area for authorized users and a login screen
  • a customization area for setting up the site title, logo, menu items, etc.
  • an area for setting up the components of a page
  • a choice of page layouts - 1 column, 2 column, etc.
  • an area for creating and editing posts
  • method for assigned post categories and status - 'draft' or 'published'
  • choices for how to display posts - full text, snippets, grid, etc.
  • an archive page showing previous posts by categories and date
  • an area for uploading images
  • a comment function for commenting on posts
  • an area for approving or unapproving comments for display
  • an area for creating and editing 'content blocks' such as sidebar messages and images
  • a method for preserving backups of pages and posts
  • collections of portfolio items that can be displayed as a grid or a slideshow
  • a method for arranging portfolio items in custom sequences

A Tame CMS could  be useful for two groups of people: bloggers/website owners who want an easy way to set up their website themselves, and designers who need a quick way to update and maintain websites.

The out-of-the-box framework allows the user to set up a header and add menu items, pages and posts and images. Specialized options can be provided by the designer with very little effort.


A Tame CMS Demo

If you are curious as to why I decided to do this, when there are so many CMS frameworks already available, you can read about it here.

Warning: This is not very complicated. The only code used is basic HTML, CSS and PHP. The only package I used was a free version of CKEditor.

Category: tutorial
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