On being an inept and reluctant webmaster


in Geek stuff, Internet matters, Oxford

A website I am managing (not this one) is proving exceptionally frustrating. When I disabled the ‘what you see is what you get’ (WYSIWYG) editor in WordPress, I did so because its name was a filthy lie. In truth, what you code, and check, and then check again in every other browser you care to support is what you get. Well, the content management system (CMS) for the other site it like the the WYSIWYG editor writ large: nothing you do actually shows on the site in the way it showed in the editor. Like with the WordPress editor, hundreds of useless tags get added in opening and closing pairs. What’ s more, the CMS has added many layers of complexity to what it, in essence, a very simple site. The only way I have been able to edit tables in one part of the site has been the grab the HTML, edit it using jEdit, then paste it back into the site. This is clearly not the kind of thing you should have to do when you are running an elaborate CMS.

The simplicity of the content, versus the complexity of the management, is tempting me to copy the whole site over to a new CMS that is more comprehensible. Right now, we are using a system called Mambo. In many ways, it is a lot like WordPress. It uses an SQL database to store content, then displays it on dynamically generated pages. I am pretty sure WordPress could actually handle everything this website does, though having it look like a blog would not be acceptable.

Does anybody know of a free CMS that can be hosted using Apache and MySQL that might be easier to work with than Mambo?

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

R.K. October 1, 2006 at 7:10 pm

Mambo has been abandoned by those who created it.

Joomla is their replacement, but if you hate Mambo, I would not recommend it.

Milan October 3, 2006 at 1:48 am

I managed to wrestle the Michaelmas 2006 termcard online, at least.

Mambo certainly generates ugly URLs.

Milan October 15, 2006 at 9:01 pm

I hate working with Mambo. It is super slow, then generates horribly contorted code.

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