September 2012 - Internet Resources Digest


Content management systems

AIHA Internet Resources Digest

Supporting Access to the High Quality Online Resources

September 2012

Spotlight on: Content management systems

Spotlight on CMS

Content management system (CMS) is a computer program that allows publishing, editing and modifying content on a web site as well as maintenance from a central page. The core function of Content Management Systems is to present information on web sites. CMS features vary widely from system to system. In a CMS, content can be defined as documents, movies, text, pictures, phone numbers, scientific data. CMSs are used for storing, controlling, revising, semantically enriching and publishing documentation.“

(From Wikipedia

Most popular CMSs


WordPress started as just a blogging system, but has evolved to be used as full content management system. On this site you can download and install a software script called WordPress. To do this you need a web host who meets the minimum requirements and a little time. There is also a service called which lets you get started with a new and free WordPress-based blog in seconds, but varies in several ways and is less flexible han the WordPress you download and install yourself. The following is a list of some of the features that come standard with WordPress:

  • No rebuilding — Changes you make to your templates or entries are reflected immediately on your site, with no need for regenerating static pages;
  • WordPress Pages — allow you to manage non-blog content easily;
  • WordPress Links -- allow you to create, maintain, and update any number of blogrolls through your administration interface;
  • WordPress Themes — a full theme system, that makes designing everything easier;
  • Comments — Visitors to your site can leave comments on individual entries is a weblog hosting provider powered by the open source WordPress software. Basic features for creating/hosting a blog or a full-fledged website are free (including 3GB of storage), premium options (domain mapping, extra storage, removal of ads, custom design, premium themes, etc.) are available as paid upgrades.


This free software is used by individuals, small & medium-sized businesses, and large organizations worldwide to easily create & build a variety of websites & web-enabled applications. For example:

  • Corporate web sites or portals
  • Online magazines, newspapers, and publications
  • Small business web sites
  • Non-profit and organizational web sites
  • Community-based portals
  • School and church web sites
  • Personal or family homepages

Creating content is simple with the WYSIWYG editor, giving even novice users the ability to combine text, images in an attractive way. Once you've created your articles, there are a number of pre-installed modules to show the most popular articles, latest new items, newsflashes, related articles, and more. Some important features:

  • User Management—There are nine user groups with various types of permissions on what users are allowed to access, edit, publish and administrate;
  • The Media Manager is the tool for easily managing media files or folders;
  • Polls—if you want to find out more about your users, it's easy to create polls with multiple options;
  • Content management—you can organize your content any way you want and not necessarily how it will be on your Web site. Your users can rate articles, e-mail them to a friend, or automatically save a PDF (with UTF-8 support for all languages). Administrators can archive content for safekeeping, hiding it from site visitors.
  • The Menu Manager allows you to create as many menus and menu items as you need;
  • You can either use a single template for the entire site or a separate template for each site section.


Drupal is open source software maintained and developed by a community of 630,000+ users and developers. It's distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License (or "GPL"), which means anyone is free to download it and share it with others.

It allows you to easily organize, manage and publish your content, with an endless variety of customization.

Drupal's flexibility handles countless content types including video, text, blog, podcasts, and polls with robust user management, menu handling, real-time statistics and optional revision control. Users can be assigned one or more roles. Drupal's focus on social publishing can help you create sites and applications to help your users express their opinions and engage with one another. You can have tight control over who can create, view, administer, publish and otherwise interact with content on your site.

Content Management Systems for Small Web-Sites


The smallest and most simple CMS under GPL license. The WYSIWYG editor is supported by IE on Win, and Mozilla on Linux, Win and MacOS.

  • Small - The complete content management system is less than 100 KB.
  • Simple - simple to install and easy to modify. The entire site is stored in a single HTML-file - no database is needed. You edit your entire site with your favorite HTML-editor, upload the content file and get a dynamic website
  • Smart - There is an integrated online WYSIWYG (What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get) editor with link validation, image handling, online editing of system files and an automatic backup on logout.
  • CMSimple is recommended for sites with text contents less than 2 MB - This is about 1000 pages of text (about 2,000 characters per page). There is no maximum size to the site but speed will become an issue.
  • Photographs are stored separately, there is no limit to the number of photographs you can use. You are only restricted by the capacity you have bought from your ISP, and by limitations imposed by your PHP settings.

Editing of the files is normaly done on your local machine, using a normal browser. You will also need an FTP program (like WS_FTP or WinSCP) to upload the files to your webserver.

GetSimple CMSGetSimple CMS

GetSimple is an XML based, stand-a-alone, fully independant and lite Content Manage-ment System. To go along with its best-in-class user interface, it is loaded it with features that every website needs, but with nothing it doesn't. GetSimple is the simplest way to manage a small-business website.

GetSimple is an open-source project li-censed under the GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE v3. You can "Undo" Almost Everything, it has an easy to learn user inter-face, simple installation and simple customization. 

Google SitesGoogle Sites

Google Sites is the easiest way to make in-formation accessible to people who need quick, up-to-date access. People can work together on a Site to add file attachments, information from other Google applications (like Google Docs, Google Calendar, You-Tube and Picasa), and new free-form con-tent.

Creating a site together is as easy as editing a document, and you always control who has access, whether it's just yourself, your team, or your whole organization. You can publish Sites to the world. The Google Sites web application is accessible from any inter-net connected computer.

Training Materials


Tutorials and references on HTML, CSS, and more. At you will learn how to make a website. It offers free tutorials in all web development technologies.

Everyone can learn how to make a website. Use tutorials on HTML and CSS and PHP and JavaScript and start building your own website in about an hour.

WordPress Codex

The online manual for WordPress and a living repository for WordPress information and documentation.

Learn WordPressLearn WordPress

A simple step-by-step guide on creating a blog or website with

ithemes WordPress tutorialsFree WordPress Tutorilals

Free video tutorials for WordPress

Absolute Beginners Guide to Joomla

Joomla Tutorials

ExpressTut Drupal Tutorials

Drupal video tutorias for beginners.

CMS MatrixCMSmatrix

Compare Content Management Systems.

CMSmatrix lets you easily compare the features in over 1200 content management system products. Check the boxes next to the software you're interested in and click the Compare button.

Thanks to Grigory Naumovets for providing information on CMS for this Digest

AIHA Internet Resources Digest Forthcoming Topics [Provisional] 

  • Telemedicine
  • Open Access Initiatives
  • Authorship Skills
  • Web Design Tools
  • Patient Information Services

AIHA Related Resources

The Internet Resources Digest — previously called the Health Resources Digest — is distributed free of charge as a service of the American International Health Alliance’s Learning Resources Project thanks to the generous support of the American people through the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The Learning Resources Project is implemented through AIHA’s HIV/AIDS Twinning Center Program, which is funded through a cooperative agreement with the US Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

The Internet Resources Digest is compiled by Irina Ibraghimova, PhD, Library and Information Management Specialist
HealthConnect International ( The contents are the responsibility of AIHA and do not necessarily reflect the views of PEPFAR, HRSA, or the United States Government.

If you have a suggestion for a Digest topic, or would like to contribute information about Internet resources, please contact ibra[at]

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