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CMS Made Simple 1.6: Beginner's Guide Paperback – 2 Mar 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 364 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (2 Mar. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847198201
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847198204
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 2.1 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 756,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Sofia Hauschildt is a tutor for web mastering and web development, who started designing and developing professional websites in 1995, just before her graduation in computer science. With experience as a Data Warehouse developer and ERP consultant she became a self-employed tutor. During her career she has been contracted by IT and management academies, the German army, several city administrations, and international companies like Siemens. Her work as a tutor is always focused on practical training combined with a theoretical background in order to get fast and handy results. In her publications she shares not only solid knowledge but her personal experience and shows a simple and powerful way of creating websites for ambitious beginners. Building websites is an amazing chance to communicate with the whole world and to discover it as well.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Benoit Schumacher on 23 May 2010
Format: Paperback
The book is a great guide to have in ones bookshelf. The book is straightforward, well structured and easy to read. It only took me a couple of hours to read it through once and I learned quite a few things. The book follows a step-by-step approach in guiding the reader from the basics of what a CMS is, advantages of using CMS Made Simple, basics of a templating system, how to install and configure the system, customizing and system and the look, and provides an overview of the important core modules as well as recommended third party modules.

This book is a great read for beginners, just as the title implies, but that is not to say an advanced webmaster cannot learn anything or gain anything from it. I think having this book is a great reference, and saves a lot of time from searching the CMS's websites wiki, documentation, forge and forums. Anyone with basic knowledge of the web should be able to read this book and setup a website with out much hassle.

The author also provides many tips and tools she recommends throught out the book. These involve hosting choices, server requirements, website planning and management among others. The book does have some more advanced chapters towards the end on topics such as e-commerce, SEO, multi-lingual websites and modules.

I really liked the authors introduction to the Smary Template Engine. I have gotten familiar with Smarty of the years, but never read all the documentation. The authors explanations were simple and very usefull. She explains everything one needs to know in order to be able to create his / her own templates easily.

The book provides many examples to accompany the explanations, one of these shows how to take an existing html design and create a CMS Made Simple template from it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jasnick on 19 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback
A very easy to understand manual on using CMS Made Simple. Although CMSMS is very easy to use once you know how, it is sometimes starting off that is difficult as it is assumed you have a certain amount of knowledge on the subject. This book takes you through each step from the very beginning and in no time at all you have a finished website. You will need a basic knowledge of HTML and CSS so for web designers looking to take up a Content Management System, I highly recommend this one. I wish it had been around when I first started designing websites.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stéphane M on 17 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback
Very good book, good structure . You can be novice, you understand quite well.
too bad for non english speaker.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Baddermaal on 27 Dec. 2010
Format: Paperback
Very good for someone starting out with CMSMS. Very clearly written and laid out. It is so much more useful having a written user guide than struggling through a digital version.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Excellent guide and tutorial on using CMSmadesimple 20 April 2010
By M. Erb - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I have been using CMSmadesimple (CMSMS) for 5 years or so. It's a very robust CMS (content management system) that is quite easy to learn in a basic way. To get more out of CMSMS though you need to know a bit more than you can easily pick up from just using the application, visiting the WIKI and user forums.

This book is exactly what a user new to CMSmadesimple would need to jump-start the learning experience. A web developer with more experience but no experience specifically with CMSmadesimple or the Smarty templating engine would also benefit from this book. To be sure, the measured pace of the book is perfect for a neophyte to CMSmadesimple.

The approach taken by the book is to teach you how to install CMSmadesimple and then how to build an example website from scratch using the book as your tutor. It walks you through each and every step, carefully assessing your progress along the way with end-of-chapter quizzes and a great method of delivering the content.

The book follows the procedure of telling you what you are about to do, telling you how to do it then explaining to you what you just did. For block-heads like me, it is the only way I learn well... by reading, doing and recapping.

All the major areas are covered including how to Install CMSMS, how to use the core modules, an understanding of how to use Smarty to build your templates, how to convert other website templates to work with CMSMS, a brief discussion of SEO and how to add e-commerce functionality and a discussion of Users and Permissions. There is a lot of information packed into this slender book. All of the information is presented in a no-nonsense, straightforward manner.

If you prefer reference types of books, this probably won't meet your needs as it does take a tutorial approach and is best consumed in a linear fashion. You -could- use it by jumping around from here to there if you just wanted to discover how to do some specific things such as adding a protected page to your site, easily implementing YouTube videos onto your pages or perhaps how to create a form with various types of input fields. But this book is not a reference book for CMSmadesimple. Rather it is a guided approach to learning the basics, and then some, of CMSmadesimple.

The author makes ample use of screenshots along the way. The code snippets are available from the publishers website, which is fortunate since no CD accompanies the book.

There are not many books dealing with CMSmadesimple and I was thrilled to find one that covered all the essentials in an easy to digest way. I'd highly recommend this to anyone contemplating the building of a website with CMSmadesimple. It will greatly enhance your early experiences with the application and explain some of the concepts that even I didn't have a firm grasp on until reading the book. In particular, the brief but helpful discussion of how the Smarty templating engine works is indispensable information.

I can't think of a better introduction to CMSmadesimple. I wish I'd had this book 5 years ago. It would have accelerated my learning greatly. And as an aside, if you are using WordPress to build websites but blogging is not your primary focus for the website, give CMSmadesimple a good look. It is really slick, has an active user forum and is continually undergoing development.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A great way to come to grips with CMSMS! 29 Jun. 2011
By colinmcc - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I echo what others have said here, although titled 1.6 and we are now at version 1.9, there is little in the book that isn't still 100% relevant. The book is 'must' if you intend to work with CMSMS. Once I have set up a site for a client I always urge them to buy a copy.

It might be helpful if the author added a page to her website detailing any changes in 1.9.x I've only so far noticed the forms module info isn't correct now.

BTW There is mention above of version 2.x, I believe that the dev team at CMSMS have formally ceased work on that and intend to continue adding to the current 1.x branch.

For a more detailed book on the workings of CMSMS I can also highly recommend "CMS made Simple Development Cookbook" recently published by Packs, also available at Amazon.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The book is just ok because it's totally outdated now ... 7 Feb. 2015
By Marc - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The book is just ok because it's totally outdated now, many codes are no longer valid. Until chapter 7 you cab still use it but then.
Some modules are no longer offered, and chapter 9, the E-commerce is a mess. The author wanted to go through very fast and the result is that nothing is clear anymore.
A must have Guide / Reference to CMS Made Simple 23 May 2010
By Benoit Schumacher - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The book is a great guide to have in ones bookshelf. The book is straightforward, well structured and easy to read. It only took me a couple of hours to read it through once and I learned quite a few things. The book follows a step-by-step approach in guiding the reader from the basics of what a CMS is, advantages of using CMS Made Simple, basics of a templating system, how to install and configure the system, customizing and system and the look, and provides an overview of the important core modules as well as recommended third party modules.

This book is a great read for beginners, just as the title implies, but that is not to say an advanced webmaster cannot learn anything or gain anything from it. I think having this book is a great reference, and saves a lot of time from searching the CMS's websites wiki, documentation, forge and forums. Anyone with basic knowledge of the web should be able to read this book and setup a website with out much hassle.

The author also provides many tips and tools she recommends throught out the book. These involve hosting choices, server requirements, website planning and management among others. The book does have some more advanced chapters towards the end on topics such as e-commerce, SEO, multi-lingual websites and modules.

I really liked the authors introduction to the Smary Template Engine. I have gotten familiar with Smarty of the years, but never read all the documentation. The authors explanations were simple and very usefull. She explains everything one needs to know in order to be able to create his / her own templates easily.

The book provides many examples to accompany the explanations, one of these shows how to take an existing html design and create a CMS Made Simple template from it. Regarding Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), there is a chapter providing general guidelines on how to go about it and how the CMS can help achieve this.

For those wanting to sell through their website, its possible with CMS Made Simple and the author explains how to go about this. A whole chapter is dedicated to this e-commerce topic and points out the third party modules recommended in order to setup a product catalog with a shopping cart. This CMS is not meant to be used for e-commerce only sites, but can easily allow to sell a few products. The author recommends to use more specific solutions if a website is meant to be a full blown shop and nothing else.

Sofia Hauschildt nicely explains how to create custom catalog based content structures using the module CTLModuleMaker. Unfortunately, I was hoping to have some guide as to how to developp a custom module from scratch, but I would imagine that would be covered in a book targeting more advanced developpers.

The book shows how to setup a multi-lingual website using the Babel module, how to protect pages with passwords using FrontEndUsers and CustomContent, how to use the core modules such as Print and News, setup forms using the FormBuilder module and a few more.

Other than the fact that I would have liked to see more advanced topics such as how to create a module from scratch, I found that the pop quizzes after each chapter did not really help me much and the book could do with out.

Certain documentations on the CMS's website are lacking or not always very clear. I found that this book greatly helps with that and is a worthwile investment for someone looking to work with this really simple CMS.

I was asked to review this book by Packt Publishing.
Excellent intro to the best CMS around 13 May 2010
By P. Olorenshaw - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
CMS Made Simple is one of the most flexible and well-designed of the Open Source content management systems. With over 950,000 downloads of the core modules, the system is well-tested, robust and in use on websites around the world.

True to its name, CMS Made Simple (CMSMS) makes content management an easy task for end users. That said, this is a system designed to be installed by those with experience in working with hosting, web servers, databases, HTML and CSS, or the time to devote to learning these basic skills elsewhere. There is little assistance available for absolute beginners in the site forum. Installing and setting up a basic site is relatively straightforward, even for someone new to working with databases but this is not a program for a first-time website builder. Like many Open Source products, documentation is an afterthought and often requires reading between the lines to get the most out of this versatile software. To the rescue comes "CMS Made Simple 1.6 Beginner's Guide" by Sofia Hauschildt, published by Packt Publishing.

An experienced CMSMS developer and web design educator, Ms Hauschildt takes the reader through the process of building a site from beginning to end, starting with hosting requirements and installation of the CMS through to a simple e-commerce setup. For each concept, she explains what is about to happen, takes the reader through it step by step and then recaps what you've just done. Chapters wrap up with a pop quiz to review the concepts covered.

Beginning with a brief discussion of the importance of website planning, Ms Hauschildt then moves on to the creation and editing of pages and an explanation of the WYSIWYG text editor. Along with site navigation, she covers the system's built-in search engine optimization tools and setting up search-engine-friendly URLs. Importing pre-built CMSMS templates, adapting non-CMSMS templates, and building templates from scratch are all examined in detail. CMS Made Simple uses the Smarty template engine to bridge the gap between code and content. Ms. Hauschildt explains both the standard Smarty plugins used by CMS Made Simple and ways to expand a site's functionality with others.

One of the things CMS Made Simple does best is allow setting up users with specific editing permissions and restricting access to various content areas. Ms. Hauschildt provides an excellent overview of this system as well as site administration. She then provides an in-depth look at one of the e-commerce systems available.

Several e-commerce systems have been developed for CMS Made Simple and the one the author has chosen is the most versatile but also the most complicated to set up. Built as a suite of modules that let you include only the functionality you require, the system will allow customization of the types of product fields you need, user self-registration during the purchase process, shopping cart, various tax settings, and much more. This allows developers to tailor an installation to a client's specific needs and add further functionality later as required. Ms. Hauschildt's detailed explanation takes you through the building of an online shop using the PayPal payment gateway provided.

CMS Made Simple has long included support for multiple languages; the admin console of CMSMS is translated into over 20 languages and users are encouraged to contribute to the translation center. The book includes instructions on using the Babel module for including several languages on a website and directions to utilize the language files available.

Watch for the section on search engine optimization, an important part of CMS Made Simple that should be featured more prominently (and should perhaps appear earlier in the book). It follows on from the language discussion with nothing to make it stand out as a new section.

The author wraps up with extensive detail on administering, backing up and upgrading the website. She provides a good primer on how to find answers to your questions in the CMS Made Simple online forums prior to posting and how to make sure your questions will be answered quickly.

A much-needed addition to my library, I only wish "CMS Made Simple 1.6 Beginner's Guide" had been written a couple of years ago - I would have certainly saved a lot of hours in getting up to speed with CMS Made Simple.
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