Creating a website from scratch using HTML and CSS coding is all good and well for the experts or those people that have time, but for newbies to the web design world or people without a lot of time, a content management system (CMS) can make a huge difference. A CMS is a programme that helps you create, organise, store and link all the elements (pictures, pages, sounds, etc) of a website – without having to fiddle with any actual coding.

Free CMS are available online

There are a number of free CMS’ available for download. These have been around for some time and are the tried and trusted programmes of many a professional web designer.

  • Joomla is perhaps the most well-known CMS out there. It is easy to use and allows you to create web pages and web applications. As open source software, the community attached to Joomla also gives you access to Joomla experts who can give you a lot of advice and guidance.
  • Drupal is second to Joomla and is used by millions of people and communities to power their websites. Easy to use with customisable templates, Drupal allows you to create design a simple website in a matter of minutes without any hassle.
  • SilverStripe is another open source CMS that allows users to create an entire website in a matter of minutes. The online community offers a variety of templates, applications and other add-ons to make any web designer’s dreams come true.
  • WordPress is not technically made for websites, but is a powerful CMS for creating and maintaining blogs of all kinds. WordPress allows users to upload blogs, change styles, manage comments and much more – all from a simple interface that is easy to use.

These are just some of the CMS programmes available online at no charge. Most of these programmes are open source and have a bustling community behind them making changes and enhancing the capabilities on a daily basis. For anyone new to web design, these CMS programmes are the perfect place to start.

Want a truly unique website, but don’t want to mess with CMS or other website builders? Contact WSI for web design in South Africa.

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