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Thinking modularly

June 4th, 2008 by mdmcginnis

To use a CMS effectively, probably the most important mindset you need is to think modularly. You already separate style from content (right?) by using cascading style sheets. Now you want to separate your Web pages into a collection of divs, snippets, slots, or sections. When you build a home, once you have electrical outlets, you can plug all sorts of things into them, without having to rewire the house every time you want to switch from using the microwave to using the vacuum cleaner. The same idea with the CMS: you plug new content into existing slots.

For example, you could look at your Web page as consisting of a headline module, a body module, an image module, a menu module, a sidebar, or what have you. Once you have designed a template to hold all those parts, your content creators can start typing their headlines into the headline field, assigning an image to the image slot, and so on. The more you can think of your Web page as a sum of these parts, rather than each page as its own design creation, you’ll be well equipped to use the CMS to make your work easier.

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008 CMS
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