Web Sites

Revision as of 22:42, 17 July 2007 by Adam Franco (talk | contribs)

Static Websites

Throughout the 1990s and early part of this decade, the primary way of delivering content via the web was by building what are known as 'static web pages and sites'. A static website is simply a directory on a Webserver that contains HTML documents along with images and other linked files. To change the site, the HTML documents would be modified with an HTML Editor and re-uploaded to the webserver, usually via FTP [1].

Web-Based Publishing Tools

While many static websites still exist, today most new content on the web is created using a variety of | web-based applications] that allow users to create and edit content within their browser rather than uploading content created via a desktop application. In addition to simplifying the content-creation process, these web-based tools also enable collaboration by multiple people, discussions and feedback mechanisms, integration with other systems, and a generally richer user-experience than a static website could hope to provide.

Web-based publishing tools are a rapidly-growing class of software. As the developers of these tools build the best ideas from other tools into their own software, the capabilities and features of any tool will likely overlap with those in other tools both in their category and outside of it. Because of this spectrum of abilities, many tools cannot be easily catargorized or fall into many categories. Here we will try to describe some of the general categories to aid decision as to what software to use for a given purpose.

Content Management Systems

Content management systems (CMS) generally evolved out of the need to better organize and build large websites. Some CMS treat the 'page' as the basic unit of information, others use smaller chunks of micro-content as the basic unit of information and organize that micro-content onto pages.

CMS tools usually provide some sort of hierarchical navigation structure that can be used organize and browse the content of a site. In some CMS tools (Segue) the navigation structure is automatically generated from the content, in others (Joomla, MSCMS?) it can be custom-selected from a pool of pages.

CMS tools often support various content-modules that can allow for the automatic display of calendars, RSS feeds, or other dynamic content in addition to text.

Midd-supported for academic use

Midd-supported for administrative use

Learning Managment Systems

Learning Management Systems

Midd-supported for academic use



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  1. FTP on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/FTP