The quick answer to the above question is 'The Joomla Content Management System (CMS)', but what does this actually mean? The Joomla CMS software is open source, has more than 40,00 installations worldwide and resides on the M25 server at the LSE. Each website has its own copy of the CMS but both are very similar. One of the main advantages of using a CMS is that it separates actual content (text, images, documents, etc.) from presentation (look & feel, navigation, etc.). This means that the Consortium now has a very powerful, dynamic tool for the websites where editing and creation of new content or web pages is much simplified. Using a CMS also enables useful functionality to be added, such as:
- a newsletter mailing component such as this e-bulletin
- a document manager to store, organise and download files in different formats
(e.g. Word, PowerPoint, PDF, Excel)
- an events diary on the CPD25 website
- a site map/search facility
- an easy-to-use web form component (such as the Feedback Form)
- restricting defined areas of the websites to nominated users
There are a number of ways to find what you are looking for on the websites. The cascading menu on the left hand side is grouped together in themes and takes you directly to specific pieces of content, for example, information about how the Consortium works, a list of contacts, news and resources produced by the working groups. The Site Map at the bottom of the menu automatically lists all the content (or web pages) that are available. The generated list is quite long but you may find it useful to browse the lists to see the extent of material the websites cover. Finally each site has a Search facility located just below the header logo. This searches the whole site content and works best with a single keyword.
If anyone has any comments or suggestions about the websites, their layout and navigability, then please send us feedback using the forms provided.
M25 Systems Team Manager