The Web is experiencing a huge increase in content. More content was generated in only 2008 than any time previously. Such increase in content brought about the need for effective content management systems (CMS). Because of their price, quick setup and ease of installation, open-source PHP CMS
have become very popular.
is one PHP CMS solution with many plugins and modules. However, it lacks many options for customizing the content (articles) to your needs. Enter the content construction kit (CCK
), a Joomla extension that allows you to create your own content types (e.g. articles, link lists, download sections ,etc.), assign custom fields, create nested categories and much more quickly and effectively.
One of the most popular CCKs for Joomla is Flexicontent
; others include K2
. In this article, I will explain the advantages and disadvantages of Flexicontent, as well as some features of other popular CCKs so you can choose a CCK that fits your needs best.
The Pros of Flexicontent CCK
This section presents the advantages of the Flexicontent CCK
Flexicontent proves its name -- it is very flexible and easy to customize. Its features are based on Joomla com_content component, which allows Flexicontent to be very easy to uninstall (all content remains in Joomla core tables, without custom fields though). You can also migrate to new Joomla versions or switch to K2 CCK easily. Apart from Flexicontent, only jSeblod is a popular CCK based on com_content.
Workflow and Version Control
Often, you will work with other people to create content. Flexicontent makes it easier. Each version of the content is saved for future reference. So, you can easily track changes between content versions, which is especially convenient when two or more people are working on the same article. Also, this feature makes it easy to revert the changes if needed. Version comments are also available. If you want to prevent other writers from editing your content, there is a lock option. This way only you will be able to edit the content.
You can find out who the top contributors and revisers are via the statistics page.
None of the other popular CCKs support version control.
Universal Plugin System
Flexicontent uses a plugin system that is based on core Joomla plugin system. Also, each field type is a Joomla plugin. This is very unusual and other CCKs are not built this way, but the Flexicontent plugin system allows greater flexibility and compatibility. Third-party Joomla plugins can be easily integrated with Flexicontent, and you can add field types (you can even delete some of the old ones if you don't like them).
Although Joomla already has its own media manager, the Flexicontent developers have built an improved media manager. Their media manager has more options than the Joomla core media manager, which supports only local file uploading.
The Flexicontent media manager allows easy upload and easy selection of files to be displayed. File paths can be either public or hidden. Additionally, you can add a file by URL or import a file from a different directory on your server.