I installed Mambo recently. I’ve known about Mambo for awhile and never actually used it. The biggest reason I put off trying it was because I didn’t like the demo. A good demo is crucial in providing your audience with all the possibilities of your software. If I see a demo that I don’t like, I figure it might not be worth installing. Remember that I’m a complete hack and a non-programmer so I don’t see the possibilities like a coder might. I look at what the script looks like out of the box and realize my site will look very close to this if I choose to use it. Thanks to the development of all this open source (and commercial) software that’s become so user friendly, all of us regular people can launch site after site with nothing but an idea, a host, and a domain.

So back to Mambo. I installed it via Fantastico, logged into the admin area and poked around a bit. I was really impressed with all the options. This software is so built out and completely dumbed down that it really is the ideal framework for someone like me. The menus are deep and you can control just about everything right from the administration area. Mambo was made for site owners like me…but unfortunately, it’s still not enough to win me over.

I’m as picky as it gets when it comes to the look and feel of a site. I like white space, symmetry, a clean look, balanced content, and overall attractiveness. Mambo just doesn’t do it for me aesthetically. There are hundreds of templates out there which gave me hope that I could still have the wondeful functionality of Mambo while leaving the default look behind. Unfortunately, not one template caught my eye. Not one. The Mambo template market is apparently not like WordPress where you can find just about any design style imaginable. All the Mambo templates I saw had that same boxy look to them. Maybe how it was coded makes it less flexible to independent template designers, but somehow they all looked eerily similar in one way or another.

Although Mambo is not for me based on appearance, it may be ideal for you if you disagree with my style preference. I’d say if you like the default look or can find a template you can really connect with, then Mambo might be a fantastic piece of software to explore. If you have a Mambo site and love it’s look, feel free to post a link in a comment. I’d be interested to see what’s being used out there and if I’ve missed out on a part of the Mambo template market that I would actually embrace.

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