content management


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.

Article Manager

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I purchased Article Manager around the same time I bought the Website Publisher script. I was going back and forth between the two because each script had features I liked and disliked. I remember I bought this one, then instantly experienced buyers remorse and asked for a refund to buy the other one. It’s not that this is a bad script. I went as far as purchasing it so I was pretty impressed at the time, but something just didn’t seem right about it for my situation. Both of these content management scripts are not that cheap so I I wanted to make sure my choice aligned with what I wanted for my site. I thought I knew what I wanted until I pulled the trigger. This wasn’t the first time I’ve jumped ship for a new script and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

I don’t remember the exact reason, but I’m willing to bet it was based on aesthetics. How a site looks out of the box weighs heavily on my interest in the script. I can’t change complex code so I’m pretty stuck with the general frame work. If it looks good in the demo, I’m assuming I can make a live site look just as good.

Months later I came back to the Article Manager site to find that they changed the look and feel of the demo and I really didn’t like it anymore. I was finally sure I had made the right decision. Now the demo looks like a regular old article site to me, although some of the community sites look really great. They also look like there was some major changes made to them too, so they might not have been ready to go with just a few simple changes.

I’ll tell you what kind of stuff sucks me in is the success stories and Article Manager has a couple good ones. According to the site, Tim Carter from is a long time Article Manager user and is making about $30,000 a month in Adsense revenue. Austin Davis of the website is raking in $400 a day with the same Article Manager/Adsense combo. Inspiring, huh? Ready to see if you can accomplish the same? Have a look at the features and see if Article Manager is the right script for you.

Website Publisher Commercial CMS

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I first purchased Website Publisher around 2005 when it was still called Article Live. I bought this script when I was still very blind to open source software. I thought the best scripts were commercial ones. I found out later on that the cost of a script has very little to do with how good it is or how well it has been developed. Website Publisher turns out to be one of the commercial scripts that has been consistently developed and offers excellent support.

The script has a robust back end with the ability to create multiple groups while assigning a number of different permission levels. You can create blogs, news stories, or articles. I like the flexibility of the articles because you can post full stories or excerpts with linked titles to the full story. Attachments can be added (if permissible) to articles and you can also link together multiple pages to create a larger series of articles.

Adsense integration is a snap with a place to input your publisher ID.  If you decided to share revenue with other authors, there’s an option to let writers place their publisher ID too. There’s also a dozen or so graphical images of where to place your Adsense ads. If you’ve read some of my other posts, you’ll know that being able to easily monetize my websites ranks high on my list, and Website Publisher makes it beyond simple.

Creating categories and sub-categories is a snap, and creating static website pages is easier than posting an article. On my Website Publisher site, I chose to create a nice nested FAQ with illustrated help pages that came out great. Users can leave comments on articles and there’s a built in contact form as well. There’s a simple logo upload page, statistics, logs, a number of standard themes, the ability to email users, database backup tools, and a lot more.

This is an extremely simple yet powerful piece of software to run your news related content site. If you want to cut the learning curve in half from some of the other content management systems out there, this is your script. I still think open source is great, but if you’re going to buy a script, this one is worth every penny.

One more thing worth noting is that after my initial support ran out, I purchased another license for a different site and both of my website licenses were upgraded to the latest edition. I thought this was great because there were a lot more features in the newer version. Currently my sites are now a revision behind again because it looks like there’s even more great features stuffed into this script.  If you can’t find what you’re looking for in the open source field, be sure to check out this script.

Drupal Content Management System

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The first time I made my way over to Drupal was to find a new script to replace Dragonfly. I needed a new look and more flexibility. After a quick test drive of the demo, I downloaded a fresh copy of Drupal and installed it immediately. I was overwhelmed by all the options and it didn’t take long before I gave up and decided the script I had wasn’t that bad after all.

I’m a bit stubborn at times so a few weeks later I gave Drupal another shot. By this time I had already dumped Dragonfly from my website and gone in a different direction, but I still wanted to know what was so great about Drupal. I installed it on one of my sandbox sites and decided to really spend some time figuring it all out. Funny thing happened when I took the time to learn Drupal. I learned Drupal.

Okay, I never became a Drupal master by any means, but I did start to get the feel of it. This piece of software has a lot to it and it takes time for the hack like me. I played around with Drupal for a few days and nights and really enjoyed learning it all. The more I learned, the more flexible it became, and that’s coming from a non-programmer.

I wasn’t looking for a content management script at this point so my Drupal skills have kind of gone bye bye, but if that next greatest idea comes to me again and I’m looking for a script to handle community content with greater user and content control, Drupal is getting revisited.

To give you a quick glance into all the options and settings there are in Drupal, here’s a screenshot from the demo over at You about ready to do some learning?