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Digitalus CMS Review

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Released in August of 2008, the Digitialus content management system is a relatively new player in the open-source CMS market. Version 1.5 recently hit the scene and sparked developers’ attention with features such as a web-based installer, globalization capabilities and the 960 Grid system page layout management tool. Some of these features are incredibly easy to use while others call for you to be somewhat of a technical geek. And even though Digitalus is still in the early stages of development, it has made some notable improvements by adding functionality found in some of the more well known systems. Here is a rundown on the latest version of the Digitalus CMS.

The 960 Grid

One of the major highlights of the new Digitalus CMS is its integration with a CSS framework known as the 960 Grid System. This system strives to streamline website development by providing dimensions based on the common width of 960 pixels. The built-in Grid 960 Helper builds the CSS grid that allows this method to work, ultimately making it easier to create cross-browser friendly template layouts and cater to various users.

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The helper is essentially a PHP class in the Zend Framework. According to Digitalus Media president Forrest Lyman, the Grid 960 Helper is now referred to as a component and a part of the core library. The component creates an XHTML layout grid and all the appropriate classes to incorporate with the Grid 960 CSS framework. While this feature is incredibly useful, it is not mandatory as you can also build standard PHP scripts to use for your layouts.

User Management

Another major draw to Digitalus CMS is the user management, which should be quite simple to grasp for most people. The software allows you to create two types of users: a Site Administrator and Super Administrator. The former has granular control while the latter has access to everything. If you check out the Digitalus Wiki, you will see that adding multiple users can be a rather “tedious task.” The good thing is that the software lets you clone user permissions with a featured called Copy User Permissions. For the most part, the user and permissions management tools are simplistic but could use a little more in terms of functionality and user-friendliness.

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All in all, Digitalus is a nice content management tool that still has some maturing to do. In an open-source CMS market saturated with products that all seem to do the same thing, the choice usually boils down to what best suits your needs as well the drawbacks you can deal with. Because Digitalus is a newcomer and therfore is not yet proven like other systems, it may not be the solution for all applications. If you need a CMS or publishing tool that offers basic capabilities, try taking a look at some blogging platforms such as WordPress or b2Evolution because they are a bit more functional, user-friendly and able to cover a greater range of needs.


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