A Look Into: Anchor CMS Blogging Platform

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Publishing on the web is as easy as pie, now you may do it, even without a cent, because of numerous CMS (Content Management System) that are offered for FREE, I’m sure you are already acquainted with WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. These are typically the most popular CMS that are equipped with some powerful features.



In this post, however, we will take examine a lesser known CMS that I think is a great alternative to these big three, called AnchorCMS. AnchorCMS is often a lightweight and super-simple blogging platform by Visual Idiot (who's also known together with his clever tech-jokes).


Installation

The installation process is created simple, however, your server has to at least support PHP 5.3.6+ and MySQL 5.2+ to operate AnchorCMS. If you happen to be unsure, you can contact your hosting provider support to find out more.

To install, simply go to the URL in which you uploaded AnchorCMS, and click around the Run the Installer.



Next, add your database name and password, and if you encounter the following error replace the 127.0.0.1 with localhost inside the Database Host field.



Next, fill out your website information and create your first account, and you happen to be done. This probably can be done in less than 5 minutes.


Post Publishing

As mentioned, AnchorCMS is super simple; it can be focused only around the publishing. To make it even simpler, this doesn't provide GUI for marking your articles. Instead, you have to write the content in HTML or in Markdown format.



Still, it lets you set the post parameters like the post URL, post description, category, and you can even insert custom CSS and JavaScript. In addition, it is possible to also create Pages.


Theming

It’s simple to develop themes for AnchorCMS. At least, you should know HTML, CSS, and a bit of PHP and you will be able to build your own theme (the documentation is quite helpful to help you through). Next time, we will see how to construct AnchorCMS themes in depth.

Additionally, in the event you prefer, you'll be able to also make use of the ones manufactured by the community. There are a considerably great deal of beautiful themes built for AnchorCMS, see AnchorThemes.




Extensions and Plugins

At some time of the writing, AnchorCMS provides two default extensions, Custom Field and Meta Data, which can be accessed with the Extend menu.

Custom Field: this extension permits you to create a custom for Page or Post editor. There are four forms of fields allowed: HTML, File, Text, and Image.

Using the demonstration of adding File field type, you will be able to upload and add declare your pages or posts. Then, you can call it inside front-side using article_custom_field function within your theme.



Meta data specifies the site information like the Site Name, Site Description, Post Count, Theme selection, etc - exactly like the Settings page in WordPress.



Unfortunately, AnchorCMS has yet to allow for third-party plugin, nevertheless it has plans to support it in the near future.


Room for Improvement

I like how AnchorCMS was made; it’s simple, elegant, and flat. Still, there are many parts which can be improved, and here is one (i believe) which is quite essential:

WYSIWYG Editor; The goal of AnchorCMS is usually to make blogging super-simple, and exquisite. However, that does not mean it must sacrifice buyer experience. As mentioned, you need to write the content in Markdown or HTML format. I can state that not everyone is acquainted with these languages (except, perhaps with this kid). It is a very steep learning curve for many users if they have to understand a single one these formats before they are capable to publish this article. So, creating a WYSIWYG feature around the next release or like a third party plugin option would be fantastic.


Final Thought

AnchorCMS is still in its early stages development and though it has fewer features than the mighty WordPress, should you only target blogging, AnchorCMS might be a better option.

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