django CMS

Characteristics

Programming language: 

Python

Initial release: 

2007

Open Source as of: 

2007

License: 

Current major release: 

3

Developers: 

> 290

Total downloads: 

> 250 000

Available languages: 

46
Last information update: 2014/03

The experienced newcomer on the enterprise CMS market

Until recently, django CMS had been considered a well-kept secret. But now that it is used by Mercedes-Benz, as well as other major companies such as Orange, Vodafone, Discovery Channel, La Libération, National Geographic, it seems fair to say that the secret is out. The system offers all of the functions users expect of a modern CMS.

It has been developed as a multilingual system from the very beginning and offers sophisticated permission management capable of fulfilling the needs of small and large companies alike. More­over, it allows the user to edit content directly on the page via the use of frontend editing. The integration of complex data sources with minimal effort is cited as the main reason why django CMS is implemented in large sites.

Flexibility via plug-in structure   

The defining characteristic is the modular page structure. It was not developed as a text editor, but instead its content is block-based. The CMS creates page trees to generate menus and fill with content. Content can be edited from the frontend, i. e. directly on the page, or backend.

What’s special about this CMS is that content can be entered dynamically and flexibly. With this system, a page usually requires only one or two HTML templates in which “placeholders” are defined, for example for content, right column, header or footer. The placeholders are then filled with what are known as content plug-ins – an image, text, video or form plug-in.

The advantage of this kind of structure for a company is independence. For example, if a company has a website that has been online for six months, it can easily add a map on its contact form page without the need for assistance from an external partner.

There are more than 150 different plug-ins of this kind available, number increasing constantly. What’s particularly interesting for developers is that they can create their own plug-in (incl. database connection, admin mask etc.) very quickly and, most importantly, with ease using just 20-50 lines of code.

From agency CMS to acclaimed market player

django CMS was originally an internal project initiated by Zurich-based company Divio AG and was one of the first open source content management systems for the Django web framework. With its focus on expandability and a more precise code, it quickly won admiration within the community and despite growing competition it has by far defended its position as the most commonly used Django-based CMS.

Today its official website receives over 160,000 unique visitors per year and the CMS has been downloaded over 250,000 times. More than 290 authors are working on the further development of the system, primarily via Github.

Django and Python-based

As the name suggests, the CMS is based on the web framework Django and is written in the Python programming language. Unlike other content management systems it has not grown over time from the sum of smaller components. Instead, it has a web framework as its foundation, which means that it can automatically access all of Django‘s powerful tools. Django communicates with the database and automatically creates admin masks and forms for its own data sources. Furthermore, developers have access to thousands of other apps which are Django-based and can easily be integrated into the page and the CMS. The system works together with all major relational databases, including MySQL, Postgres, Oracle, SQLite, Sybase SQL Anywhere, IBM DB2, Microsoft SQL Server 2005, Firebird, ODBC, ADSDB. It can also be used in .NET and Java via Jython or Iron Python.

Django, along with Ruby on Rails, is viewed as one of the next generation web frameworks. One example to support this view is that a Django programmer needs to write less than half the code that a PHP programmer has to write in order to achieve the same result. A large number of well-known new Silicon Valley start-ups, including Pinterest and Instagram, use Django.

Python is one of the world‘s most popular programming languages and is object-oriented in nature. A wide range of institutions and companies, such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), NASA, YouTube and Google, use Python as their programming language. Because Python is not only used for web development, developers can access a large number of libraries which cannot be implemented in a number of other programming languages (e. g. socket programming).

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