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Choosing an Open Source CMS by Nirav Mehta

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Understanding the code architecture

If you want major customizations to a CMS, you must understand its architecture. If you want to add an extension, you will need to grasp the API and coding standards. A quick look at folder structure can tell you whether the CMS code is well-organized or not. If the folder or file names look inconsistent or illogical, stay away from that CMS. If you can glance through the code and understand what's going on, it's a big plus.

Take a look at the screenshot below. It shows the folder structure of Joomla! on the left, and a code sample on the right. Things look logical overall, and seem to follow a good coding standard. This is a good sign.

The following are a few items you should check while evaluating a CMS's architecture: ...

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