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What is BIGACE?
If you are planning to set up a blog or a content-driven website, you’ll need to install a Content Management System (CMS). Bigace is an Open Source Content Management System written in PHP.
Why do you need a Content Management System?
A content management system provides an administrative area where you can setup your site and add content (like blog posts and pages), a database to store your content in, and a series of front-end template that determine how your content will be displayed when someone navigates to your website.
Some version of this kind of application runs the vast majority of websites on the internet today. It’s popular because it works.
If you are going to be running a blog, or a site with content of any kind, you will need some type of Content Management System to power it.
Deciding which Content Management System is right
There are a large number of Content Management Systems available, so it can be difficult to know which one is going to work for you.
Some of them are multi-purpose systems that can be used for any number of things, like Drupal. Others are more specifically specialized in one thing; MediaWiki is for running wiki sites and doesn’t work as well for blogs. Others are somewhere in the middle, being exceptionally good at one thing while also having extensive capabilities; WordPress is such a system.
Bigace Content Management System
If you are looking for a very simple and straightforward Content Management System for a site with a blog and a few pages, you might look at Bigace.
Bigace bills itself as a “professional grade software package.” It’s major selling points are that it is simple, easy to use, and can run multiple sites from a single install.
Bigace Key Features
- Pretty URLs for Search Engine Optimization
- Simple installation and upgrade procedures
- Minimal server requirements (see below)
- Manage multiple sites from a single install
- Use multiple languages
- Templates can be written in PHP or Smarty
- Each page can have a separate template
- Online Help
- All features are modular
- Fully extensible
- Admin panel with multiple language support
- Templated produce valid XHTML and CSS
- Menus are automatically generated
- Every page can have a different theme
- Visual display is separated from content — Content editors cannot “mess up” the design
- Edit template and theme files from inside administration area
- A wide array of included Smarty TAGs for easy customization of template files
__Users, Groups, and Permissions
- Easy management of users and groups
- Group-based user permissions (users are in Admin and/or Content groups)
- Pluggable Authentication backend (LDAP)
- Import and Export rights definitions
- Hierarchical content structure, with unlimited depth and size
- Each piece of content can have multiple language versions
- Support of multiple content types (Menus, Images, Filesâ€¦)
- Integrated file manager with upload capabilities
- Full-Text Search (Page-Content, Name, Description, Catchwords)
- WYSIWYG Content Editor (FCKEditor, TinyMCE)
- HTML Source Code Editor
- Full-text search integrated into the menu
- Search for language-specific or language-independent data
- Search for images, documents and files by name, description and tags
- Customizable search via API
- User-selectable dynamic language switching
- Integrated site analytics and stats
- Module & Template API for unlimited expandability
- Portlet System
- Online Update/Extension Manager for easy upgrades and installation of new features
- Separation of site-specific data from core and module code
- Template support for Administration area
- Maintenance mode for short offline periods
Why you shouldn’t use Bigace
If you are thinking about starting your next online project with Bigace as your CMS, you might want to reconsider.
Bigace is a promising content management system that might develop into a mature and useful platform. The built-in support for multiple lanaguage versions of single pieces of content is a great idea, and there are several other details of its implementation that are particularly creative.
However, at this time, it is not a good fit for most purposes.
- There is not a depth of development experience. It seems there are only three people working on the system.
- There are not enough plugins and themes at present. If you want to add an online store or some other functionality, you’d have to build it yourself.
- It isn’t clear if the software is currently being developed. At the time of writing, there have been no commits to the main repo in over a year.
- The user community is tiny. It will be difficult to find support through online forums from other users.
Why you should use Bigace
If you are a developer and are interested in building a Content Management System, Bigace is a good choice for working on. It is mature enough that it does actually do something — it works in its present form. There is a lot of opportunity to expand features and build something unique.
Alternatives to Bigace
If you are looking for a simple CMS to get a basic website in place, you really should look at the industry standard: WordPress.
Bigace Web Hosting
Bigace requires PHP 5.2 or higher, and MySQL 4 or higher.