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What is Cotonti?
Cotonti is a free and open source content management system powered by PHP and MySQL. By incorporating an easy-to-use administrative interface with a modular architecture, Cotonti is a suitable option both content contributors with limited technical expertise as well as custom web application developers.
Cotonti Overview and History
Cotonti is a derivative of another content management system called Seditio, a proprietary CMS owned by Neocrome. In 2008, with Seditio development stalled out, several Seditio developers crafted improvements to the application, and with Neocrome's permission, release the improvements as Cotonti in 2009.
More recently, development of Seditio has resumed. However, Cotonti continues to move forward as an independent open-source project. The current version of Cotonti is called Siena, and it is being actively developed with the official repository residing at GitHub.
What Is Cotonti Used For?
Virtually any type of website can be built with Cotonti. The core application is suitable for building simple websites such as a brochure type websites for a small business or a personal website. With the addition of extensions, many other types of sites can be created such as blogs, e-commerce sites, forums, and much more.
What Is Unique about Cotonti?
Cotonti is unique among content management systems for at least two different reasons.
First, there is near complete separation between the HTML and PHP. What this means is that front-end developers can create completely custom themes without having to know very much PHP. This is considerably different from other CMSs such as WordPress, where front-end developers need to have a very solid grasp of PHP in order to create themes.
An easy-to-use template engine built into the administrative interface makes the most of this unique architecture enabling designer who knows very little code to create completely custom templates.
Another way that Cotonti is unique is that it the standard installation is intentionally designed to be a very bare-bones application. Developers who use the application will have to add extensions to the application core to add additional functionality. While non-technical users may find this architecture confusing, developers will appreciate that the server doesn't have to store and process a lot of files and code that aren't being used by the website. In this regard, Cotonti can be compared to Drupal which has a similar architecture.
What Does Cotonti Cost?
It is completely free to download and install on a web server. In order to use the application all that is required is a hosting account on a suitable web server and a domain name. Using the application should not add any cost to your hosting bill.
How Do I Get Cotonti?
Cotonti is available as an easy one-click installation from several popular commercial script libraries including Softaculous. When evaluating hosting providers, take a look at the list of applications available for easy installation. There's a good chance Cotonti will be on that list. If it isn't on the list, reach out to the hosting provider's sales team to determine whether or not it can be automatically installed on your hosting account.
If your host does not offer automatic installation through a commercial script library, you can still install it manually. To do so either download the application files from the Cotonti website and upload the unzipped files to the web server or clone the GitHub repository to the web server. Once the files are on the server, visit the URL where the application is hosted. When you do so, an installation script will automatically begin and guide you through the installation process.
In order to run Cotonti, your web server must meet the following minimum technical specifications:
- Apache or nginx web server
- PHP 5.3.2 or higher
- MySQL 5.0.8 or higher
Most shared hosting accounts will meet these requirements. However, if you are unsure, contact the sales team for the host you are considering before signing up.
What Are Some Alternatives to Cotonti?
Before settling on a content management system you should consider several options. Cotonti is a niche application that might be ideal for your project, however, before making up your mind consider these industry-leading CMS alternatives:
Frequently Asked Questions
What types of support are available?
As a free and open source project, no commercial support is available for Cotonti. So if you need technical support you will either have to rely on the support forum at the Cotonti website or troubleshoot the issue yourself.
Are themes available?
Both free and premium themes are available at the Cotonti website for the admin interface and the website itself. In addition, the template engine makes it easy for just about anyone to create custom themes.
Are translations of the application available?
The standard application package includes support for English and Russian. Languages packages for around a dozen different languages, including German, Dutch, Italian, Ukranian, Spanish, and more, are also available.
Where can I learn how to use the application?
The Cotonti website offers an extensive documentation database that covers a broad range of topics including installation, administration, the use of extensions, creating themes, implementing different language packages, a developer guide, a more.