Website Content Management Systems for Small Businesses

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BSc (Hons) Computing

Final Year Project

Website Content Management Systems for Small Businesses

Shawn Hallums
Supervisor: Ruth Pitman

22 May 2009

Abstract
Many small businesses have or may want a Website. But how can they improve or create a Website and manage it well? The answer to this is by using a Website Content Management System. Unfortunately not all small businesses use a Website Content Management System (WCMS), using alternatives like Blog software or colleagues and acquaintances with a basic grasp of Web technologies. If they do use a WCMS, it is not necessarily a product that is aimed specifically at small businesses. These can be confusing, contain additional functionality that is unnecessary and prove costly. This project is aimed at finding the right functionality and requirements for a WCMS used by a small business. These were derived from research of existing WCMSs for small businesses, getting feedback from small business users and looking at published sources and Websites. Some of these were then implemented in a prototype WCMS for small businesses.

Final Year Project: Website Content Management Systems for Small Businesses Bournemouth University BSc (Hons) Computing

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Copyright
This report is submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an honours degree at the University of Bournemouth. The author declares that this report is their own work and that it does not contravene any academic offence as specified in the university’s regulations. Permission is hereby granted to the University to reproduce and to distribute copies of this report in whole or in part. Printed Name: Shawn Hallums Signature: Date: 22 / 05 / 2009

Final Year Project: Website Content Management Systems for Small Businesses Bournemouth University BSc (Hons) Computing

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Acknowledgments
Ruth Pitman: For continued support throughout this project as the author’s project supervisor. Reza Sahandi: Emily Upshall: Ben Dean: Beau Seymour: For being the second marker of this project. For providing support and encouragement. For chivvying each other on. For reminding the author not to repeat his own 5 day project experience.

Final Year Project: Website Content Management Systems for Small Businesses Bournemouth University BSc (Hons) Computing

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Definition of Terms
ASP Back-end CMS CSS DBMS Front-end HTML MySQL PHP SEO SME SQL URL User Visitor Active Server Pages Administrative area of the WCMS Content Management System Cascading Style Sheets Database Management System The visible part of the website that anyone can see HyperText Markup Language My Structured Query Language PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor Search Engine Optimisation Small and Medium Enterprise Structured Query Language Uniform Resource Locator Someone who uses the back-end of the WCMS Someone who can only view the Web pages created by the WCMS (the frontend) WCMS WYSIWYG Website Content Management System What You See Is What You Get

Final Year Project: Website Content Management Systems for Small Businesses Bournemouth University BSc (Hons) Computing

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Table of Figures
Figure 1 - Table of existing WCMS functions…………………………………………………………………………… 11 Figure 2 - Table of existing WCMS technologies……………………………………………………………………… 14 Figure 3 - Table of hosted WCMS pricing………………………………………………………………………………… 15 Figure 4 - Table of non-hosted WCMS pricing…………………………………………………………………………. 15 Figure 5 - Graph of questionnaire results……………………………………………………………………………….. 17 Figure 6 - Database diagrams…………………………………………………………………………………………………. 33 Figure 7 - Main index.php code………………………………………………………………………………………………. 34 Figure 8 - Events table with months split………………………………………………………………………………… 36 Figure 9 - Pagination………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 36 Figure 10 - News/Announcements displayed on the Website…………………………………………………. 36 Figure 11 - Table of test case results……………………………………………………………………………………….. 40

All of the figures have been...
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