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Content Management Systems work when they are able to take ugly mark-up that users cut and paste from word documents and make it look perfect, work on any device and solve ever changing business needs. Composite C1 is a free open source CMS that helps you produce the beautiful mark-up you desire instead of mangling it. It is all part of a focus on letting web professionals excel at their craft, so far this focus has made Composite C1 the best rated CMS on the open source portal CodePlex. In this article I will show you how easy it is to get started with Composite C1 by creating a blog and integrating a third party picture gallery.
Go to http://www.composite.net/download and install Composite C1 using WebMatrix or download it to Visual Studio – the WebMatrix install process is very straightforward and works on any Windows machine. The first time you start Composite C1 you are greeted with a setup wizard that lets you tailor your starting point – select the starter site that fits your needs and complete the wizard.
Once your site has been initialized, you are greeted with the C1 Console and you are ready to customize your website. If needed, hit F1 or visit http://users.composite.net/Getting-Started this gives a basic introduction to the content management features.
Watch how to install the Blog and Picasa Gallery packages:
With the blog and the gallery feature installed, let’s create a blog page:
Watch how to create and publish a blog page:
Now if you browse your website, you will find a “Blog” in your main menu, hosting your post with the Picasa gallery.
You can change the blog and gallery behaviour via parameters and customize the mark-up located in the “Functions” perspective, below “XSLT Functions”. You can also read about how you can redesign and configure the blog and the Picasa gallery.
We have only scratched the surface of Composite C1 and you can continue by looking into customizing the starter site, changing layout templates, developer videos - Composite C1 is layered in a way that allows you to get up and running fast and still be as technical as you please.
Be sure to visit http://compositec1.codeplex.com/ where you can propose features, ask questions or give helpful critique in the discussion forum – Composite C1 is free, open source and will blossom if you engage in the community!