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April 20, 2018

Getting to Know Contao: An Open Source CMS

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Browser-based and open-source content management system Contao first came to life in 2006, under the title “TYPOLight”. The developers behind the CMS eventually decided to change the name in 2010, when they discovered that many customers kept mistaking their solution for a derivative of the TYPO3 system.

Contao is an intuitive CMS with an in-depth user interface. It uses Web 2.0 and Ajax technology to ensure top-of-the-line usability for webmasters and developers. With support for multiple back-end themes, languages, and a powerful permission system, Contao is a great solution for anyone in search of flexibility and support with their CMS system. Additionally, the Contao front end is based 100% of templates and generates highly accessible output meeting WAI/W3C requirements.

Ever since 2006, the team behind Contao have been working to make the CMS as powerful and innovative as possible. Here, we’ll explore just some of the features that make this CMS so compelling for modern developers.

1. The Easy Way to Build Your Online Business

Whether you’re launching a single website, or an entire network to support your online presence, Contao has the light-weight power you’ve been looking for. Developers can use Contao to build a professional intranet and the associated applications within, and admins have the power to manage multiple instances and domains from the same location.

For those in search of a way to build a unique business website, Contao delivers both security and flexibility, with SEO features to ensure that you rank as high as possible for your chosen keywords. There’s a range of newsletter designs to choose from for marketing purposes, and users can tap into a host of professional partners within the Contao community for support on everything from social media to design frameworks.

2. Help for eCommerce

Want to launch your own professional store online? Contao ensures that you can market and showcase your products in a way that’s sure to grab the attention of your target market. The eCommerce solution for this unique open-frame CMS is comprehensive and well-rounded. You can integrate SEO support for your metadata, rich snippets, and product categories, and import and export data for analytical purposes.

When it comes to taking payments from customers, Contao allows for the integration of many popular payment providers, and there’s an interface available for managing your warehouse, checking cash flow, and more.

3. Create Lucrative Portals

Contao is also a fantastic option for developers who want to share large amounts of information across a distributed user base. The CMs provides an easy and intuitive strategy for creating portals using included functions like events, newsletters, and updates. You can design your own network of user communities, and there’s a clear member management system available too, with plenty of third-party extensions like avatars, forums, and more.

4. Build Microsites

Contao isn’t just a solution for standard site development, it can also help you to create and run smaller pages to draw attention to specific products in your portfolio. For instance, there’s multi-domain capability included as standard with the CMS, SEO ready code, and plenty of design freedom to explore.

Contao comes with extensions for video integration, Parallax scrolling, sliders, and more. If you want to continue building up your web presence, the Contao extension repository includes hundreds of unique modules to choose from which can add further functionality to your CMS.

5. Update Automatically, Edit Easily

Contao gives developers a range of ways to customise and design online solutions. You can browse through repository of Contao extensions and remove, update, or install modules directly. What’s more, when new updates come out for the CMS, you can install the Contao live update service to ensure that upgrading your entire system is as simple as a clicking on a few buttons in the back end.

Once everything you want is loaded into your Contao system, there are plenty of advanced editing features that ensure developers have the power they need to create stunning and responsive web experiences.

6. Powerful Site Structures

Finally, the Contao open-source CMS comes with a built-in cross-browser CSS framework, capable of supporting both liquid and status layouts. It can create distinct layout sections and columns from specific aspects of your pages, and existing style sheets can be imported directly into the Contao back end.

Additionally, the CMS can support a range of different page types according to your specific needs, including redirect and regular pages. There’s even the option to support multiple websites within the same tree. You’ll have complete control over which pages are hidden, which are password protected, and which you need to cache and index at any given time.

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