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Does the World really need another CMS?

VLW was created for a very specific function. To be an easy to use starter website tool. There are lots of full featured content management systems out there for doing every thing from blogging to social networking, but they are complex and require a steep learning curve and often expose underlying HTML or CSS issues making the learning curve even steeper. VLW was designed for small websites needing a few article pages, wanting a consistent look and feel from page to page and/or some simple pages to collect data from a customer and mail it to the website owner.

Stone Soup

One of the wonderful things about the Open Source movement is the rich array of toolkits, code snippets, and projects that are available for integrating into new tools. VLW is very much a work of stone soup, built around the popular WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) web page editor, FCKeditor, recently upgraded to use the newer more modern CKeditor. It also uses SWCP's mail-form-results script to deliver form data to you via email. The image management is enhanced by the use of the excellent rollover library Overlib and of course the GD library. This CMS is built in PHP.


The layout for a VLW site is very basic and completely built in CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).

  1. Top area contains a site name, and place for a logo. Neither are mandatory.
  2. The neck is a horizontal navigation bar. You can add items to it or not as you'd like.
  3. The main body consists of
    1. a side navigation bar (either on the left or right depending on the template chosen),
    2. and a main contents area. The side navigation area will be reserved, but you don't have to put any links in it if you don't want to.
  4. At the bottom of the page you'll find the footer area, usually used for contact info, copyright notices, or site tag lines.

The easiest way to move around your website is to define pages and place them in the top or side navigation bars. When you define a page you simply check top, side, or both to place them in the navigation areas. If you don't link to a page from either navigation bar you'll need to link to it from within another article, so it can be found in normal flow of reading your website. When you specify this link you'll use the vlw internal link button instead of the usual external link button.

You can find detailed information on the box layout model in the Building Templates section.

Current Version

Current version of VLW is V1.6. If you'd like your installation of VLW to be upgraded, just send email to noc@swcp.com and let us know what the URL of your VLW installation is. Note: if you have non-VLW files or directories in your VLW installation, please move those aside first, or let us know we need to do that for you as part of the upgrade process. Templates, images, and VLW pages will be preserved by the upgrade process.

What VLW is not

VLW isn't a community site. There is no facility for logins to the site other than the administrator.

VLW doesn't have plugins or modules. Since VLW isn't a community site you can easily add on a photo gallery or wiki as a directory to the side of it and link to it, but the two products are only related by linking.

An example of a VLW website can be found at http://www.vlwcms.org.