You might have built a website before, using Dreamweaver or FrontPage. These tools generally create what is called a static website.
A static website is quite simple. For Ex. Type in a web address like www.hostripples.com into your computers web browser. A web browser is a piece of software that displays web pages from the internet like Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Google Chrome etc. A request for a web page goes from your computer also called the client to the web server.
A server is a tricky word which means 2 different things :
One is a Hardware Sense of the word i.e. A server is a very powerful computer that is shared in some way. The server can also be used in Software Sense: This is a software designed to serve up web pages.
Apache and IIS (Internet Information Server) are examples of server software that is compatible with Joomla. The web server is frequently used interchangeably with the web host. A web host is a service that offers web servers for your use.
The server locates the page called Index.html in its files for the Hostripples.com and it sends the copy of that page back to the client. It also finds any associated images, CSS, Flash files, Java scripts and sends those along as well. A client displays a page plus the images and other associated files. This system is static that the page is having a fixed content. The server simply picks up the right page from the right location and sends it. No processing of that page is required. You create the web pages on your computer i.e. the client and send the copy of those pages to the web server via FTP. All the web servers do is that it stores those pages in it and sends out a right page as per the requirement.
A Content Management System or CMS is very different from a static website. A CMS is a web application software that runs on the server instead of one that runs on the client. For ex: Microsoft Words runs on your computer i.e. the client and Google Docs also runs on the server. Both applications are designed to create and edit a word processing documents. But the way they get their job done is way different from each other.
CMS’s generally function in the same kind of way i.e. from a server software, A middle layer software and a database software may vary but the functionality is pretty much the same. Just like before, type in a website address www.hostripples.com/index-php into your computers web browser. Your computer sends this request for the page to the web server. The web server looks at its files, realizes that the page requested is written in PHP, a programming language.
The web server knows that it can’t send this page as it is to the client. Some processing must be done first. So instead the web server sends this request to the PHP. PHP looks at the documents and determines some information needs to be pulled from the database and then processed. PHP is functioning as “Middle Ware” in this way. This means that the PHP mediates the discussion between the web server and the database. The server and the database can’t talk to each other directly. They need a translator that can understand server speak and database speak.
Other examples of programming languages used in this role include ASP, .NET, Cold fusion, Java, Pearl. A database is a collection of organized information. Our particular database in Joomla is called MySQL but other types of databases include MS-SQL or Oracle. Access is a database that runs on your laptop and is not suitable to use in a website. The database receives a request for information from PHP via a database query. The requested information is copied from the database and sent back to the PHP. PHP arranges the database information into the way specified into the PHP code. The actual PHP code is stripped off from the PHP page and replaced with HTML according to the instructions on the page.
Now that the page is created and it consists of HTML and associated files that are sent to the client to view. All this happens in the blink of an eye. In order to run Joomla, therefore, you must have a web server configured with Apache or IIS, PHP and MySQL and good in the right versions of those pieces of that software, you can check Joomla.org for the latest recommendations and web hosts. So obviously A CMS is a way more complicated than that of a static website.
In fact, you may be amused by all of that technology running on your site. Why is CMS preferred over static websites?
Because of the power of the database websites are much easier to maintain with the help of CMS than they are with a Static website. If you wish to make changes to a specific website or web page, you can change it without knowing HTML, PHP, MySQL or anything else which means your average client can easily create new pages, links from the menus, change content and make other updates without talking to you. In the world where we are integrating features like Photo Galleries, Calendars, News Feeds, Social Media, and Blogs etc. the CMS becomes more important due to the ease of integrating these features into the website.