What is a CCK?
A CCK is an advanced content modeling system which has been developed to extend the native content manager of J1.x and J1.5, where you can just create articles with a title, body field and a section/category classification.
Basically a CCK is needed to create your own content types beyond articles e.g a CD Album, an event, a hotel etc. A given content type is described by a data model which you can map by adding custom fields (date, location, an image, room types etc). Also a CCK should be able to help you create unlimited nested and multiple categories (multi-mapping) for each content item created.
This is the full list of CCKs for Joomla.
When should I better use a CCK?
A CCK can replace numerous extensions you are using more any advanced content types and put all of the required functions in one component. A few examples where CCKs come in handy:
- You need a highly customized news portal or magazine with total control over the layout.
- You want to implement a blog with comments and advanced content features.
- Out-of-the-box solutions for integrating a variety of media into your content, like video, flash, images and image galleries.
- You need to job offers and CV listings, product catalogues, business directories
- Ability to enhance user information.
- Create your own poll.
Because of the limitations of the core content module JoomlArt decided to use K2 as the main content tool. With the release of our new JA Teline IV magazine template we do support both K2 and FlexiContent to give site owners more flexibility.
CCKs vs in-built content in Joomla 1.6
Joomla 1.6 is an improvement containing much needed new features. On top of the list is the ability to nest categories, a major feature lacking in th 1.5 version, and the number one reason users sought to use a CCK previously. But CCKs still contain features that the Joomla core does not have or only limited, such as:
- Extra fields
- Auto-resizable item image, video image, galleries
- Tags for any content types
- Commenting system
- Multi themes
Simply put, right now you cannot achieve things with core com_content in J1.6 as conveniently as with K2, Zoo, Flexicontent, jSeblod CCK etc.
However, you don't need to decide to use a CCK solely to produce advanced pieces. Parallelly you can still work with core content to produce standard content types. It's all dependant on what your requirements are. If you want to evaluate whether or not the Joomla 1.6 new features will solve your site requirements, see our Introduction to Joomla 1.6 - New Features, Extensions and Templates
Now that we have covered why you may want to consider using a content construction kit with Joomla, we are asking our community which of the extensions do you haved used and like most?