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Welcome to WebGUI

Although managing content in WebGUI is simple, there is a learning curve, as with anything else. The WebGUI Content Managers Guide will introduce each asset available to display content on your site, and provide an overview of some of the more common administrative functions to help you become comfortable.


WebGUI is an open source software project, and is licensed under GNU General Public License. To you, this means that not only is WebGUI a free content management system, but you are welcome to copy, distribute, and edit it for your use according to the terms set out in the license.


Community Resources


One of the benefits of using open source software is the user community that comes with it. WebGUI has an active and helpful user community that helps keep the project vital and thriving. WebGUI's community website,, contains a number of community resources meant to be helpful to newcomers and veterans alike.


The wiki ( contains hundreds of articles submitted by community members. Topics range from simple how-to articles on adding a style to your site, to more technical topics for developers. If you have a question, check the wiki first. Odds are you will find your answer there.


If you don't find what you're looking for in the wiki, you can point your browser to one of the community forums ( WebGUI Forums are available for WebGUI related discussion and community support. In the forums you can bounce around ideas, discuss important issues, and ask community members for help and advice. WebGUI Forums are broken up into:


  • Et Cetera: general WebGUI discussion. This is a good place to go for general how-to questions in WebGUI. Likely the right place for content management questions.

  • Designers: discuss making your site look pretty, templating, navigations and other web design topics.

  • Install/Upgrade Help: get answers to your installation and upgrade questions. Discussion is more technical in nature.

  • Developers: a place to discuss WebGUI and WRE core development as well as writing your own custom modules. Again, this is most useful to developers and may be too advanced for some content managers.

  • Admins: a place to discuss adminstering a WebGUI site, and WRE related topics.


WebGUI developers can often be found on WebGUI's IRC channel (irc:// If you're one of those people who does a little of everything in WebGUI, this may be a good place for you. Generally, the topic of discussion on IRC is more technical in nature, but if you're working on becoming acquainted with WebGUI and its inner workings, you're welcome to stop out and chat. The IRC channel is a great way to become familiar with the WebGUI community and get to know the people responsible for developing WebGUI's major features.


Plain Black also provides a weekly webinar, which is meant to introduce people to WebGUI and provide an overview of its functionality. It isn't meant for support, but it is a great way to become acquainted with WebGUI and get your basic, “Can WebGUI do x y and z?” types of questions answered. The Black Blog is also a good place to find out about where WebGUI is headed and what sorts of new things might be on the horizon in future WebGUI development. The Black Blog is written by Plain Black's President, and WebGUI creator, JT Smith, and is usually updated weekly. JT writes about all types of things in the blog, and often gets some pretty interesting feedback from community members!


Meet Gooey


In WebGUI's infancy a community contest was held to select a Gooeymascot. Over 50 entries were put up for voting, and a little purple octopus emerged as the victor. Gooey is the brainchild of Darci Gibson, an artist from California. Darci says she decided on Gooey because she, "...Couldn't think of anything else that was as flexible and able to get a handle on any task (with eight tentacles no less). A perfect embodiment of WebGUI."


Gooey does a lot of things. He graces the pages of WebGUI's community website; he's the cover model for all the WebGUI guides; he appears in person, in the form of a stuffed purple octopus, at trade shows and conferences (and often goes home with people to watch over their computers); and he likes to travel. Check out the mascot and Gooey on the Go pages on to learn more about Gooey.


Meet Plain Black


The previous section explained that WebGUI, like many other open source software applications, is a free content management system. You may download it, use it, share it, view its source code, and edit its source code as you see fit. What makes WebGUI a bit different is that it is intimately connected to a more traditional business in Plain Black Corporation®. WebGUI is developed by Plain Black, and Plain Black provides a full line of professional services related to WebGUI. With WebGUI, you get the best of both worlds: a great open source CMS and a professional services organization like Plain Black to train and support your staff to help you achieve your goals.


Plain Black offers a full line of WebGUI related services. As their organizations or businesses grow, many users often find themselves looking for a greater source of support, custom development options, or hosting options. Many of these same users are often surprised to find out that Plain Black provides all these.


Just for your reference, some of the services Plain Black provides include:


  • Support: Plain Black provides numerous support options, including online support forums, telephone support, and Rock Star Support, which allows the customer to create a detailed custom support package.

  • Training: both onsite and online training to cover topics ranging from content management, templates and site design, to development.

  • Development: Plain Black has a talented and experienced development team that can create any application your organization needs. You can trust Plain Black's developers because they are the same developers who create WebGUI.

  • Hosting: Plain Black offers agency hosting packages, as well as a number of larger server packages that are fine tuned to run WebGUI.

  • Design: custom templates, themes and branding, and even print design services are available.

  • Translation: Plain Black provides translation services to help you reach your audience in any language.


By using Plain Black you are also helping to support WebGUI. For example, all of the funds generated from the sale of Plain Black and WebGUI merchandise, like Gooey dolls and t-shirts, at Plain Black's store go directly toward the development of WebGUI features. By having a corporate partner, WebGUI can maintain its open source integrity while having the means to partly sustain itself on Plain Black's business. Plain Black's developers may spend a great deal of time developing WebGUI, but the intent is, and always will be, to keep WebGUI open source, and open to its community. Plain Black's business relies on WebGUI, and WebGUI's vitality in turn benefits from Plain Black. A beautiful partnership, indeed.


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