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Building a CMS

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There is no magic to it, it's javascript/ajax.


With that said, in the last few years, javascript frameworks have developed a tremendous amount of momentum.  Essentially this moves a lot of the code from the backend into a client javascript application.  Typically the backend becomes an api providing access to data via REST or SOAP.  I don't see a lot of people using SOAP anymore.


Wordpress has been all in on the use of ReactJS, even to the extent that they announced they would abandon its use due to Facebook's plan to utilize a BSD + Patents license.  Ultimately, Facebook bowed to the pressure and threats to abandon it and changed the ReactJS license to MIT.


At any rate ReactJS, Angular, Ember, Vue etc. are all quite prevalent in the current web development world, and provide the sexy interactive UI you are talking about.  The underlying technology that anchors all of these technologies is still Javascript/Ecmascript and Ajax which facilitates actively changing the UI without having to GET/POST the entire page and rebuild it from scratch.

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