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Author Topic: Need some input on CMS for a kinda, sorta webby ...  (Read 4421 times)
barney
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« on: May 04, 2010, 12:26:48 AM »

Have a friend who is about to start a sailing school.  He has an established Web presence on sailing schtuff, decent page rank, reasonable traffic, all the little things that seem to matter.

Seems as though, lately, everybody and their {brother|mother|sister|father|friend|cousin|wife} is asking for advice  Wink.  The Capt. wants to know some stuff 'bout adding his new business to his Web site.  I'm thinkin' he'd be best off with some CMS, but am hard put to recommend a suitable one.  I'm aware of Joomla, Drupal, have a bit of experience with Concrete5 (?), but hard put to recommend one to him.  Searched here, but nothing found seemed appropriate to this situation.

He's middlin' conversant with HTML, a bit less with PHP, but he did manage to put together a [pretty good] PHP/MySQL-driven sales page (with a bit of help), when he and his SO were selling jewelry and Chinese stuff , in order to record clients, addresses, email, and other such business info.  Now he needs to revamp - not totally rebuild - his sailing site to include references to, and content from, his training/school.  He can add appropriate links & static commentary, but wants to be able to display notes from the training classes.  Sea stories, as it were, important bits about his students, their questions, and his resolutions to those questions.  Mostly, these would be teasers to entice other students, ya know?  They'd change on a periodic basis, perhaps every class.

Strikes me that a CMS would be ideal, something his admin could do from his class notes, but don't have a clue as to which one would best serve his purposes.  Don't want to start a flame war - I've seen questions like this do so on other forae; don't think that would happen on DC - but I'd really like suggestions as to a CMS that would
  • be easily adaptable to existing page(s)
  • be simple enough that a low-rent admin could enter appropriate material w/o Web page knowledge
  • be readily expandable in case his endeavour blooms
.

Thus, I'm once again asking for help.  (Oneathesedays I'm going to be able to help someone else - I hope and pray.)  Is there some CMS variant that would even come close to filling that bill of particulars?  Minimal learning curve, maximal adaptability?
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mouser
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« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2010, 02:15:56 AM »

I can say with confidence that i would advise anyone who isn't a hardcore tinkerer/coder who loves to get involved with complicated intricasies to stay well clear of Drupal.  It's powerful but not something i would wish on anyone who doesn't want to sink an infinite amount of time into learning it.

Other than that, i can only second your instincts that a CMS would help him if he wants to extend and maintain a site himself.
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JavaJones
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« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2010, 12:08:40 PM »

If you've got some time to tinker with and research the best solutions and just looking for some suggestions on where to look, I think perhaps Silverstripe? I'd mention Concrete5 also, but you seem to be aware of that, and it's also more commercial-oriented than Siverstripe (i.e. a lot of modules are not free with Concrete5). While I am familiar with and generally a fan of Joomla, I think it's really overkill for a lot of sites, particularly for what it sounds like this person needs. I almost suggested even just a Wordpress-based site, either working as a blog, or extended a bit to be a mini-CMS. This can actually work really well, but does have some potentially annoying limitations, especially if the site is potentially going to expand in the future and want things like ecommerce, etc.

- Oshyan
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40hz
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« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2010, 03:05:36 PM »

@JavaJones- thanks for pointing out SilverStripe.

I've given several CMS systems a spin. But I never tried that one despite seeing very favorable comments wherever it got discussed. Seeing it mentioned here at DC inspired me to finally look into it.

I downloaded and gave it a run on one of my test systems last night. Very impressive. One of the easiest to use CMSs I've ever seen. Remarkably powerful too. Definitely gonna add this to the short list next time I have a client who wants to talk about setting up "a simple CMS system."

Thx again. Thmbsup



 
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JavaJones
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« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2010, 03:22:44 PM »

My pleasure. I was just reminded of it again myself recently and was similarly impressed (though I haven't setup a local install to test yet). The fact that a lot of the modules and addons were also free, unlike Concrete5, was another plus. My only concern at this point is layout flexibility while maintaining CMS editing. I've read some issues in the forums about e.g. 3 column layouts needing to be handled manually since the CMS is somewhat rigid in its content arrangement logic. Not sure about the details though.

- Oshyan
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sri
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« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2010, 05:17:16 AM »

WordPress.
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iphigenie
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« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2010, 07:01:46 AM »

For simple needs it's also worth mentioning CMSMadeSimple and WebSiteBaker - both open source, easy to get started, quite featured, and very easy for the final site owner to manage day to day

There's a new release of Silverstripe this week, saw it yesterday. Havent tried it in years, might take a peak (i usually stop at "horror, what is that for a templating system" when i look at any cms)
« Last Edit: May 08, 2010, 07:04:40 AM by iphigenie » Logged
chrisa52
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« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2010, 08:00:20 AM »

I have had some good success with MODx. Once you get it setup from your ISP, you can make things as simple or as complicated as you like.

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barney
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« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2010, 09:21:54 AM »

Wow!  I've got more here than I can even begin to cover short-term Kiss.  Now I just have to set up IIS locally to make certain the testing will be good - the capt., for whatever reason, uses hosting with a Windows server <groan />.  I think that's mostly because he's wary of setting up Apache/MySQL/PHP.  Yes, he's been told about WAMP, but sticks with IIS anyway.  Makes for some interesting conversations when he calls for advice  cheesy cheesy.
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BillB
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« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2010, 01:04:05 PM »

Hi

If you already have a website structure set up and you just want the ability to edit page content, you can use products like

http://editwrxpro.com/index.html
 
or

http://www.snippetmaster.com/index.php

I use Snippetmaster and find it is very good for quick edits of text and images occurring within <snippet> tags

Sometimes full CMS is just overkill.

Bill
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JavaJones
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« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2010, 02:19:03 PM »

Hey, SnippetMaster looks brilliant! I've been looking for something like this. Thanks for the link Bill. smiley

- Oshyan
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kwacky1
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« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2010, 08:28:21 AM »

I put in a second, highly recommended, vote for ModX, even on IIS.

I haven't looked a Silverstripe in a couple of years but when I was doing my CMS evaluation back then, ModX had a larger community.
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40hz
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« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2010, 11:24:12 AM »

(i usually stop at "horror, what is that for a templating system" when i look at any cms)

+1 Thmbsup

Despite my fascination with CMS systems in general, I still pretty much "hand code" all my web pages and style sheets. Maybe it's because I don't do "news" type sites that are changing on an hourly basis - so I have the luxury of not having to rush to get my content up on the web.

I will, however, 'snap in' a blog or forum package if the site calls for one. (I'm not a complete masochist.  mrgreen) But for the landing and static pages, I still can't find anything that does exactly what I want enough of the time to lock into a full CMS solution.

Thankfully, I've done this long enough that I have pretty much perfected a workflow, file naming, and directory convention that works for me and my personal projects.

In a way, I'm very glad I did my first websites long before Dreamweaver and FrontPage were released. Learned an awful lot doing it by hand.

Fortunately, for those folks who do update early and often, there's always the CMS option.

 Cool

---

Also +1 on WebSiteBaker. That's the one that seems to offer the most flexibility.


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JavaJones
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« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2010, 06:18:09 PM »

I don't see CMSs as a necessity for me but for clients and friends they're a must. That's where a lot of my interest lies. Unfortunately that can make it more difficult to evaluate them because the needs are diverse and I don't know them in full until I ask someone to check out a product. But that just adds to the fun, right? Wink

- Oshyan
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40hz
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« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2010, 06:31:07 PM »

^Absolutely! Thmbsup

The only thing that keeps half of us in this field is the fact it really is fun. It's even fun in those situations where it isn't.

How many things can you say that about? Grin

 
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kwacky1
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« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2010, 06:57:27 AM »

40hz and JavaJones, this is what I like most about ModX it gives you complete control and flexibility, you still hand code the template and styles, ModX just gives you a framework to leverage features that might require a CMS.

For our project, the major requirement was for a system that was easy to use and update by a large number of users that had little to no computer experience, let alone website editing and ModX and Silverstripe fit the bill.

Anyway, that's just my two cents.
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40hz
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« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2010, 08:04:47 AM »

^Definitely going to have to give ModX a try then.

Thanks for the heads-up.  smiley
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