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Solved: What are people's opinions of CMSs?


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Ent   (Josiah) Ent is offline Ent is a Trusted Advisor with special permissions.
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24-Jun-2012, 04:42 PM #1
Solved: What are people's opinions of CMSs?
I've recently been asked by my Dad to create a website for a church. So that it can be maintained without me, I'm looking at using a CMS. However, I've never used such software. I know that the most popular CMS software is Drupal, Joomla, and Wordpress, and I'd appreciate more experienced opinions about which to go for.

In particular I'm concerned about the following:
  • Whether a site can be customized or whether it has to follow a predetermined theme/template. I don't mind editing css or other code to do this, but I'd rather not have to reprogram the whole CMS!
  • What variety of extra widgets the software gives you access to.
  • Whether the software is free, and whether there are any hidden charges associated with getting extra modules or other facilities.
  • How easy it actually is to update the content.
If anyone has any advice it would be gratefully received.
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24-Jun-2012, 04:53 PM #2
I am a fan of Wordpress and vehemently dislike Joomla there are many other people that feel to opposite to me and rave over Joomla.

I have created 10's of sites for people in exactly your father's position and use Wordpress with the Suffusion theme both of which are free. This theme can be extensively customised with the theme options and can then be customised further with custom css actually stored within the theme so there are no files to edit.

There are loads of free widgets available for Wordpress, photo galleries, event widgets etc etc

The content is very easy to update and you can make use of the roles within Wordpress to allow people to edit / create content without screwing any of the underlying site up. This is an area where something like the free Role Scoper plugin extends Wordpress to make this easier.

I wouldn't think twice about this and would give Wordpress a go. If you have anything specific that you want help with then please let me know.

A couple of my sites to give you a flavour of what you can do http://costablancacc.com http://mikehillier.com and http://keyweddingphotography.com.
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25-Jun-2012, 07:18 AM #3
I'd suggest that it depends on what your Dad wants the site to do. The main contenders in the CMS arena try to be all things to all people, they have a lot of 'bloat' in there if you are just after a bit of software to pull page content out of a database. For example, all of the offerings listed above have a lot of functionality dedicated to changing the look and feel of a site on the fly, they have built in design software. This is great if you want to design your site from an admin section, but I prefer to design from the desktop, and once I've got what I'm after I don't need the ability to change it from within the system itself.

I've found, through building sites for schools, yes - churches, charities and other organisations, that all they really want is the ability to update a news page and 'downloads' section (for newsletters and so on), and using Wordpress or Joomla for this sort of thing is often harder than writing a couple of PHP files that do exactly what they want, how they want it.

If you need user management, blogs and so on then a pre-built solution is probably the right way to go, but if you don't, if you just want to change some page content without mailing it to a designer then I'd look towards building something yourself. I've done this on numerous occasions and it's not as complex as it sounds...

Danny
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02-Jul-2012, 05:27 PM #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by allnodcoms View Post
I'd look towards building something yourself. I've done this on numerous occasions and it's not as complex as it sounds...

Danny
It's colours welded to mast now, which will probably make or break me as a web designer in the end. I did download a CMS for testing and I see exactly what you mean about it being bloated. Hopefully my slightly more extensive programming experience will come in handy for making the scripts.
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allnodcoms   (Danny) allnodcoms is offline allnodcoms has a Profile Picture
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02-Jul-2012, 05:55 PM #5
Give it a go mate, if you get stuck you know where to come

Good Luck!

Danny
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03-Jul-2012, 09:27 AM #6
Wordpress is great and free, but make sure your server can handle PHP and if you are on shared hosting the database driven CMS sites may slow it to a crawl. I would look at a VPS for hosting this if traffic is likely to be high.
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03-Jul-2012, 09:29 AM #7
I have recently built a couple of sites and added on a nice versatile CMS package, written by one of our members - thruska. I found it easy to implement and it is certainly very easy for the user. Take a look here
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techniquev3 techniquev3 is offline
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03-Jul-2012, 09:36 AM #8
That looks like a nice low weight CMS JiminSA I was using wordpress with a magento plugin for adding content to store but it was far too bloated and slow. I thought better to switch to opencart and left the CMS out for the site.
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03-Jul-2012, 09:49 AM #9
Hope I've been of help...
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