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Content Management Forum

CMS recommendation for static pages
ideally with collapsable navigation sidebar

 7:50 pm on Mar 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'm trying to help a client navigate from a site composed of static pages to a CMS-based system. We are trying to decide what CMS to use. Here are some characteristics of our site:

1) The site is almost entirely static. (No blogging, forumns, etc.)

2) The client wants a form of navigation that I haven't come across in the sample sites I've looked at for Joomla:

a) A top-navigation of the major categories
b) A side-navigation (for the major category currently being viewed) that is collapsable and can work with documents grouped / nested up to at least 4 or 5 levels deep. (To me, this is kind of like a Windows file-explorer tree.)

3) Ability to develop the site on my WAMP (or similar) system on my PC and later upload the whole thing to the live server. (This is not as high a priority, but I'm working with an Internet connection that has a high latency, so working on it on my computer while I'm converting the hundreds of existing static pages would be a great benefit.)

4) I need a CMS that will be fairly easy for other novices unfamiliar with HTML, etc., to edit new static content.

5) I want to use one of the leading open-source CMSs if possible.

I tried looking on cmsmatrix.com, but it didn't appear that their info answers these questions.

I'm new on this forum, and perhaps someone else has already discussed this question.

Thanks for your help.

-- Harvey

[edited by: ergophobe at 8:05 pm (utc) on Mar. 12, 2009]
[edit reason] No personal URLs please [/edit]



 8:04 pm on Mar 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

I have to say - I'm not trying to push drupal in this forum. I just know it pretty well. I'm sure there are several others. To answer your questions

1. Then you'll want serious caching. In drupal, that would be the Boost module probably.

2. You would do this with the DHTML Menu module for drupal.

3. No problem. You just transfer the files and DB and you're done. I always develop locally. If you want to really test it, set your Windows host file to resolve the example.com domain to localhost (you won't be able to access the real domain until you change the host file back).

4. Mmmm... This is *not* really drupal's strong suit, but if you set up the menus and add in the WYSIWYG module, it should be good. That said, I just tested default installs of about eight CMS in in most cases, it took me forever to figure out how to add a new page. By default, Drupal is better than most in that respect. Still not quite the simplicity of Wordpress.

5. Check.


 8:13 pm on Mar 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

Oh, one thing that typically is hard to test locally is emails. You have to run an SMTP server for that and I don't usually bother.


 9:20 pm on Mar 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

Thanks a lot for your answer. I'm fairly new to the world of CMSs and have only tinkered a little with Joomla 1.5 & TextPattern. In my research I couldn't find any plugins for either of these that would perform the navigation that I want.


 4:34 am on Mar 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

They probably exist, but I just don't know them well enough. Maybe someone else will pipe up. If you do go the drupal route, I think those module names should get you started. A lot of people find drupal a bit confusing with "taxonomy" and "nodes", but now even Wordpress 2.8 is adding taxonomy, so...


 4:21 am on Mar 16, 2009 (gmt 0)


MovableType makes great static sites. That's the default out of the box.


You can use any sort of navigation or template you like. If you can't find what you want in the default templates there are a number of others available. Or just use your own.


It should work fine from WAMP.

fairly easy for other novices

You can customize the page maintenance area with custom fields. Normally it works off of a WYSIWYG editor where you can easily preview your changes before publishing them live. I've had grade-school children publishing with it in no time.

leading open-source CMS

MovableType was one of the original blog publishing packages out there. It has more history than most other CMS packages out there. They have an open source version as well as a fully supported paid version as well. That helps if you need paid assistance.

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