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Website Technology Issues Forum

CMS Systems
Just not feeling the love

 4:39 pm on Jan 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

I had at least two potential sites where a CMS system seemed like a good fit.

One site was for a theatre production company and they wanted the ability to modify schedules, post announcements and have a picture gallery. We're talking about 10 or so pages plus a gallery.

I played with Joomla for a few hours yesterday. I created my own template and integrated Gallery2.

I just seems like so much complexity to display what can esily be done with static html. A family member will be the person updating the site. I am just tempted to give them Dreamweaver or FrontPage.

I was also looking at CMS for a content site. I wanted usrs to be able to post comments on articles and reviews. Kind of like a blog.

What worries me about a complex CMS system is a lack of control.
-How do I know future releases will keep the same url structure?
-Will future releases break my site.
-It's not the easiest thing to migrate from my WAMP box the the server without doing the install all over again.
-It can leave a footprint

I'm going to play with Drupal today.

So what is it with CMS systems? Maybe I just don't get it.



 8:00 pm on Jan 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Good questions, MrSpeed.

I'm very interested in this as well. I've been playing with Joomla in much the same way - attempting to incorporate blog-like features, etc. But as easy as some people say it is, I've found it a bit of a learning curve.

On a daily basis, I'm seeing attempts to hack into a CMS/blogger system (even though there isn't one on the sites I'm referring to). I'm wondering how secure these scripts really are. Will it be like phpBB where one needs to update every few weeks or be hacked? I'm sure it will be because hackers will always find a way to get in.

I want to recommend a CMS for an organization I am webmaster for because it would really benefit them. However, it's a non-profit and all I see is trouble down the line with me having to apply updates on my own dime because it's not in their budget, yet I'm the one who recommended it.

Good luck with Drupal. I'm curious about its learning curve as well.


 12:55 pm on Jan 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

I forgot to mention that I have been doing sites since 1996 and am pretty good at cranking out ASP.net, php, mysql.

For the first hour or so Drupal was much easier. The download package was much smaller that joomla. The install is for those who are comfortable with going into phpmyadmin and pasting in SQL scripts to build tables etc.

The admin section also seemed much more straight forward.
Adding content, stories is a breaze. I am confused by the whole "taxonomy" thing. I wish they just called it categories.

Believe it or not I got stumped at how to add links to the menu. I tried to figure it out for a half hour. It's probably easy but I ran out of time to figure it out.

Overall I can not see turning over a site to a client with any of these CMS systems. If I'm l little baffled at it how will a newbie feel? I'm also not in the business of doing 4 hour training sessions.

I just completed the site for the theatre group. In about 5 minutes I setup up Dreamweaver and showed them how to upload pages. I added a photo gallery with "Enhanced Simple PHP Gallery". I might even setup blogger for the "news" page.

The downside is that they will not be able to add new categories but they do not need to.


 1:54 pm on Jan 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

What are people's thoughts on Macromedia Contribute?
It seems a bit too good to be true at 79 bucks because it really looks the part, but for a corporate website I am a bit dubious about using it.

A review I read said the following:

Weaknesses that stood out for me are:

You can't update the site remotely, it has to be from a machine that has Contribute installed and licensed. This to me seems highly impractical.

If you want to be able to make remote Web-based updates to your site, content kept in a database, content feeds from other sites, a robust approve workflow, or complete management of your Web site through an application, Contribute won’t do much for you.

If anyone else can shed some light on this package i would be most grateful


 2:27 am on Jan 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

I've heard of people using it but primarily for source control.

You can't update the site remotely, it has to be from a machine that has Contribute installed and licensed. This to me seems highly impractical.

If you are in a company and can map a drive to your web server it works fine. I'm not sure if or how it would work on a remote web server. Does it allow FTP?


 2:51 am on Jan 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

FTP is built into Contribute -- as well as page-version rollback. So the edits need to be done within Contribute for all of that to coordinate. All the changes are immediately published live, and the Contribute Administrator generates a key for each user, so they each can only make the kinds of changes that they are specifically authorized for.

Since it is a Macromedia product, it has good integration with Dreamweaver (editable regions, templates and the like.)

There definitely are more full-featured CMS available, but this one is a no-brainer for most end users who can handle a browser and a word processor. Very little training is required.


 9:41 am on Jan 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm with tedster on this one - anyone who's used MS word and their browser can work out how to use Contribute.

I've installed it on two of my customer's systems and it's got quite good CSS support (they were table-less CSS sites).

It was for small companies so they wouldn't have to update their sites from any other computer than the ones that Contribute was installed on.


 11:43 am on Jan 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Ok. So if I want to develop a corporate site which may contain news feeds from other sites then is this the right product?
I am going to be publishing a monthly newsletter which I will be sending to all clients as well as posting on the site.... is this the right product?

I get the impression that it may be restrictive when it comes to fees from other sites etc.


 12:19 pm on Jan 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

What I meant was feeds from other sites.

I think the product is great, but because I don't know enough about the back end of it I am a little sceptical because I ddon't want to find that I am restricted further down the line only to realise that I should have gone for a more dynamic solution.


 6:03 pm on Jan 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Believe it or not I got stumped at how to add links to the menu. I tried to figure it out for a half hour. It's probably easy but I ran out of time to figure it out.

Drupal always gives you options. The core is small and modules that behave differently do many things in many ways. You can use taxonomy_menu (I think) which will add menu items when added to the taxonomy. I just use the menus module and add whatever link I want to my menu. It means that

1. It's a two-step process (add new category then add new menu link) which is a negative

2. Menu text and link does not have a necessary and hard-coded relationship to category structure, which is a HUGE positive for me, especially since Drupal allows links like /taxonomy/term/1,2,3 (not sure of the exact syntax, but in other words I can create a link that will pull from three categories in chronological order or whatever.

So I set up Drupal to do as little as possible with menus and link aliases, because I'm uptight and like to control it myself. So I do it like this

1. Add a category
2. Add content within the category
3. Add a link to the menu

It is possible to have menus autmatically show children, but I prefer not to.


 7:54 pm on Jan 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Ahh..I see it now.



 12:25 am on Feb 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Anybody checked out Typo3?

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