|What is the "Next Step" in site management?|
As your sites grow, how do you handle them?
I currently use Dreamweaver to handle my website, and update pages with templates.
My site is now almost 500 html pages and I'm getting more serious about taking care of it. I'm wondering-- should I be using something else? What do big, professional sites do to handle and update their content?
I've heard of "content management systems" but I'm not entirely sure how these work; is it like a php message board might work? If I need one, how do I get one, pick a good one, and how much does it cost...?
I'm really interested in what a webmaster does to take the "next step" forward, after you've created a basic site, have a few hundred pages, and have several thousand visits a day... what next? Can I go on using Dreamweaver templates forever, or will I need to upgrade to a better system?
In this situation use CMS. I advise you to check out some of them. For staring I recommend Joomla, very powerful and easy in installing and configuration CMS. If you want something more configerable and smaller I would use Etomite, small and easy CMS. Joomla is better for newbies, beacuse it has many companents, which can be installed very fast (like. galleries, guestbooks, forms and so on). Beside in the internet you will find many free templates for Joomla.
Go to [joomla.org...] or [etomite.org...] . You will find demos there.
Your URLs will probably change if you switch to a CMS. You'd be better of with a CMS that can manage static HTML files as well. I can't think of any at the moment, but I know I've seen some.
Mambo has that feature. Its name is SEF. Etomite has it as well. You will need to paste two lines of code into the .htaccess. You can see Joomla and its static urls at [ustaska.pl...] and Etomite at [goralskie.info...]
OK, well another question: Do I even need a CMS? What do most people do in such a situation?
Eventually I will need to let other people have access to edit and work on the site, or certain sections of the site.
Right now I really like the Dreamweaver features, however, and would love to keep static HTML pages if that's possible. I don't want all my URLs changing.
IMO changing URLs would be suicidal if your site has link popularity.
If the only requirement in management of static pages, then I would not suggest using a large CMS.
Instead use a small script which allows editing of static HTML pages from the browser. You can also have access control with such a solution.
check out something called microCMS... i dont remember the url... just google it
In this situation use FCK editor. You can just integrate it into your site.
Once yet, I will recommend you Etomite, which is small and powerfull editor. At the home site of this CMS you can have support.
But do I even need a CMS? what are the options?
How do you manage your site.... I've heard some peple use frontpage (surprisingly some successful sites), dreamweaver, others CMS system...
what are the pros/cons of a CMS versus Dreamweaver?
It depends. My advice :Do not use Frontpage. It is bad tool for website development. It creates very unclear code and very often site, which are not recognized by other browsers than IE.
It depends what you are going to achieve.
Cms is good if you want to create bigger site or you want to update it frequently. CMS has possibility to install additional modules, so you can save a lot of time in this way.
You can download ready templates for cms as well (they are open source).
Dreamweaver is good for sites, but it is expensive. If you are going to create no too many site I would recommend you using NVU (it is open source application but find it in google, I do not want to give you address, I do not want to be blamed for promoting it). For sites created in Dreamweaver or NVU you can find open source templates as well.
Drupal is the CMS I chose, was going to use Joomla but then found out it has problems with keeping urls static.
If you are planning on enabling visitors to edit and create content then I think getting a CMS is a comfortable way to do it, but unless you know PHP as well as you do HTML it will take a while for you to get same control over how the site looks and works. Untill then you rely on templates made by others.
In Drupal the urls can be made the same by messing around with the Apache server.