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First and foremost I'd say I have a rough idea of what I'm talking about. So, let me say what I know, and then what I want to know....
What I know - CMS software allows a user to control, edit, change, upload different parts/pages of their website. CMS software does MORE than the likes of Dreamweaver MX2004, (where you can use "snippets" for example to change coding across a website at the click of a button).
Where I'm at now - I'm just about to embark, (given the time away from the off-line world!), to expand my present webpages & create a few more websites. I do use MX2004, but probably not all of it's best functionalities.
What I want to know...
1. Is some kind of CMS software the right way to go for me?
2. If "yes" to Q1. - which kind of CMS software does anyone recommend?
Before y'all start talking Apache, PHP Squirrels icon_wink.gif etc - I know nothing of these things. Is there any kind of .exe software I install on my pc where I just load up to my webspace by ftp, for example. Or is there any web-based applications where you just log-in and "do stuff" there?
Naturally, I'm looking for the ultimate thing - something that's free and uncomplicated - does such a thing exist?
I have had a search around on these already, but it all seems to be about loading things up to servers etc and talking in strange languages like Python etc etc.
Any help would, of course be greatly appreciated.
p.s. I'm just off round to Tescos to get the weekly shop - so I'll be back in a couple of hours if you don't see me respond straight away to any replies. Thanks again chaps & chapesses :)
I've been pushed towards Macromedia's "Contribute" - what do you think?
Essentially I want to be able to have template type pages, (headers, navigation, footers - protected)., and then be able to edit the content in the middle - and be able to do it across all the pages in one website at the touch of a button. And even change the protected areas if I had to - to change navigation for example.
Yes, I suppose it's more of a design tool I'm after which will allow me to create/re-create pages without having to go through too much grief. Also something that I can have the facility to change SEO, keywords as well - and create pages that way.
All these CMS systems seem to want you to load things up to servers etc, when all I really want to do is to be able to build and manage large scale websites easily.
If your hosting provider has Cpanel, they probably will have something called Fantastico installed. It's a collection of OpenSource (i.e. Free) programs which includes some good CMS programs. To install them, al that is required is to fill out a form and click, takes 5 minutes at most.
Anyway, I use WordPress (which is included in Fantatstico) for just the use you mentioned...I recommend it. It's a blogging software but has a plug-in available that allows you to use it as a CMS. (defining the front index page as static and having the blog posts go to an inside page.) Many nicely designed templates are available and are fairly simple to customize.
You can also download Wordpress and install it yourself at: [wordpress.org...]
Free for sites up to 50 files.
300 $ for the paid version that can handle unlimited sites.
Nothing to do with the server, again.
Contribute is slow. Maybe you need a real fast connection, I don't know.
I was recommended City Desk elsewhere and have downloaded the limited,(free!), version to trial it.
I did actually go back and re-visit Macromedia's MX2004 to see if I could get back to the basics of it - using the "site management" function on it etc etc. So, far it hasn't provided me with any major headaches - it's just a slow learning process on such a BIG piece of software.
but.... it falls foul of the fact that you can't operate the online demo in anything other than IE 5.5 and above.
As I don't use IE at all, (other than to see what web designs look like once I've done them), I may give it miss.
Thanks all the same.
thanks for starting this thread.
I am looking out for a good CMS too.
(it need not be free or Open Source)
One of the key features i am looking out for is to reflect changes through out the site.
for example if a URL is changed on one page and this URL appears in a number of pages in the site.
Making the change once should reflect it all over.
Initially Macromedia Contribute was thought to do the trick, but then I ran into some issues that I have mentioned here [webmasterworld.com]
Does anyone here know how good RedDot is?
Thanks (all) for your time and help.
Interesting comments about Contribute in the other thread. I'm not 100% sure, but I was under the impression that it worked better in conjunction with DW as well? (Although this seems nonsensical as it is supposed to be a stand-alone piece of software - just not as "technical" as DW).
You may also want to have a look at [cobra-cms.com...] - a very easy and affordable CMS software.
But they dont have much of a client base so Im a bit skeptical about their after sales service.
Yeah, I have read Macromedia Technotes which suggest that Dreamweaver in conjunction with Contribute is the way to go. But then these firm always like to bundle their products and build interdependence for sales purposes.
well, my search is still on for the "perfect" CMS.
im hope to find some solution at webmasterworld ;-)
I have also written VBA in Excel turn data in a spread sheet (including references to files on my PC) into a set of web pages for ftp to the server. It's more work but flexible and can do about anything, such as includes, automatic navigation links to individual files, etc.
Both CityDesk and VBA approaches do not require anything on the server; you upload static html. You can preview the pages on your PC and check links, etc. before uploading. The limitation is that they cannot handle user interaction (like a blog or forum, e-mail or subscriptions, etc.) Also if you have a very large number of pages the upload may take too much time.
Control Engineer - thanks for the rundown on City Desk. (I'll get to play with it properly after the end of this week - as I'l be on vacation then :))