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Looking for a Content Management System

for users with very little computer skill

     
10:41 pm on Nov 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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We bought an Xserve to host our own sites, but I've had a few people tell me they'd like to create a site and update it themselves. Unfortunately, these good people know very little about computers and most use Windows.

Is there a good way to set up a website for someone on our server and allow the client to edit parts of it (for example, a band could update tour dates)? I'd be fine using something based on templates, since I have little interest in digging into the HTML or getting freaky with the design. Even better, if the client could build his own site and upload it without mashing our server.

4:19 am on Nov 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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There are a number of CMS (content management systems) out there. I use one called MoveableType from SixApart software. There is a free one called e107 and many others.

MoveableType started out as blog software and is still used extensively for that, but it has evolved into a more robust system.

6:21 pm on Dec 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Take a look at Zope and Plone (add .org) which run on many different systems and are very full blooded CMS.

BZ

7:27 pm on Dec 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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A few thoughts are ranging through my head:

1) It sounds like the CMS is installed on the server and is great if you want to charge for hosting. If our primary focus is our own sites, is this worth it?

2) Since Godaddy.com and other hosts are really cheap and have their own tools, is it easier to use them to host sites?

3) Can we just build the website, have the client get a WSYWIG editor, give them access to a folder on our server and teach them how to FTP into that server? There's no dynamic content, so we don't need to work with databases.

8:55 pm on Dec 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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You should try the image cafe tool from Network Solutions. It is geared for people who just want to enter text and not worry about any technical details like FTP, HTML etc.IMHO it is more easy to use than many others I have seen for novices. There is a 30 day trial on the site- check it out.
8:13 pm on Dec 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

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3) Can we just build the website, have the client get a WSYWIG editor, give them access to a folder on our server and teach them how to FTP into that server? There's no dynamic content, so we don't need to work with databases.

You need to secure the box before you do this. Just because you limit them to FTP access wouldn't prevent them from uploading a .php file that runs terminal commands they shouldn't be running.

Being your own web host is one thing -- providing hosting services to others is a whole other ball game. Even if your customer is *ahem* not computer savvy, that just means they will give up the FTP username and password that much easier to someone who is savvy and, perhaps, malicious.

3:12 am on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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If you want something robust, completely controlled, but end-user editable (safely!), look at Contribute, from MacrAdobemedia.

It allows you to build the core site, and then assign editing rights to certain users, with varying access privileges... it also gives them a very simple editing client with which they can edit away without destroying the core site.

Much easier for 'company-folk' to get to grips with rather than powerful CMS systems...

10:00 am on Dec 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I can highly recommend contribute having used it for the last year, i love it, really friendly interface and staff here have loved it also!