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Cms Or Write A Html /php Site


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#1 banter

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 02:40 PM

I am thinking of redoing the website for various reasons. It is an ecommerce site but I don't need any ecommerce funstionality as I am considering using romancart (similar to paypal shopping cart-just add buy now buttons to the product pages).

What would be better-using a cms or writing the pages myself?

I need to be able to update the navigation and product pages easily, but I thought of using a basic php for the header, navigation and main body.

I have a wordpress blog but have read it isn't very 'powerful', so am open to other cms recommendations as long as they are not too complicated.

I know basic css, php and html/xhtml

Any suggestions or ideas?

Many thanks
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#2 AbleReach

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 08:01 PM

From my point of view as a non-programmer, I'd say it depends on how comfortable you are with using whatever defaults come with a CMS, versus the time and expertise it will take to customize or build your own.

Road test a few and see if something fits, or will be possible to customize so that the resulting site can look like your own.

#3 banter

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 04:56 AM

Thanks for the reply.
I was wondering the same thing-how long would it take to get used to a cms to tweak it v's just getting on and writing my own!
Our current website uses cubecart which was a huge learning curve, and if I had known how many mods and tweaks I would have to do, let alone the look of it I don't think I would have gone ahead with it.

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#4 anubismarketing

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 08:18 AM

Actually, I happen to think that WordPress is highly customizable to use as a "regular" website. I've done it for many of my clients and for some, you wouldn't know that their site was CMS based at all.

With WP it basically starts with creating custom page templates (which is easy) and using the proper plugins (for example, RunPHP allows you to insert PHP code in pages (not sure about posts, but with using WP as a CMS for an otherwise "static" looking site, you're going to focus on using pages more anyway).

The reason I love WP so much is that it's fairly light on server loads and comes SE friendly out of the box. The more tweaks and customizations you make, the more SE friendly it gets. :D

#5 Ruud

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 09:20 AM

Most sites I can think of could easily do with "just" WordPress. It depends what you do with it ... or how you do it.

From a developer's point of view, WordPress is pretty much a CMS framework. You can add to it by tweaking the themes/templates and by installing, or writing, plugins and filters.

With other CMS's you get The Thing Which Is What It Is. Any additional work takes a lot of pulling and shoving. That is, unless you go enterprise style with a CMS framework such as Typo3. Now you're talking steep learning curve....

As I played with other CMS setups I always would end up coding more than I would developing the site. Make it do this or that it never was meant to do, apparently. One does that until the inevitable happens: you decide to write your own CMS. Not just "a" CMS but the CMS. The CMS that will revolutionize the field itself. And we feel we can do this between and during existing projects -- not as a projet by itself... It's similar to a programmer hitting upon a productivity or time management setup. With days of tweaking existing software we will "simply" start to write our own which, again, will revolutionize the field...

You know basic PHP and HTML. You can setup WordPress. You can download and activate plugins. You can tweak the templates. You can get help virtually anywhere on the web.

Add it all up and you get: WordPress :)

#6 AbleReach

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 04:05 PM

So, Ruud -
The non-programmer will get a Typo or Drupal or Jambo and hope for the best.
The learning programmer will get to that point and look at the source code, thinking "why not tweak, write plugins, do it myself?"
The beginning programmer will take what they know and want to know and start building on top of something they know and love.

?

A while back I had an email conversation with a programmer who had tweaked phpBB for use as a CMS. Each post became a page. He was happy.

#7 Ruud

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 06:22 PM

As a description that sounds pretty good, yes. I wouldn't prescribe it. (Especially not Typo3 for a non-programmer or a beginner!).

Drupal - great. Mambo - fine. I happen to prefer WordPress because it is so amazingly flexible. On top of that it is so hugely popular that it is virtually impossible not to get help for it, extremely hard not to find a specific plugin for it.

I also think that WordPress is easiest for people to "step into". The theme/template is easy to understand. It is a very small step from pure HTML to understanding a little bit of PHP.

The phpBB story reminds me of a guy who ran his blog that way. This is when WordPress was still a small player and b2 still seemed to be under development. The guy was very happy. Reverse chronological posts, comments :(

#8 AbleReach

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 06:57 PM

Jambo

LOL. Mambo + Joomla = Joomlambo? My head hurts today.

#9 whitemark

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 05:43 AM

You can use the WordPress CATEGORIES for the main navigation (maybe on top of the site), and the POSTS within each category for the sub-navigation (maybe as a left or right sidebar) ... it ain't as easy as it sounds, you will need to dig into the WordPress code and use that directly since existing WordPress tags won't be able to help you turn a blogging CMS into a website CMS.

Then again, if you are quite good with PHP it might be easy enough to use PHP / SQLite to create a simple and fast CMS. Make it opensource, and slowly others will help you develop it too ...

Edited by whitemark, 15 December 2006 - 05:47 AM.


#10 Emma Sparks

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Posted 19 December 2006 - 12:15 PM

What would be better-using a cms or writing the pages myself?


I think it all depends on the time you can afford and are willing to put into redeveloping the website.

Contemporary CMS solutions already offer robust customization options which justify coding a regular biz website on your own only for the sake of gaining more programming experience and the feel-good thrill of having coded it all from scratch. But if you need the site up and running in a few days - the research to find a good CMS and create the site with it would definately take less than coding it yourself..

For a very comprehensive list and comparison of CMS you may check CMS Matrix

I certainly agree on the previous posts for WordPress power for customization and I've seen users of the web creation service whose team I am on do wonders with their sites as well... So, for a regular biz site you need up an running yesterday it's worth considering a ready solution.

Edited by Emma Sparks, 20 December 2006 - 04:48 AM.


#11 kensplace

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Posted 19 December 2006 - 08:03 PM

Stick with a predone solution, as if you cant customise a predone package like wordpress then your not up to writing your own. By all means write your own, in time, but the main priority should be to get something up on the net, and get some data/pages. Its much easier to design a system around existing data, than it is to make one up from scratch. (unless your existing data is junk that is.....)

#12 banter

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 02:22 PM

Thanks for the replies. I am going to have a go at customising wordpress :)

btw kensplace do you run lsblogs? I have a link on my existing blog!

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#13 whitemark

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Posted 03 January 2007 - 04:31 AM

If you haven't jumped into WordPress I suggest that you also look into TextPattern. It's a flexible all-in-one CMS - blogs, websites, forums. More info here.

Edited by whitemark, 03 January 2007 - 04:33 AM.


#14 A.N.Onym

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Posted 03 January 2007 - 05:33 AM

Drupal is also all in one solution, if you take its contributed plugins into account. Their built in forums leave much to be desired, though, which is why a combination of Drupal and vBulletin - vbDrupal may be useful.

Other than that, choose the one that you are most comfortable with.

#15 adam-s

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 06:08 PM

You can use the links section in Wordpress to make customizing any type of navigation from the admin very easy. The function get_linksbyname() can be used to output links in a named category straight into your template. You can tailor the output through the arguments or through PHP code from there.

Wordpress has functions and hooks for just about everything and the control panel is well layed out. I've used it again and again for projects. Forums, gallerys, advertising, multilingual and everything else isn't a problem with some modification.



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