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Adventures In Cms Selection


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#1 ccera

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 07:52 PM

We have seen several "Which CMS?" threads here, most recently What Is Your Favorite CMS? and Help Choosing a CMS for My New Website. The only thing we all seem to agree on is that there's not one universal, "perfect" solution. (And maybe that most of us can be expected to recommend whichever solution is most familiar/comfortable. :infinite-banana:) As I am testing several for a new site, with input from cre8, Autocrat suggested that I come back and report my findings. I said in the other thread that I was going to wait until I had made a final decision, but I guess there's no harm in starting earlier. So without further ado:

Objective: To find a CMS which meets my needs that is easy to customize BUT requires the minimum amount of customization possible. Oh, yes, and it must be open source - for both the money and the freedom.

What my site needs now:
Events Calendar
Blog, Articles or some such which can be sorted alphabetically
Forum
Integrated Login for Everything

What I may want for the future:
Personal Messaging
Classifieds (For Sale, Job Postings)
Real Estate Listings
Image Gallery
Member Profile Search (Dating/Match Making)

What I've Considered:
Drupal - Very powerful and flexible, but I rejected it because the calendar is not functioning properly (when i last installed it about 3 weeks ago for something else) and nearly everything else will require creating content types, taxonomy, views, etc ad naseum. However, if all else fails it is possible I will revisit Drupal, since I already know that it IS capable of doing everything I want if I can get a functional version of the calendar.
I would like to say here that Drupal can more or less do anything you want it to, without doing any coding. This is mostly because just about any function you can think of is already available as a user contributed mod. Additionally, the CCK (Content Creation Kit) and Views Modules and their offshoots let you create any content type you like, and then display it or manipulate it any way you like. If you're not a coder but want extreme flexibility, it's worth the time to get to know Drupal.
That being said, out-of-the-box it doesn't do nearly everything that I want, and even using contrib mods it would take a lot of work to do what I want. I'm convinced that I will find something which will come closer. Plus, I'm too curious to allow myself stop at just one CMS. :)

Wordpress - With apologies to Yannis :), I didn't try this route. I have used it for a single blog, but felt it would require too much modification to use for this site. Like Drupal, though, it does have the advantages of a strong user community and a wide range of available mods.

Xaraya - I didn't install this. I did explore several Xaraya-based sites, but didn't go further because the stars wouldn't line up. :( The demo on Open Source CMS wouldn't let me in, the demo on xaraya.com kept trying to redirect to itself in an infinite loop, and several links on xaraya.com likewise redirect to the wrong page, back to the home page, etc.

Boonex - Dolphin/Ray/Orca - I actually installed this on a subdomain and played with it, and really thought this is what I would use. It would do everything I need, it literally lets you drag n drop which sections, menu items, page items, etc you want, and it is supposedly very simple to customize the theme (although it kept telling me my css files weren't writable when I could see very well through my file manager that they were). Unfortunately, the whole licensing mess (they switched from commercial to gpl THEN to cc-by), and a lot of other negative press scared me off.

At this point I used a couple of helpful sites which are probably familiar to most of you: opensourcecms.com for demos and cmsmatrix.org for feature comparisons.

WebGUI - Of course CMS Matrix led to WebGUI (since it's theirs, that's not unusual;)). I liked the feature list, but set it aside for now because 1)from what I understand the support is only done for a fee and 2)it's written in Perl - at least with php I can play in the code when I need/want to. It is, however, totally point and click, right down to the colors, so if that's what you are looking for, it might be a good pick.

Typo3 - This one was also in the final half dozen or so when I searched for features on CMS Matrix. Unfortunately, I already tested it a few weeks ago for something else, and the admin interface is (IMHO) horrible. I fought with it for hours, finally figured out how to make things work, but decided pretty fast that it was simply more trouble than it was worth to me.

Bitweaver - After spending more time with the feature lists and demos mentioned above, I settled on BitWeaver as a likely candidate. The installation process is a bit longer than some of the others I've experienced, but that's because it takes the time to explain everything it's doing, do some basic setup, check your server for things like php extensions which may be used by various bitweaver mods, etc. The UI is very intuitive, both front-end and admin. There don't seem to be a lot of styles available (although it ships with almost 20), but it does come with an extremely well documented and commented blank style which tells you what every single class and id is for, so creating a style should be pretty quick. Layout can be further modified within the admin panel, or in the template files directly if one is so inclined.
So what's the downside thus far? No classifieds, although those sorts of things can sometimes be handled through the forum. Also, I'm not positive I can get the alphabetical listing I desire; I'm off to test that now.

I will post another update when I've explored some more.

CiCi :search:

P.S. Not sure whether Autocrat deserves :thankyou: or :whip: for getting me into this! At least I'll have a record of my reactions the next time I go searching for a CMS. :)

Edited by ccera, 14 December 2007 - 11:55 PM.


#2 yannis

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 11:24 PM

CiCi

This is a very good analysis of what is available right now out there and how should one go about choosing a CMS.

Wordpress - With apologies to Yannis, I didn't try this route. I have used it for a single blog, but felt it would require too much modification to use for this site. Like Drupal, though, it does have the advantages of a strong user community and a wide range of available mods.


Two important considerations which I found and perhaps missing from your list of criteria are the following:

(1) Templating system (how easy is to design your own layout)

(2) Hackability Factor: I am not sure if such a word exists :infinite-banana: but what I mean with this one, is how easy is for the community to first add 'plugins' and second for the average user to be able to carry out some modifications. I personally try to limit the use of 'plugins' to a minimum. For example if you think about your requirement of a future section of your website for classifieds, you could think as follows:

- a 'classified' is a post!
- 'classifieds' have categories

(Means I don't have to create any new tables!)

If I don't have to touch the CMS core php (you shouldn't) then the CMS is a good choice. How easy is to do this with the CMS? If it is easy I will give it a hackability factor of 10.0. For example I will give Wordpress a factor of 10 on this one. Think of a 'blog' where the posts are 'categorized' and 'dated'. That is all you need the rest is how you sort them and display them!

A second example would be your requirement for alphabetic categorization. With Wordpress template tags this is not difficult at all and you can sort by date, month, author, page-order and the like. Again coming back to the classifieds example with Wordpress, I would create a page called classifieds -> attach to it its own template classifieds.php ->Use template tags to sort the 'classifieds' posts in the template -> Use CSS to style it.

Please don't take me wrong I am not evangelizing but simply trying to outline some of my own thoughts on some issues and some additional factors one should take into consideration.

One last issue would be that I would prefer the CMS to be installed on the server using fantastico. It makes life so much easier and it keeps track of versions and conflicts between all the varying software, MySql, php and the like.

Bitweaver though, you right seems like a very good CMS. Like everything else one needs to give it a try and see. I have never used it before and I will give it a try! :). As we get older we tend to become very 'square' headed! :) I always thought 'small changes ' Wordpress'. 'More Complicated changes, Industrial strength' Drupal. I will now add 'Different angle' Bitweaver.

Thanks very much for sharing your thoughts on this one with us.

Yannis

#3 Guest_Autocrat_*

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Posted 15 December 2007 - 08:16 AM

Following Yannis...


How much will any part of hte CMS let you do without really trying is an important factor.

What are the urls like... and can they be used to alter things?

In some cases, you can use the URL to alter the output/display...
index.php?module=myblog&type=user&function=list&startnumber=1&todisplay=10&sort=alphaascend
would fetch all items in the myblog module, listing them in blocks of 10 per page, starting with the first, and in ascending alphabetical order.

Obvously powerful, but far from userfriendly - yet in some cases, you can add some of those values into atempalte and get the same result, whilst having a friendly url... so you could have index.php/myblog/list
and then the other values would be parameters and held in the system "behind the scenes".


A second key factor is "expandability" - can you later go and alter what you have without too much fuss.
If you have the MyBlogg section, can you later on go and add a "recommeded by" field and an "image" field, without having to alter code?
I know that at least two CMS's out there can do this all through the GUI, simply using Hooks/aTtachments, no coding needed (unless you want to alter the appearance etc.).


As Yannis also pointed out, the ability to control the design is, imo, damned important. IF you are limited by the system iun any way (meaning you cannot do what you want, how you want, using valid code), then there is a flaw.
All the good CMS's have some form of tempalte engine or rendering system that in many cases let's you design and implement your ideas in a page, in a module, in a block and even in inner block/inner module tempalte files.
The fantastic ones wil leven let you re-use files/templates for different sections/blocks/content types, so you only use the 1 file for what ever you want (always bonus).


Another point of influene, to me atleast, and one that I find lacking in some systems, is that of caching. Some CMS's still fetch content on every load - which uses considerable resources and can make large sites a little slow.
Some CMS's tend to have at least a base level cache system in place, technically "saving" pages displayed for simple/quick retrevial. Well planned ones will even let you control different parts of the site seperately, so you can have bits that save every couple of days or permenantly, check for changes at set intervals, or leave some sections uncached due to external provision.


The final consideration to me is security - and I find this one highly important. Do the suppliers/community have regular updates of security holes, flaws in modules, provide details on anti-hacking methods etc.?
The active communities often do, and in some cases even have a seperate section for such things. Some even have a seperate module or suite of tools to help reduce spam and protect against flagged IP's.


OK... pretty hefty stuff, but these are other factors to think of whilst looking at the community, the ease of install, the scope of options etc. :infinite-banana:


Keep up the good work, and try not to scream in frustration - it's hard work learning even one system with any real depth, trying multiples must be a nightmare :)

#4 yannis

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Posted 15 December 2007 - 10:46 AM

The final consideration to me is security - and I find this one highly important. Do the suppliers/community have regular updates of security holes, flaws in modules, provide details on anti-hacking methods etc.?


This is a very important consideration Auto and which I missed. Popular CMS are especially prone to hacker attacks and spam, despite all the plugins, security and Akismet. What I found useful and I hate myself for having to do it, is removing links to the CMS and rather say credits and have a separate page for this. Don't advertize to hackers and spam bots what you are using! Make there job more difficult.

Yannis

#5 eKstreme

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Posted 15 December 2007 - 12:37 PM

Any cracker (not hacker!!!) worth their salt would know how to figure out which CMS is being used on the target site. The important thing is to use a version that's been thoroughly tested. Drupal and WP are good for that, but always be careful not to upgrade until everything has been tested well.

Pierre

#6 ccera

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Posted 15 December 2007 - 06:26 PM

I agree that Security, an Active Community, Ease of Theming and Adaptability are all desirable. So much so, that I didn't include these things in my specific list because I feel they are more or less universal requirements.

I think it's also important to say that I am not in search of the Holy Grail, the "perfect" CMS. I believe the existence of literally hundreds of options is proof that there is no universally perfect solution. I am searching for the most viable solution for a very particular site, and sharing what I find along the way. It seems to me that many webmasters get to know one CMS really well, and learn to adapt it to any site. There is certainly merit in becoming an expert in one thing, but that's just not my style. Rather than whittle (however expertly) a square peg until it fits the round hole, I'd rather know just where to find the round peg which already fits.

And now, on to the update.

Bitweaver - As I delved further, I was excited to realize that there was an option for using an article as a classified, just by selecting an option when writing it. If I could also sort alphabetically, I was in business. To test it, I created a few articles. That's when I discovered that the Articles main page and the Blogs main page were not functioning. :D Further research showed that another user had reported the problem a couple of weeks ago on the Source Forge bug tracker, but there hasn't been a reply yet. I even tried removing the whole thing and downloading and installing a fresh copy, but no change. :P
In their defense, 2.0 was just released within the past month. One would assume the problem will be fixed sooner rather than later, but for now I am going to move on and see what else looks promising.

:hanginginthere:

CiCi

#7 Guest_Autocrat_*

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 06:43 AM

I hope you didn't downlaod the latest version of anything...!
I always use the one prior (or even the second to last), as they seem to be a lot more stable.

The only real probelm with OpenSource.Community Ware is that they tend to be a little mis-managed compared to the more money orientated business provided versions.... yet both have pro's and con's, and who wants to pay for something that may not do what they want, how they want it ? :)

#8 ccera

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 07:36 AM

Autocrat - It was the latest release. Supposedly the first *stable* 2.x release. They did have at least 3 release candidates during beta. The only download options I could find were to get R2 from bitweaver.org or to get the year and a half old 1.3 from SourceForge.

I am now exploring Xoops.

Open Source does have it's problems, but you can't beat the price, and I like the idea of being able to make changes, reverse engineer, or basically do whatever else I want with it. :)

CiCi :fingerscrossed:

#9 Guest_Autocrat_*

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 09:58 AM

If you have the time/inclination, you may want to go to one of the earlier releases of BitWeaver... preferably thje last before the move to R2.
There is a R2.0 of Xaraya, but I will not move to it till the end of next year, when I know all the modules I use alot are more than stable and error free... then I may consider it.
Otherwise you will find yourself dicovering things that no one else thought to check, or missed completely, damned annoying and makes trying to earn a living nigh impossible if you are not capable of altering things yourself.

So, as a general rule of thuumb, I never go near the latest releases - always the slightly outdated stuff.


Be interesting to see what you make of Xoops!

#10 ccera

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Posted 18 December 2007 - 10:24 PM

BitWeaver - I liked this enough that I would have gone to an earlier release, but I couldn't bring myself to go back to one that was over 18 months old. The thing I hated giving up the most is that each article, etc can be linked to a forum thread if you wish (as opposed to comments on the same page), which would have been PERFECT for my reviews forum. :rolleyes:

Xoops - Xoops has a lot of good points, but every single thing is a plugin. The admin interface irritated me, having to separately download plugins for everything irritated me, so I moved on.

e107 - This is what I'm currently trying. So far it looks great. Theming looks simple and there is great documentation for it in case it's not. Making changes is also easy. About 20 of the most popular plugins come in the basic package and can be installed with a click. There are plenty of other plugins and themes available, and a very active community. Now if I can figure out how to reorder my articles, I'll be set. I suppose using more subcategories than I had originally intended to structure the content is another option. Maybe even a better one than using three or four broad categories with alphabetically sorted contents.

I think I'm proving at least one thing - it is difficult to find one program which does exactly everything I want. The options are more or less going to be to heavily customize, write my own plugins, or adapt my structure a bit to conform. I don't think this is unusual, though. Thus are plugins born, right?

:busybee: CiCi


21 hours later:

It took just a bit more playing around to discover that there is a module (one of the one-click to install plugins) which let me do exactly what I want with my "Places" content. Not only can I categorize it in as many layers as I like, I can also alphabetize (but only manually, as far as I can tell). So far I am very satisfied, although there are things (clean urls, for one) which it's supposed to do but I have yet to try to figure out.

Verdict: :thumbs: e107

I am more convinced than ever that my approach of searching for the right CMS, rather than adapting the most familiar to my purposes, is a valid one. In total, it took me 5 days (and perhaps 20 hours) to narrow a field of hundreds and eventually find one CMS which was right (even very nearly perfect) for this particular site. Would I want to spend that much time on a decision for every site I build? Of course not, but the good news is I won't have to. In addition to the systems listed in this thread, 2 or 3 with which I became quite cozy, I also learned enough about dozens more to help make the next such decision much easier. It's a good bet that the next site will take half the time, the one after that even less. And once the decision is made, I will save time with easier setup and with adding content, and thus recoup most of my exploratory time.

:woohoo: CiCi

Edited by ccera, 19 December 2007 - 08:01 PM.


#11 aikabeatrice

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Posted 20 December 2007 - 10:36 PM

I like Drupal, Wordpress & Joomla. But we mostly use Drupal on our sites because it is powerful, lots of modules to used for and seo-friendly.

#12 kulpreet_singh

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Posted 23 December 2007 - 03:33 AM

Hi CiCi,


Inititally I would have recommended Wordpress because you can build anything using the plugins and some php knowledge.

However, reading your first post again and to suite the purposes you have described, I would recommend Joomla.

#13 ccera

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Posted 23 December 2007 - 03:12 PM

Thanks aikabeatrice and kulpreet_singh for your suggestions.

So far I am very pleased with e107. I have my basic sections (Places, Events, Reviews) and subsections set up, enough content to get a good idea of how it's working, and now I am about 3/4 of the way through creating my theme. I am creating a theme which follows my original design that I was using for the html version, and so far have had no trouble at all.

CiCi :(

#14 Guest_Autocrat_*

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Posted 23 December 2007 - 04:11 PM

Cool... keep us posted.

Woudl be nice if you had the time/inclination to do this on multiples... several times over, to see if it gets easier with the others as you learn more skills/processes etc.
Thats the real bug with this stuff.. .the time and effort to get to grips with one properly means you really don't want to bother with another.

Still, you appear to be getting what you need and want... so 3 cheers for E107!

Edited by Autocrat, 23 December 2007 - 04:11 PM.


#15 ccera

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Posted 23 December 2007 - 05:44 PM

This is certainly the most organized I've been about the process. For instance, when I needed to create an intranet in November, I used Drupal because it was the first thing I found which would more or less do what I wanted. I didn't do a lot of searching, though, and only had one or two requirements which really had to be met. Everything else about the site was completely flexible and could be molded around the CMS, rather than vice versa.
I have another site which is still in the planning stages which would definitely benefit from the same process. I've played around with a couple of CMSs for it, but haven't gotten serious about it yet. Once I get the current site properly launched, I will try again for the new site and post the process once again.

CiCi

#16 Guest_Autocrat_*

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Posted 23 December 2007 - 06:31 PM

Sounds like a plan.
One of the things I loved about Xaraya was that I didn't need to learn programming... I could use their tempalte tags and api calls etc. to do most of the work, to the point I can custom build talbes and use tags for form inputs... no php needed (which is rather lucky, as I cannot program).

Having a CMS that enables you do do mostly what you want 'out of the box' is good... having one that lets you adjust it, mould it or simply build what you need is even better.

I must admit, this is probably one of the more fair evaluations I have seen done, as you managed to be be quite objective about it... you had set requirements, adn rather than having a preference and adapting it, you went wit hthe one that came closest whislt being user friendly... fair and smart :(

#17 mregan

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Posted 23 December 2007 - 09:15 PM

Just like to plug Modx again.

There are plugins to do the present needs and future needs that were mentioned. But, the two main reasons I like it are the seperation of code and presentation. (No php code embedded in the HTML.) and the use of style sheets for the presentation layer (NO TABLES !!!)

Templates are dead easy. My designer gives me a psd of what the page should look like and we work out a template. PLUS - I can make up my own directory structure. One of those security holes yannis and eKstreme were talking about.

For extra security it uses SEO friendly urls like "whatever.html". Admin login is in a seperate directory from user login, so I can restrict access by IP.

Anyway - thats my two cents. Modx isn't for everyone - but it meets our needs better than any of the others I have tested.

#18 yannis

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Posted 23 December 2007 - 10:37 PM

There are plugins to do the present needs and future needs that were mentioned. But, the two main reasons I like it are the seperation of code and presentation. (No php code embedded in the HTML.) and the use of style sheets for the presentation layer (NO TABLES !!!)


Have never used Modx before and to be honest did not hear about it either. Had a peek on their website and it really looks very promising. I like the idea of just inserting tags into html code rather than PHP. In the end though it is nice if you are able to do both.

In the end one has to go with what is best for their situation as well as skill level. One also has to keep in mind that there are three layers of abstraction in a CMS.

- The Database
- The Code
- The Presentation (html and CSS)

In this discussion we have not really mentioned the first one as most CMS got this one more or less right. Wordpress for example has only about 10 tables! If one really wants to look under the bonnet it is not very difficult. In the end it does not matter what you have used Modx, Wordpress or Drupal or e107 your content ends up in the database. As long as it is safe there you are ok.

Personally I would still recommend for anyone new to CMS (and perhaps php) to first try Wordpress, followed by Drupal and then Modx, e107 or whatever is out there and catches your attention. Stick to Wordpress if you will have only 1-5 people contributing content. Migrate to Drupal if you need multi-roles plenty of users and groups and plenty of custom fields to be integrated with posts. Drupal also uses taxonomy (Wordpress is experimenting with it at the moment also) which is great for complicated menuing systems. For forum software I would not recommend the use of plugins. I would rather integrate proper forum software and skin them accordingly to match the theme.

Yannis

#19 ccera

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Posted 23 December 2007 - 11:22 PM

Mregan, thanks for the suggestion of MODx. I took a brief peek, and it looks like a likely candidate for the upcoming site I mentioned. Two of my requirements for that site will be the ability to select different themes for different pages and a customizable directory structure - both possible with MODx. Thanks for providing me with a starting place when I am ready to find a CMS for that one. :)

For forum software I would not recommend the use of plugins. I would rather integrate proper forum software and skin them accordingly to match the theme.


Yannis, I agree this is generally true. It seems a lot (even the majority) of "forum" plugins provided for the various systems are the old threaded "message board" style rather than the flat layout provided by most forum software. I don't know why this is. I can't possibly be the only one who finds it annoying to click each post separately rather than just reading down the thread in order. ;) Happily, the e107 forum is already set up as a proper forum, so I don't have to worry about integrating separate software. Unfortunately, it does have it's own classes and ids, so I still have to incorporate those into my style sheet. (I am pleased, though, that there IS only one style sheet per theme. I saw a few systems during my travels which had 6 or 8 for each theme. Aargh!)

CiCi :)

#20 Guest_Autocrat_*

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Posted 24 December 2007 - 06:04 AM

1) The idea of a seperate Admin login is cool.... I may see if I can replicate that some how (damned clever idea in fact... not sutre about hte IP, as I access from almsot anywhere)... but still a fine idea!.

2) Alterable file system is also rather clever... and does side step a lot of the potential holes in one easy step.
Down side is I'd probably get confused trying to find thigns on different sites.... but still, I like it!

3) Free design ability, tempalte function and css is not exactly a novel feature now, most of the main contenders have that ability (and some of the E-com's are slowly getting there too!).

4) Only 10 Tables in WordPress? Hell, I know X starts with at least 1 Table per base Mod, plus 2 per Core... so you have around 15 to start with. Plus most of the Modules get at least 1 table as you add it.
Does that mean that the data-relationships are a little limited (no intenral parent/child setups?)?

5) Forums... are over-used in many cases. I fail to see why so many people insist on re-writting things that are pretty good already. I know a few of the bigger systems come with their preffered Forum software packaged in and ready to use a single login (login to site and you are logged into the forum, vice-versa too).
Also, many Forum systems should have an option for hte display type (along with thigns like Reviews/Comments), so that you can decide whether to have single display, click thorugh, single response or tiered response etc.
If it only permits you to use their version their way, I would say that is a serious limitation.

6) Menu systems are to me, a key part of any site, be it static of dynamic. If the system makes it hard work to insert links, you have an isssue. If it lacks the ability to dynamcially create menus (either main menu or sectional), you are again facing a limited system.
The better CMS out there produce listings of all content as standard, and with a little thought, you can often turn those into navigation blocks.
The well planned ones that are considerate often supply examples of this, as well as the ability to cross-feed different content types to appear together, or have a way to "hook" content to such a thing.


I msut admit, there are a few thigns that do make me laugh - the main one is that so many CMS approaches fail at hte same poitns... they never really considered that there may be users who did not use the system.... the Site Builder would not be the one using the site etc... and attaching things, inserting links, hooking data from one source to another.... it is these thigns that tend to let them down.
Worse, I have seen several that do not make it easy to alter thigns to that effect... and you have to dig really deep to get even an idea as to how they do it.

I suppose it is the distinction between a CMS and a CMF (System / Framework).
Many people seem to use CMS and accept it... never really pushing or altering. I on the other hand prefer to push, tweak and smash things till they do exactly what is needed to make the clients life damn simple. So CMF is a much better tool to my mind... then again, I guess it is over kill to some extent.

#21 yannis

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Posted 24 December 2007 - 08:24 AM

Only 10 Tables in WordPress? Hell, I know X starts with at least 1 Table per base Mod, plus 2 per Core... so you have around 15 to start with. Plus most of the Modules get at least 1 table as you add it.
Does that mean that the data-relationships are a little limited (no intenral parent/child setups?)?


This is actually one of the beauties of Wordpress. It starts simple and it builds up as you add onto it. A lot of plugins (called modules by other CMS's ) add tables and functionality. It is actually IMHO brilliantly simple! People actually get amazed that there are only 10 tables. You can see them here.


Yannis

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Posted 24 December 2007 - 10:45 AM

Ah... I see.
The reason for so few tables is that the bsae install is so small - makes sense now.
Other CMS's tend to provide more base functionality, and as such often include more tables by default...

I suppose it trully is horses for courses throughout this subject... and also depends on your experience/skill level.
Damn interesting though :)

#23 eKstreme

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Posted 24 December 2007 - 11:25 AM

I don't like WP because it's so.... self-centered. You can't change (easily) the login screen and you hell will freeze over before you can make the admin interface say "Welcome to eKstreme.com" instead of "Welcome to Wordpress". Drupal is much nicer.

The other thing (hey, a rant is always on a roll) is that the interface is inconsistent. The login screen is very different from the user control panel and those are different from the blog's theme. In Drupal, it's all the same interface. The same HTML. Much more sensible.

I'll stop now.

Pierre

#24 yannis

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Posted 24 December 2007 - 12:41 PM

Pierre

Line 28 under wp-admin/index.php :)

I was an occasional user of Wordpress for about a year. For the last year I have been using Drupal exclusively. Lately something bit me and I gave Wordpress a try. I must say it is much quicker to hack! In the end most CMS's are a few tables. That is where the info is stored. How you pull it out is up to you and your favorite CMS.

Merry Christmas everyone! :)


Yannis

#25 mregan

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Posted 24 December 2007 - 01:47 PM

I agree yannis - for a person who is not familiar with a CMS WordPress and Drupal are a good place to start. They both have good support systems, which is important for someone starting out.

I started with Drupal but found it too restrictive. Like Autocrat, we customize the system to make it even easier for the client to use. I found working through the Drupal code a bit of a chore.

I actually like WordPress - as a blog. I am working on a package to intergrate it with Modx using a single login. However, making it into a fully functional CMS doesn't seem to be worth the effort.

Yannis mentioned the ability to run php inside the HTML script. Modx has a tag that lets you insert code, called snippets, inside the page. These are run when the page is being compiled. They are stored in the database, adding to the table count.

I promise - no more on Modx -- at least in this thread :)

#26 DianeV

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Posted 25 December 2007 - 02:33 AM

I like the idea of separate user and admin logins, with the admin login in a separate directory -- so that it can be password protected while leaving the user login accessible to the public.

mregan, I wouldn't mind hearing about Modx. :)

#27 kulpreet_singh

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Posted 26 December 2007 - 02:25 AM

Pierre, as mentioned above - all of those things are easy to change... as long as you know some php and xhtml.

#28 eKstreme

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Posted 26 December 2007 - 03:08 AM

Pierre, as mentioned above - all of those things are easy to change... as long as you know some php and xhtml.

Yes, but why? Why go through the hassle if I don't have to? I have better things to do with my time, like actually coding the site. Modifying the CMS is overhead I can sidestep.

I like things easy, and I vote with my feet.

Pierre

#29 Guest_Autocrat_*

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Posted 26 December 2007 - 07:40 AM

Knowing php is a good thing, as it means you can make things do what you want... if they don't already do it (and the better ones should do), or come pretty close (which the good ones should do).
If they are clsoe, you shouldn't need to know php to tweak it... the CMS should enable you to do what you want without too much effort.

In some CMS's, I've seen "internal code", Tags for use with the CMS that make use of existing PHP api/functions.
So you can enter in a GetItems call, specifying Module, and then enter in any PArameters, such as range of fields, conditions for the where clauses (categories, dates, if they match a certain values etc.), and it will do it for you... then a simple foreach and within than add a tag for each field.
Done... in less than 4 lines you pulling in exactly what you need, no programming really needed, no need to learn to much either.

I msut admit, thanks to Xaraya, I have a fair understanding of how php works, and the things I can do with it... and I now understand (somewhat :)) what an array is, how it works, what I can do with it, how I can manipulate it... so I can now make the internal tags do even more, as I can apply that logic to those... and still not actually make anything in php :)


Admittedly, being able to actually use a programming language would be better... but I do not see why it should be necessary to build XYZ when theire is already an XY... I should beable to nudge the code and get it to do Z as well, without spending time learning a programming language.
That shows a damn well thought out system, and an effort to be flexible (something seriously lacking in amny little systems - they are rigid and built with the programmers/developers goals in mind, not hte end users!

#30 ccera

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Posted 26 December 2007 - 01:05 PM

You all have me thinking of a very interesting point, which perhaps I should have clarified at the beginning of this thread. Not being a web designer by profession, nearly all of what I've built thus far is administered by, you guessed it, me. :) It is sometimes (as is the case with the site which got this thread rolling) a requirement that others can easily add content through a form, but generally no one else needs admin access. Thus I tend to consider the admin interface from a very selfish perspective. (Although it seems those which I've rejected due to the admin would fair even worse if there were a client to consider!)
My next project is going to require permissions based on site sections rather than content types. It should require me to delve a lot further into the admin interface of any system I consider. That should be enlightening.

CiCi :)

#31 Guest_Autocrat_*

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Posted 26 December 2007 - 01:30 PM

That is also one of the aspects that I feel seperates the little CMS's from the big CMS's :)
Privilege/PErmission/Access systems are what makes alot of these thigns so damned complicated, and so useful.

having the ability to let different people do different htings... submit a story, but not have it avialbe to the public till it's been approved, approve something but not delete it, only beable to edit your own works, not anyone elses, only beable to touch thigns within certain categories, only add certain page/content types, only see parts of a page, or only bits of a form, only upload to a specific place etc.
Then there is how to control the users, whether they can self manage, be managed by a slightly higher authority etc.

And, incase you haven't guessed, the more powerful and fully scoped the management of such things, the more complicated adn frustrating it gets - not to mention a absolute pain to test (minimum of two browsers... one as Admin and one as the user).

I still see systems that fail dismally at his, and it really does set a bench mark amongst them - and shows how well thought out things are/aren't... and how integrated the various modules/plugins are!
(imagine building most of the site only to find that users cannot add add "local news" without having access to add "world News" etc.!).
And lets not forget the danger of locking yourself out :)



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