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Tech: Experience with CMS systems (websites)

Wolfhound person 23 Oct 10 - 05:35 AM
Nick 23 Oct 10 - 06:32 AM
Wolfhound person 24 Oct 10 - 04:32 AM
Desert Dancer 24 Oct 10 - 07:40 PM
Stewart 25 Oct 10 - 12:55 PM
GUEST 25 Oct 10 - 04:17 PM
Simon G 26 Oct 10 - 07:16 AM
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Subject: Tech: Experience with CMS systems (websites)
From: Wolfhound person
Date: 23 Oct 10 - 05:35 AM

Has anyone used CMS packages to set up websites?

(I'm in the UK, if it matters)

I've read the "do it in html" threads (and agree with them to an extent), but I'm working with a group who just don't see it that way.
Partly due to a particularly abstruse techie colleague, who will take all year to redesign the universe from the big bang up, and then explain (if at all) only in gobbledegook.

What I really need is a Which? guide to CMS packages, with a Best Buy recommendation, since there's plenty of them out there, and I'd just be sticking a pin in a list. So "not this one" is a good help, too.

I've got the hosting and so forth already, don't need a high-price Web design service either, just ways that technophobes can enter and edit stuff, and some help with graphics / sounds / shop (may be able to employ graphic design help).

Thanks for any opinions on the various (I've found a dozen without trying) packages.

Paws


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Subject: RE: Tech: Experience with CMS systems (websites)
From: Nick
Date: 23 Oct 10 - 06:32 AM

I've used Expression Engine which is very flexible but has a reasonably steep learning curve and does assume some knowledge of html and css (style sheets) but you can do many things with it and create things that others can contribute to. If you visit the site you'll get an idea of what it's about


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Subject: RE: Tech: Experience with CMS systems (websites)
From: Wolfhound person
Date: 24 Oct 10 - 04:32 AM

Obviously they're not widely used in this neck of the woods: oh, well, it was worth a try.

Thanks, Nick.

Paws


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Subject: RE: Tech: Experience with CMS systems (websites)
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 24 Oct 10 - 07:40 PM

I've used Drupal from the ground up, and am going to at least do some content editing with Joomla (probably eventually some styling). They're great for simplifying content editing, although the biggest snag that you'll have to train the users not to just copy and paste from Word -- it's nice to give them a WYSIWYG text entry window, but generally all kinds of stray coding will be imported from Word.

Definitely a learning curve involved in creating a site, even after having done complicated things with code. It's a different language. Fortunately, my work is at a university, and they provided free workshops and a discussion listserve for Drupal.

I'm afraid that I'm not at a stage to be able to compare between CMSs.

Consider whether what you'll want to create might fit something blog-oriented, like WordPress. Less flexible, but less complicated, is my understanding.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Tech: Experience with CMS systems (websites)
From: Stewart
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 12:55 PM

I use Joomla - haven't looked at any of the others. It is a steep learning curve in order to get it set up. There isn't a really good instruction book, as far as I could find, and it seemed counter-intuitive to my html web site experience.

But once you get it set up, for the most part it works well. You do need some experience with html coding. I'm not real happy with the word editor. Every so often I find that nothing is working and I have to open up the html code to correct an error that the editor will not deal with. And as Becky said, copy and paste from MS Word carries over all sorts of extraneous format coding. I usually copy/paste into notepad in order to strip out that coding and then copy/paste the raw text into Joomla. Once you figure out all these little nuances, it's quite easy to update the Joomla site.

I also maintain a html-based web site. Both have their pros and cons.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Tech: Experience with CMS systems (websites)
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 04:17 PM

I use Joomla for 15 websites, I have good knowledge of HTML/CSS but I wouldn't touch the raw approach again - except for a couple of websites I haven't bothered up dating. I've handed a number of websites over to people with zero technical knowledge and they rarely have to call for help.

Joomla does lack a good introduction and it is a steep learning curve. You need to dive in and put a good bit of content in and then find out what you can do with it. Lots of extensions for there is usually a solution for whatever you want to do.

Drupal is more purist and as a consequence much harder to learn and less widely used.

I do pay for some templates and the odd extension but for the most part its free.

The biggest +++ of a CMS is it makes the website easier to edit so it get updated more often.

Simon


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Subject: RE: Tech: Experience with CMS systems (websites)
From: Simon G
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 07:16 AM

I should have checked the from before posting as GUEST.

It was I

Simon


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