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  1. #1
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    I need to know how to make a website editing tool

    Does anyone know how to make a website editing tool? I am new to this, but I am certified by Train Simple's web technologies online training school, so I understand html, css, and I took their fundamental courses on javascript, but I am very weak in this area. I don't know any php. I want to start making websites for people, but my first client wants to be able to edit his own site. Do professional web developer companies generally have this service? Do they typically discourage clients from editing their own site because of the potential to hurt the optimization of the site?

    Any help with a link to an article on how to develop such a site would be very appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Sounds like you need to encourage your client to use a CMS. This allows the client control over the content, but you can set up the site appropriately.
    Dave Maxwell - Manage Your Site Team Leader
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  3. #3
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    Okay, I appreciate your help. I am only familiar with WordPress. Do you recommend any particular cms?

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    Also, I am currently looking at ck editor. I am not sure how this works. Are you? Is this a viable solution? I don't understand how it works. Am I supposed to add the files into my own html page and create a new document which will be an html editor [I]website[I]? or am I supposed to add the links to each website that I want to edit?

  5. #5
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    There's a list of CMS packages here. It's a bit dated, but there are a number of choices there which are still viable and active.

    As for CK Editor, it is usually used in a CMS type of package. It can be used for base HTML editing, but I wouldn't recommend it, because unless you know what you're doing, you can be causing yourself more harm than good.....
    Dave Maxwell - Manage Your Site Team Leader
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  6. #6
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    Can you or someone point me in the right direction if I just want to make a website editor that my clients can add content to? One that is similar to web.com's Matrix Online Builder? This is similar to Wix. Web.com makes you a site, but you can log in to their online builder and edit it yourself.

  7. #7
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    I just want to clarify. I want to make the website using html and css and perhaps some javascript, but my client wants to be able to edit it himself and change his photos or his content on his landing page, etc. Is there already in existence a way to make such an online editor, one that all my clients could access to edit their website content? Perhaps someone has made a universal website editor that I could use, or someone has shared how to write up such a program in an online blog somewhere? I appreciate any help.

  8. #8
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    Mittineague's Avatar
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    I agree with Dave, I would -not- let site owners edit the markup or CSS or anything else other than content.

    If you want to add a CMS to an existing website, AFAIK there are apps that claim to do this. But if you are starting a new site I would go with a CMS.

    You would still need your knowledge of HTML and CSS to design the page templates The site owner could then use a WYSIWYG or text editor to format the content to a limited extent without breaking any pages.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mittineague View Post
    But if you are starting a new site I would go with a CMS.
    How about seo with cms? Is the document going to suffer semantically? I imagine that the html doc is going to be full of a lot of unclean code that will not render well with user agents. What do you think?

  10. #10
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    I'm not sure they're all as bad as they used to be (eg. tables nested in tables nested in tables). I would hope they're much better at the markup now.

    In any case, that's where your skill would come into play i.e. banging the page templates into shape.

    I forgot to mention before, but AFAIK most CMSs should already come with a content editor or more, and will most likely have an option to "addon" others.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for that help. I know w/ html5 the instructor in the tutorials I watched said tables should only be used now for tabular data, not to be used for sectioning content. I guess I would have to fix stuff like that. It sounds like it would be easy in some ways and a challenge in other ways.

    I was told two things by a fellow from Blue Host about cms. They tend to load slower than one made in an editor and the more popular they are, the less they are secure. I figure ideally as far as security, the best situation would be a site done in an editor and uploaded to a dedicated server.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Evangelist Unit7285's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hyper1 View Post
    I want to start making websites for people, but my first client wants to be able to edit his own site.
    There are, basically, two types of CMS.

    Firstly, the 'full service' type like Wordpress, Joomla and a hundred others, which allow you or your client to create and modify an entire website 'automatically' (haha!), complete with complex menus and layouts, with all the code included, and all manner of ridiculous complication and confusion.

    Secondly, the 'just edit a few pages' type, like CushyCMS and a hundred others, where you provide the website and just 'plug in' the CMS facility. This can work well if all your client wants to do is change the text and pictures on selected pages.

    If it is appropriate, the second type, like CushyCMS, is infinitely less complicated for everyone concerned - both you and your client - and will avoid the steep learning curve required for all the 'full service' CMSs, and avoid the never-ending upgrade cycle of these CMSs and their various (often incompatible) plug-ins/themes/extensions and whatever.

    You need to analyse very carefully EXACTLY what your client will ACTUALLY modify themselves, if given the chance, rather than what they instinctively THINK they will need to be able to change. Because very often with clients who choose the CMS route they seldom change anything at all in practice. Ever! Often not even a word of text, let alone new pages and menu items etc. In which case a complex CMS is complete overkill, and just a pain in the neck to maintain.


    Paul

  13. #13
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    Thank you, Paul. I will definitely look at CushyCMS. That sounds like very good advice.


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