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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot ontargett's Avatar
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    Could someone clarify, CMS and Web Design

    Hi everyone,

    I have recently got into web design through an introductory course that used Dreamweaver. After being told to look into Wordpress by a fellow student, I designed a web site using it. Wordpress allowed me to take a basic template and make it my own, which I enjoyed as it was simple to do so with little knowledge of html and css.

    I then realised to make it in the big world of web design I will have to learn proper coding, which I am enjoying at the moment. I am using Dreamweaver to design sites alongside a lot of online tutorials and books. I just have a few questions for people that design:

    - Do you design websites in dreamweaver/notepad ++ then transfer them into a CMS like Wordpress? If so how do you do this? And what are the benefits?

    - Or do you design the whole website in dreamweaver and not even use Wordpress.

    I just wanted an insight into how people design websites for clients as it has been confusing me after looking through the posts on this forum.

    I hope my question isn't too vague and have made my question clear

  2. #2
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    ralph.m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ontargett View Post
    Do you design websites in dreamweaver/notepad ++ then transfer them into a CMS like Wordpress? If so how do you do this? And what are the benefits?

    - Or do you design the whole website in dreamweaver and not even use Wordpress.
    WordPress is a bunch of code that makes your website work in certain ways. If you want to edit that code, you need a code editor, which is where Dremweaver and co. come into play. So they have different purposes. Once you've edited your WP code in Dreamweaver / Notepad you then upload it to your site.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Zealot ontargett's Avatar
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    Ok great, thanks for clearing that up.

    What are the benefits of using CMS then?

    Are the majority of websites built using CMS or do some designers produce a website in dreamweaver then upload it straight to the server?

    Thanks for the swift response

  4. #4
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    Paul O'B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ontargett View Post
    What are the benefits of using CMS then?
    Generally you would user a CMS when you want to manage content regularly or allow the site owner to update the content themselves.

    On a small business site you probably won't need a CMS because the content is static and doesn't change from one month to the next. However, if the content is changing daily then a site owner wouldn't want to pay a developer to keep uploading html every day and so would need a CMS. Wordpress is useful for this purpose as it allows authors to update articles easily themselves without knowing html. There are many other CMS's around depending on the project.

    To change the appearance of a CMS like wordpress you would edit the 'theme' or create your own theme if the whole look is being changed.Some people like to make a static version of the design outside of the CMS first and then slice it up into the required components afterwards.

    I mainly do PSD to Html conversions for clients so don't usually get involved in the complexities of a CMS (luckily) so can't offer insights into the actual process of changing a theme. Ralph.m (above) is more familiar with wordpress than me

  5. #5
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    ralph.m's Avatar
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    A CMS can be set up to handle a lot of tasks automatically that are a pain to do manually. Paul gave some examples above. Imagine a blog post: at the same time as posting, you might want a snippet of the post to appear on the home page of the site. That can happen automatically with a CMS, while doing it manually every time you post would get very tedious. And of course, when you post a new article, a new page is created automatically, rather than you having to do it all manually. That's just a simple example of what a CMS allows. And of course, your clients wouldn't be able to do that kind of thing manually, and you'd get very fed up having to jump every time they wanted to make a blog post etc.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Zealot ontargett's Avatar
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    Thats great feedback thanks, I have a much better understanding now.

    I had just seen a few people using CMS to build websites, can see the differences now.

    I will be sticking to learning code through the use of dreamweaver and build websites on this software now to aid my learning

    Thanks again

  7. #7
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
    ralph.m's Avatar
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    Yep, CMSes are very handy, especially when you are doing client sites. But I encourage you to look around at what's available rather than just going straight to WordPress. WP started out as blogging software, and although it has expanded somewhat to cater for regular sites, it's still essentially blogging software, and there are lots of great CMSes out there for building dynamic websites.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Zealot ontargett's Avatar
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    I would like to learn about the other CMS's out there, what are the most popular ones, or the ones I should be researching?

    Thanks

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ontargett View Post
    I would like to learn about the other CMS's out there, what are the most popular ones, or the ones I should be researching?
    Paul gave you a link above that will give you a good start. Each is different, so I'd say read about each one, and perhaps have a play with the free ones, to see which suits you (or your project) the best. (I also put together a list of them a while back which lists some more of them and categorises them a bit.)

  10. #10
    SitePoint Zealot ontargett's Avatar
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    Awesome, sorry must have missed that link. Will have a good look through them when I can


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