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  1. #26
    Designer
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    *sigh*


    Facebook anyone?
    YouTube?
    Hulu?
    ebay?
    Apple?
    Stylefeeder?
    DeviantArt?
    MySpace?


    Which one of the above were NOT done from scratch?

    How much are the sites above worth?


    Pre-made sites are usually for clients with ideas that have been done before. If you want to do something really special, build it from scratch.

  2. #27
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy bluedreamer's Avatar
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    It's certainly not dead from where I sit. While it's true more and more clients want some sort of CMS or page editing facilities there are still just as many that want ststic sites for various reasons...

    1. It's small site that doesn't get updated very often
    2. One off promo sites to assist with a marketing initiative
    3. The client doesn't want/need a CMS
    4. Budget restraints

    And then again it really depends on the market you're targetting and the type of customers you attract.

  3. #28
    @alexstanford Alex's Avatar
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    I don't think I would use WordPress for anything other than a generic blog. I personally design and develop nearly every site from the ground up, and I prefer it that way.

    Kind regards,
    Alex
    Alex Stanford @alexstanford tumblog about.me in fb G+ K
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  4. #29
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy C. Ankerstjerne's Avatar
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    I use third-party forum software, in part because I don't have the time to code a forum from scratch myself, but it is usually also better for the user to use a system which they are familiar with.

    Other than that, I code things from scratch. Aside from me wanting to learn by doing, the sites I build often require unique data structures, which would require some very extensive tweaking of any existing software package. By building the database and backend to suit the requirements, rather than compromising on the requirements to suit the database and backend, I can get very light-weight systems, which does esactly what I want them to do.

    I did code my own blog from scratch, but that was because I wanted to prove (perhaps mainly to myself) that it was possible to code a fully-functional blog system in a weekend.
    Last edited by C. Ankerstjerne; Oct 15, 2008 at 16:10.
    Christian Ankerstjerne
    <p<strong<abbr/HTML/ 4 teh win</>
    <>In Soviet Russia, website codes you!

  5. #30
    Keep Moving Forward gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
    Shaun(OfTheDead)'s Avatar
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    I have blocks of code that I re-use, as well as default stylesheets, default Javascript (for pop-up windows, etc.) and naked XHTML files with my own meta-tags, etc.

    Most new web-pages I make are then built from those.




    Trying to fill the unforgiving minute
    with sixty seconds' worth of distance run.

    Update on Sitepoint's Migration to Discourse

  6. #31
    Keep Moving Forward gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
    Shaun(OfTheDead)'s Avatar
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    And naked PHP XHTML files that include the files needed for my CMS to work.




    Trying to fill the unforgiving minute
    with sixty seconds' worth of distance run.

    Update on Sitepoint's Migration to Discourse

  7. #32
    SitePoint Addict
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    Quote Originally Posted by molona View Post
    I tend to build from scratch, although I do have self-created templates for the main and most used layouts.
    I do it similarly. I build and design every site I do from scratch, but the code for CSS layouts (that I have written) I have recycled across different sites if their layouts were similar.

    In my opinion, you HAVE to build a site from scratch. One of the main principles of having a web site is that it is YOUR unique brand on the web.

    Speaking in coding, (not visual design), terms, if there is a system that is already capable of doing what you need, there's no need to write a system yourself. It's just not time-efficient unless you need something really particular. (And so far, I haven't found much that Joomla! can't handle, especially with all the extensions available.)
    Terri Eades - Web/Graphic Designer - www.terrieades.com

  8. #33
    SitePoint Enthusiast irish-ed's Avatar
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    There is nothing like building a site from scratch. The whole thing is your creation - a digital fingerprint if you like. If it's a small site, few pages of static content, than building from scratch is the sensible option.

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by yasha78 View Post
    I used to build and design my sites from scratch - but, what I usually do now is:

    1. Install WordPress
    It took me a long time to design my own CMS from scratch. I guess you could now call it a template, because most of my websites are based on the same CMS, even including the same files.

    It took me a long time to make a CMS, after which I wrecked it. I've spent ages fixing and improving it and finally hope to get my first really respectable upgrade online this weekend.

    Nevertheless, I'm obviously missing something by not trying out WordPress - which I hope to tackle in a week or two. Soon I'll understand what ad code means. (Or are you simply referring to advertising code, like Google AdSense?)

  10. #35
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Building websites/cms from the ground up is not dead...and never will be. I work, on a daily basis, building websites that could never be achieved using free solutions. Simple sites such as blogs, promo sites and even shopping/e-commerce can be achieved using these solutions, sure...and they're great for this....but if you need a specialized solution... of which there are a great demand...then building from scratch is the only way to go.

  11. #36
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    It really depends, we just entered the industry so we've been building from scratch. Now we're developing our own framework to keep things simple. In the long run I dont' think you want to build from scratch, but it's good while you're still learning for sure.

  12. #37
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    Interesting debate.

    Am currently building a site, yes from scratch, but utilising 101 tutorials from the web about CSS etc. Little things to make the content a lot more interesting.

    Had a look at a number of public domain and commerical products to handle our review section, and quite frankly couldn't find anything that matched what we are trying to achieve. We are going to code from scratch, and no doubt in due course offer a turn key solution to anyone else trying to do the same thing.

    If we add forums of course we'll use one of the pre-existing forum products. So I guess my angle is write from scratch, but don't re-invent the wheel for major dynamic parts of your site if a viable option exists.

    If you don't want to put in the work yourself on your site might I suggest something like myspace.com
    www.scaryminds.com ScaryMinds - horror's last colonial outpost.

  13. #38
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    No need to go for a full blown CMS, nor do everything from scratch. Using a framework is definitely the answer for me. Design wise, If I don't feel like creating my own template from scratch, I go and buy one from sites like Template Monster.

    Also, what's the point in developing your own framework when there are plenty of time-tested solutions that work like a charm. I personally use CakePHP, but any other framework/language will do.

  14. #39
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    DRY principles apply to every aspect of web development/design.

    Why start from scratch when you can use a template? Design is a little trickier but XHTML/CSS absolutely.

    WordPress themes on the other hand...that is debatable. :P
    The only constant in software is change itself

  15. #40
    SitePoint Enthusiast headless1226's Avatar
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    I also feel that it can be very useful to create your site from scratch. This way you never aspect of it, and can make sure there are no unecessary parts to the coding.

    However with cms foundation being widely available open source, it does make sense to utilize the coding for your benefit. I am still a firm believer that design must be custom though, template tweaking typically creates a rough looking site.

    Does anyone even consider building php cms style sites anymore though?
    Develareel Innovate
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  16. #41
    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    While XLCowboy makes a good point about successful sites such as Facebook and YouTube, there are a few other things worth discussing here.

    PHP itself can be thought of as a framework, as it comes with a healthy selection of functions already built-in for the specific purpose of building dynamic websites. If you are starting with a PHP script, you are not, by any means, starting from scratch. There are a lot of layers already beneath you, including the sockets and HTTP layer implemented (in most cases) by Apache, as well as the rich library of code that is PHP. Of course the same can be said of other scripting languages which are well suited to web sites - PHP was only an example. Either way, you are never exactly starting from scratch as a lot of the type of functionality you need is already done. If you can open a file, write something like <?php echo 'hello world'; ?> and save it, that's a lot of prior work you are building upon.

    Secondly, Facebook and Youtube are not highly representative of the sites most of us work on. Whereas these websites have large teams of dedicated people working on them, most web development is smaller sites for multiple clients, for which it makes absolute sense to build upon the work of others where appropriate. It not only saves time, but it saves the world from yet another reinvention of the wheel, which affects how easy it is to maintain something.

    An example: do you start with Jquery or do you code your script from scratch? If you start with JQuery, then you have the benefit that anyone who reads your code in the future and is already familiar with JQuery will have a much better chance of understanding it and maintaining it efficiently. Similarly, if you run a blog or simple site, and it is based on Wordpress, then getting people to maintain this site is much easier since there are so many other people already familiar with Wordpress.

    This isn't to say that if you are writing a file hosting application you should start with Wordpress. But where you can, building on existing knowledge is better than forging that from the start.

    That said, I am the type of person that gets an immense sense of satisfaction from building something myself. So I personally, especially where it is a personal project, tend to re-invent some wheels so that I know I have done it my own way...
    [mmj] My magic jigsaw
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  17. #42
    Founder of Primal Skill Ltd. feketegy's Avatar
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    If you want to build a highly customized page the only way is to build it from scratch.

  18. #43
    SitePoint Enthusiast atsa's Avatar
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    Building site from scratch will never die because when you are looking for a unique concept for some special project. So can't go along with templates and other ready made solutions.

    Building sites from scratch also enhances your skills.

    & @mmj
    Yes, its a great feeling of satisfaction when i build something myself.

  19. #44
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    I still build sites from scratch so they look and feel the way I want them to and don't have to work to a template.

  20. #45
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    you know what people are going to say. I don't need to extoll the virtues of hand-coded, one-of-a-kind sites over tweaked templates.

  21. #46
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    I code my sites by hand
    theres no software out there that covers all my needs and specific requirements (especially the security criteria)

    And now im reaping the benefits of having 4 huge sites in alexa top 700-2000 range

  22. #47
    John 8:24 JREAM's Avatar
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    I always do it by scratch for my own websites, i like it that way, then i think of ways to speed it up with php. For other peoples sites its cms a lot, but they never use the cms lol.

  23. #48
    Web Host fcolor's Avatar
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    It is not dead. It just depends of your project. It does not worth to build a custom CMS for website that hasn't a long term business goal. Spending thousands of dollars is not a good idea when you can cut costs by using any of the content management platforms such as Drupal, MODx, Joomla etc., or any blogging system.
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  24. #49
    #titanic {float:none} silver trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hierophant View Post
    Well to me, starting from scratch means that you open whatever text editor / programming IDE that you use with a blank page and start coding. The phrase "starting from scratch" means starting from nothing.

    So using a CMS wouldn't be starting from scratch. Using a CSS file with common styling in it wouldn't be starting from scratch.
    I agree with this

  25. #50
    phpLD Fanatic bronze trophy dvduval's Avatar
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    With different scripts you have enormous toolsets that give you so more flexibility and power. It only makes sense to use a powerful script to drive your site.


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