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  1. #51
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    "I used to build and design my sites from scratch - but, what I usually do now is:

    1. Install WordPress
    2. Find a theme that I like in terms of design / functionality
    3. Tweak it
    4. Add content
    5. Add ad code"

    This pretty much describes my current method.

    I have only been working on websites for about 2 years now. So far all the sites I have done have been pretty small in scale. I started by doing the first few from scratch. During this process the one thing I kept hearing from clients was that they wanted to be able to update the site themselves. That led me to wordpress.

    Now having done 3 sites in wordpress, it has become my prefered starting point. It allows me to offer my smaller clients a site with a lot more functionality then what I could do myself "from scratch". I find the end product is also slicker looking then the sites that I do from scratch.

    I usually choose a theme based more on its structure then its visual style as I end up total chainging all the graphics etc anyway.

    I would really recommend Ryan Heller's Simple CMS theme as it is completely bare bones and uses the suckerfish menu system. It allows you to pretty much build what ever site you want "from scratch" but within the wordpress CMS. I find this to be a great compromise.

  2. #52
    SitePoint Enthusiast Rblakney's Avatar
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    Definately, I create my own sites. As a former programmer, I almost always prefered writing programs from scratch instead of modifying somebody elses code.

  3. #53
    SitePoint Wizard
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    I wouldn't consider writing a full blown cms, forum, or shopping cart from scratch, as excellent examples already exist, and a client would want a site now, not next year. Unless I wished to sell the code on that is. I have written a small database driven cms for part of a site - well three or five sites - and improved it each time.

    Equally, software engineering principles have said for decades now "don't re-invent the wheel". This means re-use bits of code that have been tried and tested already. So I wouldn't invent my own random number generator or convert a date into a day code, I'd use php's own, and I came across a very nice UK post code script and uk phone number script to check things before they go into a database, for example. Also, re-using a bit of code that gives you two cols, a header and footer, or drop down menu is normal. As is using a javascript of code snippet found on the web - I certainly wouldn't sit down and re-write it every time I needed the same thing done. But apart from that, I build sites from scratch. And I consider using the same two cols code or three cols code several times as building from scratch, ditto if someone wants a date or clock script. Using someone else's template is lazy however. But I do look at some of the open source templates for ideas to use, which I then code myself.

    So building from scratch is NOT dead, but this should always include re-using code that has been tested several times as "from scratch".

  4. #54
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    yes.. i like customs sites more than site based on WP ..

  5. #55
    Non-Member Musicbox's Avatar
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    wordpress is used for blogging where as other CMS like drupal, joomla are used for creating sites to manage users and add sections to the site. Starting from scratch will make your website look and feel nice.

  6. #56
    WordPress Freelancer banago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yasha78 View Post
    1. Install WordPress
    2. Find a theme that I like in terms of design / functionality
    3. Tweak it
    4. Add content
    5. Add ad code
    That makes a lot of sense. However, I would use (and I actually use) another version. There it is:
    1. Install WordPress
    2. Install my base theme
    3. Tweak it
    4. Add content
    5. Tweak it further
    6. Be happy


    I works for me. I am very familiar with my coding and it is all valid and talbeless. Free themes are not always well-coded.
    WPlancer.Com - PHP & WordPress Developer
    ProverbHunter - English Proverbs Explained

  7. #57
    SitePoint Zealot falsealarm's Avatar
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    Fully depends on your purpose. Since most of the content and functionality offered these days follows the copycat approach, most people prefer existing scripts as it enables quick deployment. People simply do not care to build from scratch as they are not starting with the intention to offer quality anything. Why go into a long-term development engagement when you can hit and run. That is why the web is full of sites that are not worth the bandwidth they waste.

  8. #58
    Keep Moving Forward gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
    Shaun(OfTheDead)'s Avatar
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    I like mmj's reply.

    Off Topic:

    Quote Originally Posted by geosite
    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.
    So have I. So I have some advice for you that you can accept or reject as you see fit.

    My base CMS now only handles general content. Before I used to have it doing everything.

    But I've found that each client needed specifics in certain areas to satisfy their needs.

    So what I've done instead, is left the code of my CMS flexible so that I can enable "add-ons" which are particular to clients. One client's add-on manages her customer database, for example. Another client had a Paypal shopping system.

    I used to have all features available to all clients, but I've found that I had to do time-consuming customisation to one site, then go around updating the CMS on each of my other clients' sites so as not to confuse myself later as to which was the most current version.

    The other problem with having all features available to everyone is usability. The simpler the CMS's interface, the easier it is for my client to use. Saving their sanity, their time, and my own time too... by avoiding those long phone-calls, walking someone through what should be a simple update.

    The "general content" I mentioned above is always output with the same HTML structure and CSS class-names, then based on where on the site the content appears, a different stylesheet is loaded to keep the text consistent with the design.

    Lastly. WRITE DOCUMENTATION !
    Trying to fill the unforgiving minute
    with sixty seconds' worth of distance run.

    Update on Sitepoint's Migration to Discourse

  9. #59
    perfect = good enough peach's Avatar
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    Building from scratch isn't dead at all but there is a trend of building on frameworks, such as Ruby, Symphony, Zend framework, Adobe Air/Flex or whatever its called and Drupal, the last being more of specialized framework for CMS websites.

  10. #60
    SitePoint Wizard
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    The way I look at is like buying a pre-made furniture. If it does the job for you, great! But, if you need a very specific furniture then you need to hire a guy who makes furniture. Also, the phrase "build from scratch" is a relative term. No one in the world makes everything from "scratch". For example, programmers have wide variety choice of MVC framework, JavaScript libraries, and bunch of open source/third party software.

  11. #61
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Simple Answer: Hell No!

    Long Answer:
    If building a site from scratch what is the point in going to college then university to study webdesign if at the end of the day your going to tweak someone else's work?
    Also in terms of quotes for clients, wouldn't it be kind of false advertising if your saying that they are getting they're own unique website? Wouldn't it also affect the quotes? wouldnt you have to make the quote obscenely low?

    How are you going to know the intricate workings of the website if a problem arises? Yeah you might get an error message but not everything is as simple as it seems.

    On a personal note; wheres the sense of accomplishment when you've finished a website? I wouldn't find any if id just fiddled with someone elses work.

  12. #62
    SitePoint Addict Phidev's Avatar
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    I build pages from scratch every time. It is true that I have developed a few php classes that make the process so much easier, but still. Very often I have to tweak those classes a little bit. It really depends on the project.

    Using word press every time to create a website may work some times, but I dont think scratch building is dying it just depends on what kind of website you want to have, and what things you want to do with it.

  13. #63
    SitePoint Addict michaelpowers's Avatar
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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
    2. Find a theme that I like in terms of design / functionality
    3. Tweak it
    4. Add content
    5. Add ad code

    Unless you plan something really specialized, does it really make sense to build a site from scratch?
    Yup I think it is a dying art. Back in the day I use to design all my websites from scratch. Now it just seems like too much of a hassle because of all the templates and software out there it is just soo much easier to use them and build on them. It is much faster as well which is important in this day and age when people want access to information immediately.

  14. #64
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    I normally use a template, mostly for lack of building from scratch knowledge. With that said it is easier to use a template, but I wouldn't mind learing how to build from scratch!

    John

    <snip/>
    Last edited by Mittineague; May 4, 2014 at 00:00.

  15. #65
    SitePoint Addict michaelpowers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cannonja View Post
    I normally use a template, mostly for lack of building from scratch knowledge. With that said it is easier to use a template, but I wouldn't mind learing how to build from scratch!

    John

    <snip/>
    It actually takes a lot of work to create a website from scratch. Also depending on the complexity of the website it can be actually VERY difficult to learn how to create that type of website from scratch.

    Wordpress is surprisingly pretty complex.

  16. #66
    Sesame Street Iimitk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by michaelpowers View Post
    Wordpress is surprisingly pretty complex.
    Whaa?! I don't know if anyone would agree with you on that. IMHO, WordPress is the simplest yet most powerful & flexible open source PHP blog/mini-CMS platform out there.
    Imagination is more important than knowledge. - Einstein

  17. #67
    SitePoint Addict rochow's Avatar
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    If a client has a low budget (<$200) I'll customise an existing WP theme to their needs. It does the same job and is pretty much "unique" as far as looks go. Of course they're informed that it's not a totally unique site, and many don't mind at all... if it produces the same ROI, why pay more?

  18. #68
    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simsim View Post
    Whaa?! I don't know if anyone would agree with you on that. IMHO, WordPress is the simplest yet most powerful & flexible open source PHP blog/mini-CMS platform out there.
    Powerful and flexible aren't compatible with simplicity. Wordpress is no exception - it is indeed powerful and flexible, but it is not just pretty complex - it's very complex.

    michaelpowers didn't claim that Wordpress was difficult to use - indeed, Wordpress does a great job in the usability department (well, when compared to most other open source CMSs). But it is necessarily a very complex piece of software.

    It would take months, probably years for a single person to create another Wordpress. Thankfully, in most cases we don't have to go through something like that, because we can just use Wordpress.
    [mmj] My magic jigsaw
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  19. #69
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    Wordpress is definitely fine for a blog / content site (that's what it is built for). However, when building new web applications, you typically have to build from scratch or at least use an existing development framework along with some public API (e.g. Google Maps).

  20. #70
    AdSpeed.com Son Nguyen's Avatar
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    I'd say it's dead for most people. For a business, especially online businesses, it's different though. It's the website and services it provides that differentiates itself from other companies and so building/designing from ground zero does often bring benefits (such as total control and flexibility in implementing new features)
    - Son Nguyen
    AdSpeed.com - Ad Serving and Ad Management Made Easy

  21. #71
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    I would love ot build from scratch but it is not feasible in time terms alone. Plus my building skills would mean a lot of error correction and tweaking ie even more time... In theory, there's no contest but in practice the practicality rules it out for me...
    Kind regards
    Jonny
    Holiday Rentals in France

  22. #72
    SitePoint Evangelist yasha78's Avatar
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    Wow, a whole gamut...

    In my opinion, building it from scratch feels definitely cozier - plus, I don't like tweaking But - looking at all the Wordpress functionality and multiple plug-ins and design options, I start feeling sorry for the time I would waste writing my own stuff, which would, essentially replicate what's already there.
    -yasha78
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  23. #73
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    Like painting by numbers. There will always be real projects for the true professional.

  24. #74
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    Hi guys, I am building a new arcade site with over 1500 swf files.

    Would word press be good for this? Can you embed swf files? I am a wordpress newb.

  25. #75
    SitePoint Enthusiast irish-ed's Avatar
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    I think wordpress would be too difficult to incorporate into your site. There are plenty of scripts out there designed specifically for this task. No point re-inventing the wheel. I run a site of gamesitescript and find it fine if you have a grasp of PHP.


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