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  1. #1
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    Need help choosing a suitable CMS

    I have been commissioned to create a site that is going to have absolutely loads of information - mainly different articles.

    Up until now I have always rolled my own basic CMS but this project is rather more substantial and I am thinking a more efficient solution would be to use a ready made CMS.

    The site I am creating will have the sort of structure like http://www.entrepreneur.com/ i.e. lots of sections and subsections each with numerous articles.

    I would therefore like advice on possible CMS solutions. I guess as with anything, you get what you pay for however I do not have a huge budget so I can't consider spending thousands on this. I therefore am seeking something Free or not too expensive that is relatively easy to get up and running with.

    Any advice much appreciated.

    Thanks

    Paul
    Mediakitchen Limited
    App Development | Website Design & Development | Flash Game Development
    Somerset, UK
    http://www.mediakitchen.co.uk

  2. #2
    Non-Member thewebhostingdir's Avatar
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    You can use customized wordpress. WordPress support multilevel categories and pages. Post can be considered at articles. Articles can be commented by the readers.

    You need to find the suitable theme and necessary plugins (for sitemaps, SEO, social bookmarking, advertisement management, etc.). If you need a very custom theme designed, there are plenty of developers out there that can complete it for you.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy Cups's Avatar
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    You could probably do with listing the exact features you want, which are 'must have' which are 'nice to have' and so on.

    Part of the problem is to use an exact terminology - which I am sure does not yet exist.

    You'll likely have to troll through some of the open source cms comparison sites to get an idea of the complexity of the features you want.

    For example take Sidepanels, should the users be able control what appears in these, if so , how and to what granularity?

    Or ACL - How many levels of access control do you want? Does everything have to be approved before it can be published?

    etc

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replies. Sorry I was so vague but it is early days yet and the site example I supplied was just to illustrate the kind of structure I require. The client is still working on the specification but I just wanted to get an idea of what is possible before I give a costing and time schedule. I think it would take me about 2 years to create this myself from scratch in PHP

    I have never used any CMS software before - can't believe it! Anyway I obviously have heard people mention ones like WordPress and Joomla etc and just wondered if one of these would do the job and if the learning curve isn't too bad?

    The site will primarily be an information site with regular articles added by various admin people. It will therefore need to have some sort of user access rights allowing certain people the ability to update certain sections of the site. It will also need to enable me to add some dynamic php content assuming that the CMS doesn't already have this built into it.

    I am happy to spend 2 or 3 weeks learning a CMS if it is going to save me months of work re-inventing the wheel.

    I just
    Mediakitchen Limited
    App Development | Website Design & Development | Flash Game Development
    Somerset, UK
    http://www.mediakitchen.co.uk

  5. #5
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    Hi Paul,

    I would suggest either Drupal or Joomal, Drupal is better as its more easy and getting popular day by day.

    Cheers,
    Maneet Puri
    Lexolution IT Services

  6. #6
    SitePoint Guru
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    Thanks Maneet. I will download those 2 now and have a play around.

    Cheers

    Paul
    Mediakitchen Limited
    App Development | Website Design & Development | Flash Game Development
    Somerset, UK
    http://www.mediakitchen.co.uk

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy Cups's Avatar
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    The client is still working on the specification
    I'd get as close to that conversation, as early as you can, and start getting a feel for what they actually want - try and get permission to work with some of their front-line staff - and assess how tech-savvy they are.

    My target audience shriek when they see a login, and need a lot of hand-holding.

    I don't like to be the one to say it, but using someone else's CMS is a bit like putting on a straight jacket - you simply don't know how restrictive it is going to feel till you put it on, usually its too late to go back.

    For example you said:
    It will also need to enable me to add some dynamic php content assuming that the CMS doesn't already have this built into it.
    What kind of dynamic content would your ideal CMS not contain?

    It could be that being able to add your own modules, or CRUD based applications within the CMS might be one of your 'acid tests'.

    Or it could be all you want from your CMS is some access control and document uploading. You could make your own article Management System.

    If that sounds like the case, then maybe you should be looking at tryng out a Framework.

    If the business of your client is even somewhat specialized, you may get them up and running quicker with an adopted CMS, but you could then spend years fighting it in order to do really simple extensions.

    Some CMS's are built on Frameworks in any case.

    Having said that, half the PHP world seems to be using WP, Drupal or Joomla for just about everything - and everyone seems to be earning money with those skills, so what do I know?

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy bluedreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckylefrek View Post
    I have never used any CMS software before - can't believe it! Anyway I obviously have heard people mention ones like WordPress and Joomla etc and just wondered if one of these would do the job and if the learning curve isn't too bad?
    Wordpress IMHO wouldn't be suitable for this type of project if the example site is anything to go by, at least not without a gazillion addons. Joomla might work for you, Drupal would work but it has a steep learning curve and requires some PHP knowledge. If it were me I'd head straight for Expressionengine as it's ideal for these type of sites (but I would say that )

    Whatever way you go there will be a learning curve.

    Quote Originally Posted by chuckylefrek View Post
    The site will primarily be an information site with regular articles added by various admin people. It will therefore need to have some sort of user access rights allowing certain people the ability to update certain sections of the site. It will also need to enable me to add some dynamic php content assuming that the CMS doesn't already have this built into it.
    If access rights are important then you need to check each CMS you look at to see if it can handle multi author groups and individual author permissions. These tools will allow you to limit what a particular member group can do (ie editors, writers), or specify custom permision for an individual user.

    Quote Originally Posted by chuckylefrek View Post
    I am happy to spend 2 or 3 weeks learning a CMS if it is going to save me months of work re-inventing the wheel.
    Learning and mastering a CMS is a good step, 3-4 weeks should be enough to get to grips with the basics of Wordpress, Expressionengine or Joomla. the rest comes with experience!

  9. #9
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    There are many CMS system to choose from and some of the most popular CMS are open source or free. All but one of the top rated CMS systems I have included are from winners of the CMSWire contest and the top hits from opensource.com.Joomla,Drupal,Word press,plone,Mamboo are the top CMS Systems..


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