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  1. #1
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    Smile CMS to existing website

    Hi All

    I have built my first website using XHTML & CSS after reading and learning xhtml and css from sitepoint books, which was great and expanded my site by introducing coding ideas from others using only Xhtml and CSS
    problem is now i have started expanding this site, new pages etc. I have to change every other page EG. navigation..
    I have been looking at CMS and the multitude out there, I am over whelmed by these, I only started learning and building my website last year.
    I have put galleries on 4 of these pages with more to follow, the site is image strong and I am not sure which CMS would be usefull for me.
    I have no knowage of othe codings JS or PHP except the bit I had to learn for a contact page
    My problem is I am nearly 60 and I do not want to go into some some CMS that is not right for me and waste my time, It is only for me to use on my website which is located in the UK for my UK business.
    I know I am not allowed to mention my website, so if anyone out ther could contact me to look at what i have created and give me their expert advice, I would be very grateful.

    Tony Anderson

  2. #2
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    Tony,

    If you are turning the site over to someone else to add content, or just want to learn a CMS, there are several. I have only dabbled with CMS and I am now working on using WordPress as a CMS.

    If you are just looking for a way to ease using repetitive code, have you considered using PHP includes. I put an include on every page for my navigation, and other content that is the same from page to page.
    Each day is a learning experience.

  3. #3
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    Hi Bill

    Thank you for your reply, looks intresting
    One never stop's learning, Does One !!!
    Had a quick look at PHP Includes, do not know that existed, will be looking at that more closely, more than likely use it, thats for sure.
    Still - would like to add a CMS to my site so one of my staff could change a few things when required, or have I got to rewrite my site from scratch using a cms to make it useable for others

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyanderson View Post
    I know I am not allowed to mention my website …
    If you have a specific question about it that requires us to inspect your code etc, it's fine to post a link.

    There are all kinds of CMSs out there, large and small. Some are really simple and great for simple page updates.

    Feel free to post your list of requirements here, but you might also like to check out some simple, online options like CushyCMS or PageLime.

    This is the simplest kind of CMS, where you just make a region on your page editable, adding in some simple tags.

    If you want down this route, you'd still stay with your otherwise static site—in which case, I'd also recommend the PHP includes for items that are repeated on multiple pages like the menu. Here are some simple notes I put together on includes a while back.

  5. #5
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    Hi Ralph

    Thanks for your reply, my website is A Specialist Interior Office Fit Out and Refurbishment Company SOUTHERN
    I know i have a lot to still learn, but its fun

    taken onboard what you have said, I really like the PHP Includs as also indicated by bill,
    Had a quick play around with PHP Includes and a tutorial on haw to build a php website from scratch, this example sets a a basic template for a layout.
    Now this has my attention.

    looking at my site would it benifit from rewriting it in PHP/HTML5/CSS3
    looking already to upgrade it, especially with the gallery section

    or would I benifit from a CMS set up

    OR both
    I am not fully aware of what can be done web design/running
    I will be adding more pages with galleries to this site

    Tony

  6. #6
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    ralph.m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyanderson View Post
    Now this has my attention.

    looking at my site would it benifit from rewriting it in PHP/HTML5/CSS3
    looking already to upgrade it, especially with the gallery section

    or would I benifit from a CMS set up
    HTML5/CSS3 are neither here nor there really. They aren't ready for use in the real world, and you don't need them, so don't worry about that. Whether or not to use a CMS is up to you. If you don't mind doing everything manually, then there's no reason to, but if others need to update content, or you want a smoother content handling system (with the added benefits some CMSs offer to boot) then go for it. It's a decision you have to make yourself.

  7. #7
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    Hi Ralph

    Thanks for your advice

    I have just installed Joomla 1.6 and tried this out to see whats involved
    It may hold the key, but I have for the moment opted for PHP-Includes, which in my mind does what it says on the tin, if there are any other smart ideas that you know and might be helpful, please let me know

    All the best
    Tony

  8. #8
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    I guess my only other sage advice would be to steer clear of Joomla and get a better CMS.

  9. #9
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    Ralph

    I know what you mean
    Thats why I decided to use the php-include method for now.
    it could be me but i found joomla restricting, or maybe thats how cms's work

    Just between you and me.
    What would your choice of cms be ? its like crossing a minefield to chose the right one, with all the hype out there its hard to sort out whats is good. I have found out in life, just because something is popular or more people use it does not make it the best or easiest to use.
    What I would like is a CMS that is easy to use, can be designed to be used as I want, that also lets me design the backend how it should be in my mind.
    probably does not exist. I only know html and css to any extent.
    If I have to learn another code what would you suggest, I only coming up to my first year (July) in web building, It is fun though wish i started this when I was younger.

    Tony

    Tony

  10. #10
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    Personally find that Wordpress is the easiest CMS but it may not meet your requirement. Wordpress is actually a blog-style of CMS. There are multiple plugins you can have in Wordpress even a shopping cart application.

    If you have php coding knowledge, you can alter the scripts and make it outstanding site.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyanderson View Post
    Just between you and me.
    What would your choice of cms be ?
    Everyone has his/her favorite, so it's a tricky question to answer objectively. A lot of people love WordPress, but as pinkypainter says, it's really for blogs and has to be hacked around a bit for other uses. Then you need to mess with server-side code, and it can get messy.

    In my view, the best CMS on the market is ExpressionEngine, but it's not free. However, it's a very nice system, and does not impose anything on your templates, so you build them from scratch, with familiar HTML and CSS, which is great. A somewhat similar, free alternative is MODx, but I still think EE is the clear winner, so I've basically pulled the chain on the rest.

    The only other one I use, for small sites that just need some simple content management, is Perch, which also is a beautifully designed, unobtrusive CMS. You build your site as you wish, with PHP includes etc, and use Perch to make certain sections of pages editable. Very elegant and simple to use.

    [Now await the inevitable posts from others that contradict everything I've said!]

  12. #12
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    Hi Pinkypainter
    Hi Ralph

    Thank you for your posts to date, You have been helpful.

    I did look at WP but not what I was looking for......
    I am one of those people who know what they want when they see it, even when I am inexperienced in cms's.

    while I have been talking to you guys, I have also been looking and trying out other cms's

    Yes ralph, I would like to have EE2, I tried it and loved it, you are right it's the bees knees, but the costs don't justify the use and I have to find a cheaper commercial package or OSCMS.
    I have download MODx, had a play with it, not sure, will keep it on my short list.
    I have downloaded another cms that I am trying out and it works for me, still learning to use it as it should be used, I am having good results with it so far simple and easy to use and I seem to be in sync with it
    time will tell
    As you said ralph, in your post:-
    [Now await the inevitable posts from others that contradict everything I've said!]
    Personally I don't contradict what people do or use, its like...some people like PCs others like MACs they both do the same job, but differently
    I see it as what works for me.......

    btw. I am trying out TEXTPATTERN

    Tony

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyanderson View Post
    btw. I am trying out TEXTPATTERN
    That one looked quite complex to me, but I'd love to know how you find it.

  14. #14
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    I will let you know my findings on this one

    Tony.

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    SitePoint Addict peterb's Avatar
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    I've been where you are and after carefully considering what cms are out there I chose elxis. It gives me a wide enough range of extensions, css templating features, and allows me to integrate specialized programs for clients.

  16. #16
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    Wow.... How did I miss this conversation. Lots of good stuff in here and great advice from ralph.m. As usual, I found myself nodding my head in agreement as I was reading along.

    Tony, if I can add something I'd recommend getting a quickstart guide or introductory book on any of the CMS's you are looking to pursue. CMS's like Joomla, Wordpress, Drupal, Expression Engine, etc... have a lot of hidden power but they have a "way" that they work best and when you understand the Expression Engine, Drupal, WordPress or TextPattern "Way" of doing things, everything falls into place and things work much better.

    BTW: Some great gallery photos in the Comfort 600 Series gallery
    Andrew Wasson | www.lunadesign.org
    Principal / Internet Development

  17. #17
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    Hi PeterB

    I did look at Elxis, but for some reason or another it just did not click with me,
    but thank you for your tip, just could not believe how many CMS packages are out there,

    Hi Awasson

    As to you suggesting additional reading, I am ploughing my way through 500+ pages of "Textpattern Solutions" as we speak. uuugh
    glad someone likes the images of the 600 series, thats One thing I am changing is the gallery, I will be replacing it with a supadupa one thats the bees knees, (I hope) "Sorl" Is my first site, and I have been playing with it on my virtual server learning new ways to do the same thing with different coding withih CSS, JQuery and (PHP - a Little) now I want to revamp the whole site to bring it up to current commercial visual design standards or my interpretation of how it should be within my industry.

    Tony

  18. #18
    SitePoint Addict sparkdigital's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    I've been working with and testing out a lot of cms's over the last few years and now only work with one: websitebaker. You don't hear too much about it and in my opinion it's very underrated. It's so easy to learn - you can just use your normal html page, insert a few tags where you would like to have editable areas and save it in a template folder and you're pretty much done.

    The great thing is that there's hardly any learning curve to get started - in the beginning the above is just what I did - my menus where just static links in the template which works fine but then I started exploring the menu functions which are fenomenal. And you can copy useful bits out of a host of ready made templates.

    Plenty of nice add ons such as image galleries etc, an active, friendly forum community and all this for free! Check it out; I now turn down work if I can't build it with websitebaker, that's how much I like it (and how much I resist having to learn another CMS!).

    Here's some sites built using WB so you get an idea of what's possible.

    All the best,

    Konrad

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkdigital View Post
    I've been working with and testing out a lot of cms's over the last few years and now only work with one: websitebaker. You don't hear too much about it and in my opinion it's very underrated. It's so easy to learn - you can just use your normal html page, insert a few tags where you would like to have editable areas and save it in a template folder and you're pretty much done.

    The great thing is that there's hardly any learning curve to get started - in the beginning the above is just what I did - my menus where just static links in the template which works fine but then I started exploring the menu functions which are fenomenal. And you can copy useful bits out of a host of ready made templates.

    Plenty of nice add ons such as image galleries etc, an active, friendly forum community and all this for free! Check it out; I now turn down work if I can't build it with websitebaker, that's how much I like it (and how much I resist having to learn another CMS!).

    Here's some sites built using WB so you get an idea of what's possible.

    All the best,

    Konrad

    Wow..... thank you guys for this great thread about CMS.

    sparkdigital
    I just looked at websitebaker. Do you have experience with using an existing static html webpage and forming a template around it? The designer guide shows an example of a template which I would have to dig into and tweak until I know that nothing will work anymore.

    Sincerely
    Ollie


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