Am i biting off more than i can chew?

Am i biting off more than i can chew?

I want to progress from designing static web pages to dynmaic ones.
My goal is to offer web sites for small business whereupon they can edit content via a content management system but I’m at a point of indecision and i need some opinions please.

Options 1 is to do things the hard way and crack how to build a database
driven websites working through the sitepoint book i bought. But
a flick thru the manual made we think it may be too much for me to handle.

The other option is to use Drupal but I’m concerned I’ll loose all my design freedom and latitude to add semantic markup in the code eg H1 tags with keyphrases etc.

So is there any sitepoint community member out there that has experience of
building a CMS using MY SQL & PHP or an off the shelf package but can
heighlight pros & cons regarding the path you take?

Any insights welcome :slight_smile:

Drupal provides you as much freedom and flexibility as you want and need. It’s theme engine and thus its separation of code, content and design is one of the best I’ve seen and very intuitive. Drupal out-of-the-box is far from perfect, but modules are plenty available (CCK, Views, Admin Menu) and some very good ones that help SEO (PathAuto).

But learning the ins and outs can take some time.

On the other hand, building a full CMS yourself takes time, too. You’re also likely to make a couple of mistakes along the way, and have to learn best practices the hard way.

Personally, after having developed my own CMS, I prefer using Drupal and Wordpress over my own every day -but only because my coding skills are still very limited and I don’t have the time to keep up-to-date with everything going on.

“Joomla doesnt produce SEO friendly markup”

Ok if the above is true which i found on -
http://woofandwarp.com/joomla/30-the-tools-i-use-for-joomla-development
the Joomla is off my potentail list.

Regarding wordpress CMS - can you bolt it onto the back of an existing developed site? or is it a case you have to start with wordpress which dictates design and everything right from the word go.

A general concern I have about CMS systems is whether or noy they apply best practice SEO markup eg as a designer you are not blocked from adding H1 H2 tags with any keyphrase which I have had the freedom to do when designing static sites.

So i gues my question is… is there a cms sytems that applies best practice SEO markup and doesnt do what i see Joomla doing as in lots of tables and no H1 H2 hierachy…

Any insights welcome…

Yes - you are endorsing drupal thank you. I’ll take a closer look at Drupal :slight_smile:

are you actually reading what I’m writing?

Joomla is terrible - but I didn’t mention Joomla, neither did you originally.

I repeat again, Drupal offers you all the freedom you can wish for. In the Drupal Admin, you give your site a title (and a slogan), this title (and the slogan) is then repeated in the title tag and within the h1 (not the slogan, but you can change this if you want). If you don’t want either of that, you can simply change the template, or use one of the many modules that help you do that, e.g. http://drupal.org/project/page_title - as I said, Drupal aims to clearly separate content from code, thus all you see in the templates is the html markup and php variables that will get populated with what you got in the database.

Drupal out of the box produces clean markup and clean URLs (of the type node/123 or manually determine this in the node creation form - a node is any content). You can get the PathAuto module that, with the help of tokens, can automatically generate the URL aliases for you.

Once again, it takes time to learn everything you need to know about Drupal, and find the modules that help you achieve what you want. but it’s a great CMS.

Wordpress, again, you can’t just plug it on an existing website. But its theme flexibility is similar to that of Drupal. Wordpress is better for very basic sites or when all you need is a blog.

Ah ha seams like wordpress ticks the box of producing seo friendly
markup. For examle I went the this site -
http://www.graphicdesignblog.co.uk/wordpress-as-a-cms-content-management-system/
and looked at the source code for -

Here when you look at the source code i could see much better SEO markup
than what Ive seen in joomla examples. Maybe wordpress is for me :slight_smile: