Complete newbie; in way over my head with creating a new site with CMS


I’ve been trawling the internet and reading thorugh various threads in this forum. But just need some simple answers.

I have created a static website in dreamweaver with HTML and CSS (only things I know, I don’t know a lot about web design) and now don’t know what to do with the files to allow my client to freely change the content on the webpages in the future. I’ve only ever made a website for myself which I could then update with HTML.

I’ve read about and looked at Joomla, CushyCMS, WordPress, Perch and a couple of others, but I have just confused myself further.

Do the website have to be hosted somewhere already or is it implemented with the CMS websites? And when registering do i register in my name, or the clients?

Then is it just a case of uploading the ‘static’ files and putting in the ‘code’ to allow it to be picked out and become customise-able?

What other database/server stuff am I supposed to know about that I clearly don’t, and what on earth is XAMPP or is this to do with something else?

Any help is greatly appreciated :confused:

Best regards, BBA

There are a number of solutions out there that might work for you, some hosted and some that you can implement on your own host. You do have to be careful with Dreamweaver, since it doesn’t always create the cleanest HTML. You should spend some time to come up to speed on basic HTML and CSS and get beyond Dreamweaver ASAP.

CushyCMS might be a good choice for you since it lets you host the site where you want. I don’t know much about Perch, but Joomla and WordPress will require you to redesign your site around their code. That’s not always a bad thing, and both have huge communities that can help you. Also look at PageLime and WebPop, or view my profile for another option.

As for setting up accounts, I would recommend always creating the hosting account in the client’s name and have them pay for it directly. It’s less complicated that way.

If you’ve already built the site and just want to add easy client updates then just use “SurrealCMS”, add a few tags to the code, and be done with it. Pagelime is good too. Or Cushy. If you havnt built one you might want to just pick a nice Wordpress site. One of those would most likely be nicer than anything you could build anyway (me too).

Welcome to Sitepoint, @BBA;
This is the right place to get answers to your questions and guidance as you grow and learn.
It sounds as though you are interested in continuing as a Web Designer, but perhaps you were just “thrown in the deep end of the pool” on this one site. The advice you get here will differ based on whether this is a one-time project or you plan to continue (grow and learn) with Web Development.

You actually have a choice. If this is something you do not plan to do again, don’t get involved in trying to manage a hosting account. Wordpress, for example, includes the hosting (go to
If your client wants a vanity domain name (“”) you can register the domain name and redirect it to the subdomain that will be generated.

In the other instance where you obtain shared hosting, you are correct here. Dreamweaver should have created an entire site and it must be uploaded with respect for the folder structure. However, this does not inherently allow for the client to easily make changes to the site.
Traditionally, someone would modify the files (maybe using Dreamweaver again. But it could be a matter of editing the HTML files), and then upload the changed files to the hosting account.

You don’t need any database to support a ‘static’ site - as you have described it.

Once again, I welcome you to this thriving community of diligent and experienced Web Designers/Developers/Marketers/Professionals and encourage you to continue asking specific questions.

Thankyou for the replies.

I have sent an email to my client discussing a few things mentioned here and will wait to hear back from them, and may have some more questions afterwards.

While I have a relatively basic ability to write a website, I know next to nothing about getting it on the internet, which is where I have come unstuck, especially when trying to implement CMS.

Many thanks, BBA


I would suggest that you collaborate with a freelance techie who can help with the heavy lifting when it comes to coding CMS systems and those sorts of things. Along the way, you will learn a lot and have someone to support you in areas of difficulty.

Finding a right hand person is going to take a little while so in the interim I sould suggest looking at a book like this ( to help get you up to speed on the various aspects of developing web projects.

Cheers and welcome to SitePoint… This place rocks!