Debating use of a CMS, and if so, which one?

I think being that I’m a complete CMS novice, I am going to go ahead an use WP.
But part of my plan will be to use this initial site built with WP as a CMS learning experience, and once complete I will attempt to use the skills I have learned to rebuild the site using Drupal. There are some other well rated CMS’, but I feel these two cover enough ground that just focussing on them for now will give me a great education. That said, this has turned into a good conversation, so please continue it.

That sounds like a good plan. My theory is that you can never waste time by learning one of the really popular systems and then you have a foundation to build upon if you choose to learn others.


That sounds like a good plan. My theory is that you can never waste time by learning one of the really popular systems and then you have a foundation to build upon if you choose to learn others.

Preciseness, but I prefer free open-source CMS rather than those corporate paid ones. I’ve had experience in dealing with a corporate CMS, and once I left the company I was stuck on what to do. I found that Drupal and WordPress are a lot like the corporate CMS, but I needed the confidence to take the first step. I will take another look at Drupal. I am into WordPress at the moment and it’s working okay for me, sometimes manipulating the design is not that simple, especially when you demand complete control.

For WordPress I used the NetTuts videos, they are amazing, and really worth the money may I add. Good luck in whatever you want to do, let’s hope that you’re able to learn a CMS.

PS: WordPress syntax is very easy.

hi there EE does look good but the price is very high compared to free (lol) especially if you new the commercial one.

But thanks for your thoughts,


In my experience, I have used Drupal, Silverstripe and Wordpress. I strongly recommend Wordpress. Wordpress has the most support and documentation and is becoming the industry standard CMS. I have found that using Drupal is not so fun, requires years of experience and hard lessons learned. I think a wordpress site can be made to do what you need without hardly any pitfalls - just develop it on a good server (not slowdaddy). I use dreamhost and I love it. My site runs pretty quickly using [URL=“”]W3 total cache plugin with a [URL=“”]Content Delivery Network to load the images and some of the files. Also [URL=“”]Yoast’s SEO for Wordpress is da bomb. It gives you hints and grades for each pages seo and tells you how to improve based on a keyword that you insert. So if I open google adwords keyword tool and type in Lapel Pin Design, it comes up with about 400 monthly page views. I decide that keyword is relevant (exactly relevant) to what I do so I make a page using that keyword. Yoast’s plugin (what a name!) helps me figure out how many times to mention the keyword in my text, reminds me to put in in a H1 or H2 etc. tag and gives me feedback to improve. I really enjoy using wordpress - I hope I didn’t give away too many secrets just now! Oh well I always was a blabbermouth.

Wow… thanks for the comments.

WordPress is what I am using at the moment, and it’s working fine. I have experienced a main drawback though, which I must say is very annoying. Any plug-in scripts are loaded on all the pages, even if the plug-ins is only present on one page.

I solved this by doing is_pageid = ? on custom scripts instead of WP plug-ins, so I end up avoiding WP plug-ins. I can’t stand slow web-pages, and I don’t feel slow web-pages have many elements, rather than just bad coding and web optimization.

Any advice would be really appreciated. Drupal is still good, but I am sorry to say I had the same experience with Drupal as you did. I don’t doubt it’s powerful, but I have to get into it again.

True that some wordpress plugins load on all pages. Cforms is one that does. I use gravity forms instead. Well worth the price even if it it paid because it allows me to take orders online with PayPal. Not that I cant do that myself with a simple manual html form, but pretty soon Gravity forms is integrating PayPal web payments Pro, so that the customers will not need to leave my store.

One major hang-up that I had was trying to develop on a slowdaddy server. What was terrible about that was that slowdaddy does not allow you to run htaccess header expires mods. I still was able to use google pagespeed, and if you look at my site’s source code right now you will see how it is minified. Still, it runs slower than [URL=“”]Lapel Pin Design which is on a dreamhost server and allows for htaccess expires. If anyone has trouble loading these websites PLEASE let me know. I have been researching for weeks to get them faster. I do expect pinsfast to be a bit slower though.

I dont need many other plugins than the ones mentioned, and they dont run on every page. Just typekit fonts, seo for worpress, wp realtime sitemap (for visitors), w3 total cache and gravity forms. Look for coupons on Gravity forms. I was one day late for the black friday special 50% off. crap - but I still got 25% off using another coupon.

Why don’t you use external CSS files. Your code looks very compact, something I aspire to get to.

I do use external css files, but the typekit fonts for Lapel Pin Design must load inline.

For the HTML is not minified, the javascript is. I am confused about this myself… I get a pagespeed score of 97 which is awesome but I dont minify html. I think the reason why is so fast is because the expires header mods are allowed on the dreamhost server and the images, javascript and css are loaded from a CDN. I even use typekit fonts on LapelPinDesign and get the 97 pagespeed score. I dont get it but if it aint broke dont fix it right? Maybe it is broke I just dont know it yet - LOL .

The site is on slowdaddy server - I will be transferring it over when Im not slammed with other work. It has a pagespeed initial score of 79. Then reload and I think it gets an 85 after browser cache. I definitely think the mod expires header works miracles but slowdaddy wont allow it. Dreamhost allows it. CDN and the use of sprites in also make it run faster.

If you want to, check out pagespeed htaccess mods. I used the following and it was so cool to see what it does to your source code:

FileETag none

<IfModule pagespeed_module>
ModPagespeed on
ModPagespeedEnableFilters extend_cache
ModPagespeedEnableFilters collapse_whitespace
ModPagespeedEnableFilters rewrite_css
ModPagespeedEnableFilters combine_css
ModPagespeedEnableFilters remove_comments
ModPagespeedEnableFilters elide_attributes
ModPagespeedEnableFilters combine_javascript
ModPagespeedEnableFilters remove_quotes
ModPagespeedEnableFilters trim_urls
ModPagespeedEnableFilters make_google_analytics_async

I dont think it will work unless you are on slowdaddy. It gave me a pagespeed score of 86 on first load and then 92 after that for PinsFast. I have taken it out because it was experimental. I dont know if it fudges things up. I may put it back until I move that site to dreamhost. Maybe dreamhost will allow it - hey I should try that!

sorry for being off topic some - its just that the only reason I stayed away from wordpress was because of slow page loads, but now that seems irrelevant.

I’ve just finished watching a podcast, go through this, it pretty much highlights what you’re saying -

I scored 77 / 100, but I’ve not yet finished optimizing it. I hope to get in the 90’s as well. The biggest issue with me are the scripts. Most ready-made JQuery scripts from places like CodeCanyon come with a minified version. Whenever I try to minify code from WP I end up having half the CSS not working, and let’s not mention scripts, they almost always seam to break. I’ve yet to experience the best way to minify my code without it running into problems.

I was looking at something else for WP which really did interest me, I think I’ve seen it on Chris Spooner’s blog pages, it’s the “BlogGlue Related Posts Network Plugin”. It points your page to other blogs of a related topic, it’s amazing, this can only affect your SEO in a positive way.

Since web performance plays such an important role, how would one know that his website is performing well under their host? Would one have to just open up different hosting accounts and test their test with Page Speed? Seams all very confusing to me, but I do believe that hosting plays a crucial part to a websites loading speed.

Can you just use the un-minified versions of javascript for now, and then install w3 total cache? W3 Total cache does the minifying of everything and has many options. You can exempt certain directories and folders if you need. You can set your expires header tags in w3 total cache as long as you are not on a slowdaddy server. Also, set up GZip compression. Here are my settings for w3 total cache for Lapel Pin Design on a dreamhost shared server.

Page Cache: Enable
Page Cache Method: Disk : Enhanced
Minify: Enable
Minify mode: Auto
minify cache method: disk
the rest are default setting for minify

Browser Cache: Enable
Enable HTTP compression and add headers to reduce server load and decrease file load time. (I think that’s the Htaccess expires headers)

CDN: Enable (I use netDNA MAX CDN)

then in the minify tab:

Rewrite URL structure - yes
If disabled, CSS and JS embeddings will use GET variables instead of “fancy” links.

HTML MINIFY - not selected

JS minify settings: Enable
Combine only after <head> - yes

CSS minify settings: Enable
Preserved comment removal (not applied when combine only is active) - yes
Line break removal (not applied when combine only is active) - yes

In browser cache tab I did NOT select:

Set entity tag (eTag) - no
I think I will wait till all is completely published before I do that…

in the CDN tab I do NOT select:

Host minified CSS and JS files - NO

It didnt work - I need to advance myself from wizards apprentice to actual wizard to do that one I think - LOL.

There was a slight conflict between the YOASTS WP SEO XML Sitemap and the cache from W3 Total cache plugin, but it went away when I added it to the exclusions list and then took it off the exclusions list later… I dont know how I fixed but its not broken currently so oh well.

I use tinyMCE for most its easy to intergrate and its flexible for most of my custumers.