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Thread: Beginner to CMS, Help?!

  1. #1
    Member fbmagik's Avatar
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    Default Beginner to CMS, Help?! 23 Aug 2010 @ 22.00

    As useful as the internet is. I can't seem to find an answer to my question. So I have come to you lot, hopefully you can help.

    When you have a website, all ready to go online. How do you implement a CMS?

    I am aware there are many different ones, but doing some research, it isn't actually clear how you implement them or how easy and adaptable they are. The easiest one I could comprehend was Cushy CMS. But it seems limited.

    I love Wordpress (the ease of use when its up) and have read that it can be used to power a 'non-blog' site. But this seems difficult to setup from a personalised design (I couldn't follow tutorials basically).

    There's one I am aware of called Concrete 5 which looks great. But I have the same problem, how on earth do you implement these??

    A second question is.....If I wanted a CMS to be able to edit content on each page, add and edit images, add pages to the site (preferably). Are there any considerations you should make in the design?

    What do you think is the best CMS option is for this?

    I work in SEO and have worked with clients sites who have non-blog Wordpress sites, and the setup allows you to add pages and edit as you please. They don't have a space where you would have the typical wordpress posts (in fact, I don't know where the post would go if you did try and post one).

    So I'm pretty clueless with this one. Sorry about the long post, but I wanted to get across the bits I'm struggling with.
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  2. #2
    Member MinatureCookie's Avatar
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    Default 24 Aug 2010 @ 10.32

    I honestly find now, that unless you're making a blog or something similar - a custom CMS is much easier. But you'd have to know a bit of PHP and SQL to do that?

    But if you're using another CMS - they all really work on the basis that you have a "template" of HTML etc. with one part of that "template" being the content, another part the title, menu etc.
    Of course the actual implimentation depends entirely on the CSS at hand. If you can't find any documentation or posts on the CMS's forum - then you'd need to start a thread on their forum about it.
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  3. #3
    Member fbmagik's Avatar
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    Default 24 Aug 2010 @ 21.18

    No I don't know anything about PHP or SQL really.

    Whats the best way of designing a website so if a bit later on, you needed to add a page. How would you add that page without having to re-configure all the code? Thats basically what I am after, a CMS. Even though it's useful for anyone to edit content, I assumed it would be an easy and quick way to add content anyway, even for the designer. Otherwise I just don't understand how web designers design to take account of these possible changes later on.

    Unless I'm missing out on a trick here?
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  4. #4
    Member MinatureCookie's Avatar
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    Default 25 Aug 2010 @ 08.15

    Look into PHP, you might find it helpful.

    But have a look at CMS MS. I'm looking at the documentation, and it seems to explain it quite well - and it looks to be really simple.
    User Handbook/Getting Started/Designer/Templates - CMSMS

    You literally just have {title} where you want your title, etc.
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    Trusted Guru Frinkky's Avatar
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    Default 25 Aug 2010 @ 10.04

    Taking into consideration MinatureCookie's comments, regardless of the CMS you decide to use, you need to code up in HTML&CSS your design as a starting point.

    From there, you add in CMS specific tags, so taking CMS MS as an example, in your template file you'd add {title} to your title tag: <title>{title}</title>.

    Obviously each CMS is different in the use of proprietary tags and complexity of functions, but any CMS worth its salt should have documentation on this.
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  6. #6
    Member fbmagik's Avatar
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    Default 27 Aug 2010 @ 17.52

    Cheers for the help. How do you guys make it easy for yourselves to make likely changes to any site? Without having to re-structure the site too much. Is that just a question of using Div tags (for example), styling them with CSS, so when adding stuff, it should be a question of just altering a few things. That correct?
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Mike Hopley's Avatar
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    Default 27 Aug 2010 @ 23.33

    quote
    Cheers for the help. How do you guys make it easy for yourselves to make likely changes to any site? Without having to re-structure the site too much. Is that just a question of using Div tags (for example), styling them with CSS, so when adding stuff, it should be a question of just altering a few things. That correct?
    Originally Posted by fbmagik View Post
    The general idea is to avoid repeating yourself. Page templates are a good example: instead of copying-and-pasting the standard page layout into every single file, you save it as a separate wrapper. Your template system then automatically inserts the individual page content into this wrapper, so you don't need to do it by hand.

    Another important concept is decoupling. You want to separate things into modules, and thereby reduce interdependency. Using HTML <font> tags for styling is an example of tight coupling: your presentation is tightly entangled in your content, making it harder to change. Separating your presentation into an external CSS file decouples presentation from content, so that you can change the presentation more easily. Similarly, you want to keep javascript out of the HTML, and keep HTML out of the javascript.

    You can also use helper functions to insert HTML. For instance, you might use a media block with specific HTML markup, but what happens if you decide to change the markup? You would then need to change all the content files. If you used a PHP helper function to insert the markup, then you could change it globally by editing the helper function.

    CSS is especially susceptible to becoming a hairy maintenance nightmare. I recommend following Nicole Sullivan's "OOCSS" approach, which structures CSS objects to be reusable.

    In terms of updating a live website, I find version control invaluable. Once a website grows large and complex, it's hard to remember which files you changed since last time. You can just FTP the whole site (eek!), but why not let the version control software remember changes for you? This also gives you a safety net, because you can always revert to a previous version if you screw up!
    Last edited by Mike Hopley; 27 Aug 2010 at @ 23.38.
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    Senior Member Jason's Avatar
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    Default 8 Sep 2010 @ 09.17

    Honestly, give wordpress ago. Install it. Make your pages etc.

    Then download and install starkers. Starkers: The completely naked theme for WordPress

    This is a completely blank theme. You probably do not need to touch the html. Just edit the style sheet and you should be good.

    When you need to modify the style just remember the following.

    header.php is at the top
    footer.php is at the bottom

    All you need to do now is find whatever is in the middle, to do this you could just add some random html to each file until you find it.

    Its not that tricky and once you trial and error your way through the first template, the second will be far easier.
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  9. #9
    Trusted Guru D3niss3's Avatar
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    Default 20 Sep 2010 @ 08.43

    quote
    ...
    I love WordPress (the ease of use when its up) and have read that it can be used to power a 'non-blog' site. But this seems difficult to setup from a personalised design (I couldn't follow tutorials basically).
    Originally Posted by fbmagik View Post
    It's not difficult when you know already what you're doing. Setting up a WordPress CMS is as easy as 1-2-3. Just download the program and upload on a server using FileZilla (or whatever FTP uploader you've got there). See Installation Guide.

    What's difficult is the integration of the customized/personalized design to WordPress.

    First thing first dear, do you even know how to code HTML-CSS from a psd file?

    If yes, good start. See WordPress Web development. If not, well you may need to study this first.


    quote
    A second question is.....If I wanted a CMS to be able to edit content on each page, add and edit images, add pages to the site (preferably). Are there any considerations you should make in the design?
    Originally Posted by fbmagik View Post
    Yes, IF the sub-pages are dynamic. NO, IF the subpages follows a static template.

    quote
    What do you think is the best CMS option is for this?
    Originally Posted by fbmagik View Post
    WordPress. You've got the whole WordPress CODEX to study it.

    Goodluck!
    Symmetri Designs => Graphic Designs|e-Commerce Development|WordPress Customization
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  10. #10
    Junior Member AmberWood's Avatar
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    Default 28 Sep 2010 @ 18.53

    I can suggest you Joomla CMS, also it's easy to use, and to manage. And there are a lot of extensions and plugins for it, and templates. So you won't be alone. And customizing the templates, is as easy as changing some images and some CSS codes, but it's easy. Also there are templates that makes the process easily.
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