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dw001
03-23-2006, 06:49 PM
I need some advice. I have been developing ďnon-dynamicĒ sites for a while and recently have come across some clients who want to add functionality to their websites. While the preferences for each client differ, I was curious to see if I could build or implement something that meets a good portion of all their needs.

Objective 1
The main goal for me is to completely hand over a website and all of its components to the client so they can update their site.

Objective 2
The next goal is to make it as easy as possible for the client to update the web pages.

Iíve come across some options. What could be the PROS and CONS of each:

1) Server Side Includes (will the client need to know some HTML?)

2) Macromedia/Adobe Contribute (the client would need to purchase the program, most are not willing to do so)

3) Content Management System

Iím fairly new at CMS so Iím not sure how to go about setting up one. For anyone who has used CMS, how customizable can they be?



Thanks for any feedback.

domedia
03-23-2006, 06:59 PM
I need some advice. I have been developing fairly new at CMS so Iím not sure how to go about setting up one. For anyone who has used CMS, how customizable can they be?
Customizeable in which way? If you completely seperate html and css, then customizing the look for the clients website is a matter of editing the stylesheet. It takes a decent knowledge of knowledge to build a CMS though.. and you should make sure you've architected out all functions and features ahead of development.

dw001
03-23-2006, 07:19 PM
Thank you for your response.

Let me tell you that I'm not a programmer period. :) I've had some help on the past with placing code from free script websites into my HTML pages. You can correct me on this but whenever I search for code that doesn't cost a penny it comes with a lot of "additional" files the creator uses. For example, I put a small visitor counter script on one of my friend's website. To me, this shouldn't contain a lot of code but it did. My point is that looking for code on the Web, from my experience, is difficult to fully be customized to one's liking.

The other thing was this, take a look at these very random sites:

www.simplebits.com
www.zeldman.com
www.photomatt.net

While there are other countless examples, they all seem to follow "a look" that represents a site blog, (e.g. 2-3 horizontal column layout). When I considered CMS, I wanted to make sure that I could design a website layout in an image editing program such as Photoshop, slice up the images, build them in Dreamweaver, and connect it to a dynamic content management system for ďautomaticĒ functionality instead of a user (like me or the client) wouldnít have to do it manually.

With that said, I donít have a problem with editing HTML and CSS to change the look of a website, itís the programming part that Iím stuck on. Iíve thought about paying a coder to write some customized PHP scripts so I can use them on websites. Kind of like ďrent a coder,Ē though Iíve head some bad things about this concept.

In a nutshell, Iíve come up with a list of features that would need to be created using PHP or some other language so I can just insert the code into web pages as needed.

Creative Insanity
03-23-2006, 07:28 PM
CMS *ducks Rams raging foot steps LOL*

Ok you would be best to use php/mysql and then you could make an admin section where they could update and add new content to their sites at will.
This is the easiest for them as then all they would need is a web browser and nothing more. The problem with html sites is that any updates requires that the page be re-edited and many clients do not know how to do this, or have staff to do it which is why they hired someone to create the site in the first place.
You have to treat every client as a complete noob when it comes to any type of scripting language as if they were not they would of made their own site.

Anyway this is what I normaly do.
All my sites are in php/mysql and if there is a need for content update at a later stage I add a passworded admin section for the client. If not then no admin section is created.
Once my sites are completed I place them inside an installer and then all the client needs to do is create a database (or get their hoster to, no feilds needed) and upload the files. The rest is all taken care of by the installer which makes it both easier for the client and less hassle for the developer in the long run.

As for my top coment on CMS.. I hate them. :shock:

dw001
03-23-2006, 07:43 PM
Thanks for your response.

Yeah, PHP/MYSQL sounds great. It's just that I'm not a programmer but I do know the basics of PHP. Honestly, that's all I'd like to know :D

As a web developer, my area is more HTML/CSS construction and User Interface Design. I would leave the functionality part up to a hardcore coder. Itís just that I donít know one :?

I really appricate your help, Iím not looking for ďtheĒ answer. But merely some guidance on how I can go about thisÖ

kona72
03-23-2006, 07:52 PM
Hey CI,

I'm curious about how you use PHP/MySQL in this fashion. Can you elaborate?? I have often thought of this but wouldn't the client have to know some HTML to format the content correctly??

Creative Insanity
03-23-2006, 10:35 PM
No as the editor in the admin section does all that.. if they can click a simple button (new line, new paragraph, image etc) they need to know nothing other than where to navigate to the image file. Then the image is uploaded for them in a preset location and the text formatting is all done by the editor.
Nothing hard really once you get yourself a nice editor created. These days there are many free ones that have the same functions as mine, so that saves you all the work.

The client needs to know no scripting whatsoever, and that is the way it should be really.

dw001
03-24-2006, 02:01 AM
What about me? :D

Any advice?

Creative Insanity
03-24-2006, 02:06 AM
I thought my answer should of helped you out. No more comment really needed. Unless you have a precise question.

theagro
03-25-2006, 02:11 PM
Nothing hard really once you get yourself a nice editor created. These days there are many free ones that have the same functions as mine, so that saves you all the work.

The client needs to know no scripting whatsoever, and that is the way it should be really.

One that I found to be really nice and free is FCK Editor.

davidj
03-27-2006, 09:30 AM
building your own CMS is a great way to learn but beware of that learning curve

in my opinion its an excellent choice of project to learn a scripting language but a very bad one if your client has a strict deadline