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Redesigning/Modernising Website ... which CMS?

web design cms

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#1 badger face

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:39

So I have a website with hundreds of static html pages all made years ago, and I need to get with the times. I want to make a new website from the ground up, and i'll just manually import the content to the new setup. So I'm thinking using a CMS is the best solution seeing as I'm too old to learn all the new tricks and coding standards etc. but the question is - which?

I want the website to be dynamic enough to be able to resize content depending on whether you are on a PC or a tablet or a phone. I like the look of Squarespace but it is the monthly fee that puts me off, I'd like a solution that is either free or 1-off payment. My website posts a lot of media of different types, articles with images or embedded youtube videos, as well as having a shop (though I will likely keep the shop I have and link to it externally as it would be a lot of work starting the shop again)

Can anyone offer any advice to someone who has been out of the game for a long time?

Thanks!


#2 Carbon Fiber

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:54

ForkCMS is one I recommend. Or Wordpress of course :-)

#3 threetonesun

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 13:12

Wordpress or Drupal. Depends on how you're organizing the content. Out of the box, I think it's a bit easier to use Views to get some relatively complex pages set up with results using Drupal, but if it's just a homepage->content->other content->other content sort of site, Wordpress is easier to use overall.

As for the responsive part, that comes down to the theme, and pretty much all CMSs have some responsive theme at this point. If not, taking a base Wordpress / Drupal theme and applying something like Bootstrap to it is pretty easy.

#4 +Lingwo

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 13:13

Wordpress. That will probably be one the easiest for you to get to grips with.
Has great support and 1000s of existing free themes you could use for your new site.
It also has a tonne of plugins which may help you.

Years ago it was only really recommended as a blogging platform but recent years it is becoming a nice tidy little CMS.

I've not tried Fork so i can't really say much about it. The only reason i recommend Wordpress is because of the large community it has and great documentation.

#5 +MikeChipshop

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 13:27

WordPress. For flexibility, speed, ease of use and if nothing else, the size and quality of the community.

#6 OP badger face

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 13:32

I have a quick look at fork and it didn't seem to resize too well, as opposed to squarespace which is very intelligent with resizing, though not sure if there are settings you can tweak to make it so...

While I am a bit of a noob when it comes to CMS, please understand the website gets a fair amount of traffic and currently looks good in the sense that I spent about $2000 on a custom build 6 years ago that still looks attractive today, just isn't very web2.0 so all the static pages are a pain in the backside when it comes to adding new content. A lot of the CMS stuff i've seen looks very, very plain/simple. There is some pretty decent templates for joomla, is that still being supported/updated?

The main content is guitar lessons, and would be good to have some method of sorting through them all, like by adding tags to each one or something. Not sure if I'm delving too far into database territory though?

#7 +InsaneNutter

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 13:32

Another vote for Wordpress, you could easily do what you want and achieve a great result.

I did exactly what your doing with or companies old website, it was just a mess of static HTML pages. Now we have a modern looking Wordpress design we did in-house, with a CMS various people can log in to and post new content. What's more is we have a SEO plugin that helps the people writing the content to ensure its as search friendly as possible.

Wordpress is probably the most easy CMS to work with, and of course you can tag all your posts and pages, create links to view content with certain tags, or in categories. If you can find a theme you like, or get someone to maybe port your existing design i think it would work well for you.

#8 OP badger face

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 13:33

Hmm a quick peek and wordpress looks OK, maybe that will do.. I always thought the general consensus was that wordpress is for personal websites/blogs/idiots haha is that not the case? (I appreciate the irony because i probably fall into the idiot category anyway in asking this)

#9 TheLegendOfMart

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 13:37

Its very modular, you can find addons for all kinds of content, videos, galleries, articles, reviews, etc.. Not sure whether it resizes the content formatted for phone/tablet by default but there will probably be an addon for it if it doesn't.

#10 Guth

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 13:37

Wordpress, always Wordpress :)
Its used for personal sites because its great, flexible and easy to use. They aren't the only people that use it though.
Here are some well known users and some examples of how flexible it is.
http://www.bbcamerica.com/
http://blog.gettyimages.com/
http://a-ha.com/
http://usainbolt.com/

They are all wordpress

#11 +MikeChipshop

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 13:44

Hmm a quick peek and wordpress looks OK, maybe that will do.. I always thought the general consensus was that wordpress is for personal websites/blogs/idiots haha is that not the case? (I appreciate the irony because i probably fall into the idiot category anyway in asking this)


Nope. It's used for a lot of big sites out there and it can look and feel however you want it too.
The back end is great too. I used to develop in WordPress, Drupal and Joomla but my clients always loved WP the best so i dropped Joomla and Drupal completely. Haven't looked back.

Just going through here http://wordpress.org/showcase/ makes you realize how flexible it can be.

#12 TheLegendOfMart

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 13:52

As for the responsive part, that comes down to the theme, and pretty much all CMSs have some responsive theme at this point. If not, taking a base Wordpress / Drupal theme and applying something like Bootstrap to it is pretty easy.

Thanks for that Bootstrap, very cool.

#13 fusi0n

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 14:05

Another vote for Word Press

#14 threetonesun

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 14:07

Hmm a quick peek and wordpress looks OK, maybe that will do.. I always thought the general consensus was that wordpress is for personal websites/blogs/idiots haha is that not the case? (I appreciate the irony because i probably fall into the idiot category anyway in asking this)


I think the main complaint with Wordpress these days is that it's complete overkill for most personal websites/blogs/idiots :laugh:

A CMS is a CMS, you can do whatever you want with it. Wordpress' default workflow happens to be very refined for blog-type sites, but you can customize it for anything. If content is your main focus (and, if you have a stack of static pages currently, it is), Wordpress works out best. I think some of the other CMSs are better if you're dealing with primarily displaying / sorting / adding data from a database.

Also, if you've used Wordpress in the past, it has improved considerably since 3.0 was released. My only real gripe is that they add/depreciate features on a rolling basis, so if you're searching around for solutions, just verify with the Wordpress codex that it's the correct way to currently do something.

#15 +MikeChipshop

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 14:23

I think the main complaint with Wordpress these days is that it's complete overkill for most personal websites/blogs/idiots :laugh:


Spot on.
The amount of time clients come to me stating they want 'WordPress' but have no idea what it is, what it does or don't really even need a CMS at all.

I had one client wanting a holding page with a logo, contact link and Twitter feed... oh and it had to be running on WordPress :s