Best CMS for image oriented (ie Artist) sites

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by stepweb, Apr 28, 2008.

  1. stepweb macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2008
    Hi there,
    looks like I'm about to take the plunge in the world of CMS.

    Before I go and spend numerous hours learning the ins and outs of a particular system, I figured I try and get some feedback.

    Basically, my process is this:

    Protype my sites in Fireworks,
    then handcode CSS and xhtml.

    I primarily do a lot work with image oriented sites (artists, galleries, clothing stores etc)
    where my design is as transparent as possible so not to detract from the images on the site. I've had a lot of requests for CMS updating....

    Basically, I'm trying to figure out why my best options are...

    at the moment I'm look at Wordpress, Dupal and cmsMadeSimple

    I figure i could clean up Gallery2 and use it to handle images...

    I don't know....

    does anyone have any ideas?
  2. Photomax macrumors regular

    Nov 26, 2007
    I looked into a bunch of CMS systems. The better known ones are huge systems with tons of modules etc.

    The trick is how do you incorporate your design and make it function with all the code that the CMS runs on? Most people that come to CMS systems are not as concerned with this: they pick a system, choose a "theme", maybe alter the header image and are good to go.

    If you are a designer and build nice looking valid sites with XHTML and CSS and want to pour the design into a working CMS system then its not that simple. Try taking a custom design and making it work with Joomla for instance.

    Some knowledge of PHP really helps.

    Once system worth looking into is MODx. Its newer and is more of a Ajax framework than a full portal system. After trying six or so of the major systems MODx is what I am concentrating on when working with CMS demands...

    Your mileage may vary and there are hundreds of CMS systems out there...
  3. stepweb thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2008
    Thanks Photomax,

    do you have any sites up using ModX?

    How do your clients feel with the backend?

    Have you found any ways to dumb it down?

    I got to say, the wp 2.5 interface (atleast for clients) seems fairly managable... I'll look into ModX more...
  4. Photomax macrumors regular

    Nov 26, 2007
    I am developing two sites with MODx currently.

    I am very comfortable with creating static sites with XHTML and CSS. I am a photographer by trade so the design world makes sense to me while hardcore coding does not. I have avoided Javascript so far. I also hate Flash...

    But everything changes. Dynamic sites are the future. I spent a lot of time looking into this. I really like Wordpress. Its awesome for a single user and for blogs etc.

    For a full CMS with managers, editors, and web users etc I looked into a dozen or so options. I was most interested in being able to create my own design and make it function with the CMS. Some of the bigger CMS systems have incredible features and a zillion modules but are more rigid. I installed Drupal, Joomla, CMSMadeSinple, Textpattern and others. I then set about removing the default theme and adding my own design. Most of what I encountered was backwards engineering: you mess with some other person's work and make your own fit. Some of the systems have a ton of code and rigid structure. I then evaluated how easy it was to receive help and digest info from the support bulletin boards.

    Long story short: I got frustrated with them all. All of these systems have a learning curve and time is a major requirement. In the end I kept coming back to MODx. MODx is young. I find it to be very flexible with one's own design. There is no one set way of doing things. The support is wonderful. Like any CMS you have to learn the local lingo and roll up your sleeves. MODx is not a snap. Its an open source developer framework. You need to know html and CSS to make your design work. You need to study the snippets (add-on modules) and how to call them into your documents. Knowing PHP is very helpful. I don't. I have been through frustration for sure, but I am quite pleased I backed this horse. MODx will soon get a major revision and it is nearing the 1.0 milestone.

    Some folks love the bigger CMS systems like Drupal etc. There is a lot to like. But there is just so much stuff. Figuring out what you need and what to use is sort of overwhelming.

    I am just a user and not part of the "team" but I feel like MODx is a good choice for a designer who has some design, html, CSS, and PHP skills. Its not plug and play for the basic user like iWeb is etc...


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