CMS and dynamic data

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by polar-blair, Sep 29, 2009.

  1. polar-blair macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2008

    I havn't ever used CMS for any of my websites I have designed before. Either I have just edited my own or the few websites I have done dont really need to be updated (yet) or I have just done it for them.

    But I feel now I really should be using a CMS for my websites. I have just started a new project for a small food chain and have been running with an idea and was wanting to use dreamweavers Spry's dynamic data sheets. Where content on the page is loaded from an separate data sheet (table)

    Is there an easy way for the client to edit just the data on the tables of the data sheets rather than editing content directly on the website.

    I hope that made some sense. Thanks
  2. X-Cart macrumors newbie


    Sep 25, 2009
    Is your main concern to make sure a customer can easily manage the site content without disturbing the rest (templates, storefront, etc)?

    If so, you could probably choose WordPress - it is rather popular and easy-to-use CMS that should not be difficult to manage for your customer. Have you considered using regular CMS system?
  3. rupie94 macrumors member

    Sep 5, 2008
    wordpress is a great cms, but you need to know a little bit php.
    If you have dreamweaver CS4 you can use incontext editing.
    It's really easy, you just need to add some fields the editor can change and that's it!
    It's like making a template with dreamweaver.
    So InContext editing is a simple, but it's limited.
    Wordpress is a little bit more complex, but it has got almost no limitations in implementing it.
  4. polar-blair thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2008
    Thanks for the replies. I have gone and designed the website visually using illustrator and used the new FLash Catalyst beta to create a quick working demo of the website that I am about to send of for approval.

    But Im still confused about CMS. I can easily design my website that I have drawn out in DW by itself and really there is only a few pages that will needed to updated.

    I have tried to look at wordpress as a CMS but I am not sure how it works. I am about to start a hosting plan with media temple and they have wordpress as a one-click install.

    Im just very confused, It has taken enough time to learn DW + html + CSS, my php knowledge = 0.

    Im guessing I need to make templates for the pages in DW and apply the in WP? until I figure it out can I just make my templates as usual in DW?

    Or can someone direct me to a step by step guide to setting up WP as a CMS? I dont want any blogging features just 7 pages which are editable.
  5. SrWebDeveloper macrumors 68000


    Dec 7, 2007
    Alexandria, VA, USA
    You guessed right.

    A CMS is nothing more than a web based management system for content but the better ones also include themes (templates for look and feel) and plugins (widgets that extend the core functionality, cool stuff to add-on to your site).

    WordPress technically is blogging software, happens to come with theme and plugin support so people often use it to extend the basic blog stuff to make a fully realized site, which is what a CMS does so people call it that. As easy as that is, it's not as advanced as other native CMS's such as Drupal and Joomla, all open source, but intended for general site development including PHP/MySQL dynamic database integration and customization. As you mentioned you know PHP/MySQL, etc., and if blogging is not the main focus of your site, look into Drupal. I love it. In my opinion it's the most secure, has the most and best themes and a plentiful supply of modules (plugins) that really make a site personalized, without much pain coding, mostly back end configuration of administrative options. Bit of a learning curve, but saves so much development time.

    For example, download the core CMS and install. Pick and download one or more themes. Create content and content types. Create and merge blocks (which hold content, aka containers or buckets) into the theme where you want, add on plugins, manage content, add in analytics, and examine reports. That's the whole process summed up (alot of work, but less work than designing the front and back end from scratch all on your own).

    Not happy with any of the above after testing?

    Visit and compare and actually use all the popular freeware open source CMS's and make an educated decision on your own.

  6. rupie94 macrumors member

    Sep 5, 2008
    If you really don't want to learn how to make templates with wordpress or using an other cms, go for adobe incontext editing. You only need knowledge of Dw, HTML and CSS. Search for it on the adobe website. It works almost exactly the same as making a template for your website via Dw, you know the .dwt file.
  7. polar-blair thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2008
    OMG!!! this is the answer to my prayers. Thank you so much, I can not believe I have not heard about this before. and its free!!! at the moment anyway but who cares, the amount of time this will save me is unreal that it will be worth paying for. That is so great and also I can set up previous websites I have made for people with the same thing.

  8. X-Cart macrumors newbie


    Sep 25, 2009
    If you can design all the pages yourself and manage its content (and if content won't be changed too often), then you could just create all required pages yourself even without using CMS system.

    Do you plan to add any additional functionality to the website, for example, blog/forum/shopping cart/etc?
  9. polar-blair thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2008
    Well its a website for a small sandwhich shop chain / catering business. I havn't got all the content details yet but so far there will be a

    Either an enquiry form or an online order form for catering service (but not a shop)
    About us page
    Employee profile (possibly)
    available jobs
    News/latest offers
    Shop details / opening times / address

    So far thats it. Some pages wont need to be changed at all, but things like latest deals, job openings and employee profiles will have to be updated more regularly than I would like. If it was once every 6 months sure no problem but it wont be. And allowing the client to update it with out hassling me is great. Also having to do countless updates for free is very undesirable.

    But this adobe inContext editing thing is fantastic for this kind of website for basic updates. And in the future when I have more experience in the world of web I will probably go onto use something like Drupal or Wordpress.

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