Files instead of CMS

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by AFPoster, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. AFPoster macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #1
    I've been communicating lately with several developers and they all said the same thing and I just wanted to get the opinion of the forum to see if this is correct.

    Currently my site is in a CMS solution and I wanted to recreate my entire site and just use html, css, php and jquery files. Once the site is complete I want to erase my hosting files and cms files from the server and just purely upload my new site files (html, css, etc). However, I'm being told this isn't the best practice and I should continue to use a CMS since that is becoming the norm.

    Just curious because I feel this takes away from the "hand-coded" method of using apps like Coda. Am I wrong?
     
  2. aaronchow macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2007
    #2
    Most of the CMS is getting very powerful lately, especially Drupal. If your site will only be used and updated by yourself, then it shouldn't matter too much since you know the ins and outs. But if your site will be updated by others in future, I also suggest you to stay with CMS since they are well documented
     
  3. AFPoster thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #3
    This site is only maintained by me. I like CMS systems just the one we use has a lack of forum support so I want to pull away from it. I also want to build my skills in html & css which is why I'd like to maintain it myself.
     
  4. lucasgladding macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Location:
    Waterloo, Ontario
    #4
    You can definitely still develop your HTML/CSS/JS skills while using a CMS. My advice: try switching to one of the more popular platforms where support isn't an issue, and develop your own branded theme for that. You'll be doing the same work you would with a static site, plus some work to integrate with the system. The difference is, you won't be doing that same thing every time you add content.

    +1 for the Drupal recommendation. I have been using it for clients for about 4 years now, and find the system much cleaner to work with than WordPress. I haven't used Joomla beyond some simple evaluation, so I can't speak for that.
     
  5. lucidmedia macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    #5
    Plenty of opportunities to "hand code" when you are theming. Coda works just fine editing PHP template and CSS files...
     
  6. Dolorian macrumors 65816

    Dolorian

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    #6
    Definitely stay with a CMS. Going commando with html and php files is really not how things are done in modern web design/development. Using a CMS won't prevent you from hand coding your site.

    WordPress and Drupal are very popular CMS, so you should probably try one of them. For my part I use CMS Made Simple and think it is absolutely fantastic. Quite powerful but also very easy to get the hang of.
     
  7. jared_kipe macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #7
    ... so it doesn't have whatever 'forum support' is (could be a support forum, or an easy forum module) so you want to recreate EVERYTHING from the ground up. Where will your 'forum support' come from then?!
     
  8. 960design macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2012
    Location:
    Destin, FL
    #8
    I did the same thing about 5 years ago! Here's my experience. I wanted to advanced my intermediate knowledge of php to leet status, so I wrote a custom MVC solution for web development. I even used it in several production sites. Ahhh the glory.

    About two years later I was hired to refresh a fairly large, high volume site with a custom MVC backend. AhhHHHH!!!! The pain!!! It took me an entire month just to figure out all the amazing things that had been done, I was truly impressed by the work, but a month just to start!!!

    I spoke with the owners and recommended a generic CMS, because it will be the same every time they want something changed. It will take a developer a month to figure out what the heck is going on. There are millions of wordpress, drupal, joomla, concrete5, ect. developers out there that can crank out a plugin over the weekend and get a site refreshed(or built) quickly and easily.

    So, please build your custom site for your own knowledge. Go ahead and put your work in production. But don't throw away your current solution. Stick it in a folder and save it. Hand coding is fun, but doesn't pay the bills and is hell to fix later. Stick with a common solution for production work, to save your clients a headache in the future.

    Any fine production line is built with previously test components. This build pattern is confirmed over and over in business. There are few great innovators out there, you may be the one. Most of them die alone and in obscurity ( Tesla ).

    just me

    PS I use coda for all my plugin, custom theme work, ect.
    PPS I have a sandbox area that I 'explore' with; stuff like node.js, impress.js, three.js, ect.
    PPPS I just noticed most of my exploring has to do with javascript... that's strange. Haha.
     
  9. AFPoster thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #9
    If I do it myself I wont need support. My site has crashed literally 3x with CMSMadeSimple and the error messages made absolutely no sense when I hadn't made a change to the site / server for over 3 months. It ended up being a file they added without telling anyone, but it took 4 days to figure it out.

    ----------

    Thanks for the information! I will definitely keep the site on CMS in a backup folder and hopefully I wont have to use it again. I am no innovator I just know what I like and what I want and I'm the only person I need to satisfy when it comes to maintaining which is why I'm fine with just files. It looks like my actual developers disagree so they are pushing me towards Umbraco CMS since it's a .Net platform. We will see who wins this battle, haha.

    Good PS, PPS and PPPS's!
     
  10. CBJammin103 macrumors regular

    CBJammin103

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    Location:
    Louisiana, United States
    #10
    I am not part of a big design team, but I have to disagree here - I would say the very best work is done by hand. If anything is re-used it is in-house code with an in-house CMS. In my experience, using a third party CMS is often like trying to put a square peg in a round hole.

    Personally I would never use a third-party CMS unless a client requested it specifically. Then again, my volume is not huge like some firms... since it's not my main source of income I don't need to take tons of projects every year to keep food on the table.
     
  11. jared_kipe macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #11


    Sounds like you need some simple version control and/or backup systems.
    Why does CMSMadeSimple have the ability to add code to a production server without your knowledge? Do they manage your host/server?
     
  12. AFPoster thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #12
    They don't that was the strangest part on why they would add something in the first place.
     
  13. 960design macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2012
    Location:
    Destin, FL
    #13
    What!?
    Who doesn't use version control now? With GIT it's ridiculous not to. Keep Source Tree open on another desktop, flick to it after a new feature tests safe, it automatically finds the changed files, drag and drop the ones you wish to commit (usually all) then click commit. Easy peasy.

    just saying
     
  14. jared_kipe macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #14
    Switch to a CMS that makes sense then, like SilverStripe (my fav) or Drupal.
     
  15. agahnim macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    #15
    Allow me to express my humble, apparently contrarian viewpoint.

    I'm not sure I'd bother with a CMS, especially if I'm the only one editing content. Wordpress and Drupal are thrown around a lot, and I've never been happy with either. Wordpress is poorly designed and a pain to develop in, and Drupal is overkill for most applications.

    These days there are a plethora of awesome static site generation tools out there. My favorites include Jekyll and Octopress (which is based on Jekyll). Couple that with the fact that you can serve a static site from S3, and you've got a nice toolchain for serving typical "website" content, while maintaining a DRY codebase.
     
  16. walangij macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    Location:
    MI
    #16
    I will echo this viewpoint. I develop in Drupal every single day and it is overkill for most people/clients if your site is relatively simple and doesn't need the power that it offers.

    For personal projects I've started using Jekyll because of the simplicity of it. I personally like to avoid using a database if your site is small enough that you won't need it. Expression Engine is a CMS that would be worth looking into as well if you're wanting a simpler CMS that does require a database to manage content.
     
  17. SrWebDeveloper macrumors 68000

    SrWebDeveloper

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA, USA
    #17
    Interesting to read the various opinions here, primarily advising to stick with a CMS (of any kind).

    I wish to emphasize that as well.

    First off, the "M" in CMS is a very important word, i.e. MANAGEMENT is what its all about. In this era of the dynamic web site such content is traditionally database driven, custom coded, integrated with various views and distributed within a human and machine friendly modern semantic web. Even if the content hardly ever changes or no server side coding involved a CMS allows for control of content delivery which can be as simple as copy/pasting in a WYSIWYG editor or uploading an HTML file representing one static page.

    It's what you do with that page after its uploaded which is meaningful, including analytics, aggregation and distribution, integration with social networks, and search engine optimization. Yes, even for personal pages.

    With a CMS you can integrate all that using simple controls, you can archive content, add revision control, introduce permissions, easily close a site during maintenance, and do all this remotely with secure, controlled access.

    Put the burden of content MANAGEMENT to a third party CMS solution, you worry with your content, and enjoy the simple to use but very important modern tools in the toolbox. My final comment is don't get lost in tools and technology, so remember what others noted --- KISS principle, pick the right CMS for you, and many were mentioned from Drupal to Simple CMS. But pick one, and use it properly and your site will benefit greatly.

    My .02
     

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