CMS & WordPress
Say I already have a website up and running. How difficult is it to add a CMS to it so my client can update it?
Is CMS something I have to use while designing a website or can it be implemented later?
Depends very much on the CMS you use. It would be pretty hard to integrate a bigger CMS into an existing site (as the site is really build around those CMSs), but there are smaller ones that can be plugged in 'to one side' (as it were) and you can turn specific regions of your pages into editable areas. A nice example is Perch, where you buy the code and install it. A different example is to use a third party service like PageLime or CushyCMS. You allow these sites access to regions on your pages, and the client logs in to that third party site and does the page editing from there.
Thanks. I am going to start a new website for a client. However, I am not too familiar with using the CMS tools. I have used Joomla a bit but I never build a site with it. I'm using dreamweaver. I doubt my clients will have the time to update
the website on their own. But building a website with a CMS at the same time might slow things down. I also have another client who wants to update his website that I already created. Getting it to use a CMS is going to be very difficult. I
guess I should just dive and and learn to use it. Any suggestions on what CMS I should use? I hear Drupal is good.
Did your previous clients make you aware that being able to update certain portions of the site was a requirement? If not than it is on them. If it isn't in the specs than it doesn't exist pure and simple. If they now want to add specs after it is complete fine, but there is nothing wrong with rebuilding it given they are willing to pay. Though if they are not it is no fault of your own – not in specs doesn't exist. Generally though the front-end can be designed as you wish. It isn't a simple one two thing but with all systems it is possible. Though with systems like Drupal there are other requirements to take into consideration given the flexibility Drupal provides from the user admin for the average user. Failure to understand those things and their implications in regards to the design could result in things no functioning correctly if the client is able to manage build specs for the site, rather than merely create content. The biggest issue with Drupal is it gives a lot of power to people who know nothing. Coupled with the right person that can lead to a lot of issues like installing modules that are not security screened, adding HTML, etc.
Good response oddz. That pretty much says it all. I would add that if you are thinking of jumping into the CMS world, you don't want to do that with a client site unless you're doing a pro-bono site and the client knows you're using their site to learn the CMS. Also as oddz says, Drupal can provide your client with too many controls so the first thing you want to learn with Drupal is how to create user "roles" and limit those roles to content creation, editing so on.
I'm really interested in this thread as I too have a client who now would like to edit her site, and I've decided that it's something I need to learn to offer. I will investigate Ralph's suggestions, and perhaps avoid Droopal for now in the light of the other comments. However I have just read up a bit on Adobe Business Catalyst, and am wondering what you chaps think of that as an option?
I have certainly considered using that in the past. It's very handy to have all those features ready to go and hosted for you (making a lot of management issues much easier, as they are done for you). The code is not the best, but that's to be expected from an automated system, and most people won't care about that. For me, a big downside is the ongoing costs, but for any business that is making money, those costs are really trivial.
I have recently switched two clients static sites to wordpress; on site was very difficult due to complex but expected navigation and the other site was quite easy as they did not have a lot of special functionality; although I did - with ease - add a email form for them.
The Wordpress documentation is decent as a starting place.
If you need to add a CMS to an existing website, CushyCMS is one option you might like to look at.
If the CMS website is really friendly like Business Catalyst Templites. They have the friendly and easy to understand CMS.
Well as I see it, basically any design can be converted to a CMS. A couple of things would be involved
- Recoding the design as a template for the given CMS
- Adding the content in to the CMS from the existing static site.
Given the above one could easily convert the site from a static site to a CMS.