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Old February 1st, 2009, 09:16 PM   #16
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I can't advise, I don't like the websites created by most of those CMS packages. I think they look like cookie cutter sites. Of course, I started web development when the blink tag was new and exciting. I still use a text editor and do all of my development by hand. For content management, I wrote my own parser with my own database format. I don't trust other people to write my code for me, I developed during the browser wars and the habits stuck for making sites cross platform well. Stubborn Paranoia on my part.

I'll give you my parser if you'd like as a starting point, it is short and simple to read (cause I have to support it myself) and only supports the specific things I'm using it for, but it can be abstracted easily.
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Old February 1st, 2009, 09:39 PM   #17
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I can't advise, I don't like the websites created by most of those CMS packages. I think they look like cookie cutter sites. Of course, I started web development when the blink tag was new and exciting. I still use a text editor and do all of my development by hand. For content management, I wrote my own parser with my own database format. I don't trust other people to write my code for me, I developed during the browser wars and the habits stuck for making sites cross platform well. Stubborn Paranoia on my part.

I'll give you my parser if you'd like as a starting point, it is short and simple to read (cause I have to support it myself) and only supports the specific things I'm using it for, but it can be abstracted easily.

I think it is awesome that you can design your own database and content management system that suites your needs. However I highly disagree that all CMS look like cookie cutter websites. There are plenty of open source CMS that provide a "framework" plateform for building your website. Using a CMS that is supported by a large community is like having 1000 web developers working for you, creating more features, fixing bugs, and better security.

If you still think a CMS like Drupal offer only cookie cutter style websites, then check out Drupal sites | Dries Buytaert
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 08:00 AM   #18
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There is no definitive answer to this question, as there are advantages and disadvantages on both sides. Writing your own code is nice and you can make your site look and work exactly the way you want it. Downside: as technology and public taste evolves, you have to be on your tiptoes all the time or your site will look outdated.

I started with FrontPage and graduated to Dreamweaver; got to the point where I can write simple code in a text editor. But I got tired of keeping my site on my computer and uploading/synchronizing all the time. So now I want to do it all on a web interface, and be able to change the look of the whole site with a click. Sure I can re-write the css/stylesheet code behind my site but why bother when, as mentioned just above, thousands of others can do that for me, way better than me.

Also, a CMS-based site is pretty much the only alternative for small organizations, businesses, or churches where the designer is not always available to make updates, so a few others can chip in and keep the site up to date.

[Just as a side note, Cole, your site is not very PC/Windows friendly. I am trying to watch your 2007 demo reel, and it would not load. Please don't take this as a personal attack; it is my general experience that QT on some sites works fine on my PC, while QT from other sites does not work at all. FWIW mpeg4 in a flash player brings the best of both worlds together: the high quality of qt/mp4 video - looks like you're a Mac person - and the universal Flash player].
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 10:45 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Wes Coughlin View Post
I think it is awesome that you can design your own database and content management system that suites your needs. However I highly disagree that all CMS look like cookie cutter websites. There are plenty of open source CMS that provide a "framework" plateform for building your website. Using a CMS that is supported by a large community is like having 1000 web developers working for you, creating more features, fixing bugs, and better security.

If you still think a CMS like Drupal offer only cookie cutter style websites, then check out Drupal sites | Dries Buytaert
I'll assume that I'm just viewing sites as examples that are made by non-designers or folks who don't know how to customize their layouts then. This held true even back in the early 90's when SO MANY people were simply putting up pages that were text with lists of links and not much else... Search engines were small and new at the time (Yahoo was still a personal student page at Stanford and Google and Alta Vista were far off on the horizon). No one new what was possible yet, or how to go about achieving it. In the late 90's, flash sites were doing the same thing... too much bling bling on sites distracting from the content specifically.

I think that's alot of what is still happening, a handful of really talented and "What Box" thinking people are creating great and original sites with content that is easily access by the audience, and a million others that look like one another because it's the easiest route to get the info online.
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Old February 9th, 2009, 04:20 AM   #20
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I just wanted to quickly say that Wordpress is actually an incredibly great tool to use as a CMS. I've built many sites using all variety of open source, proprietory and custom CMS' over the years - but for now, unless I need to make a site that's incredibly complex, I've found that Wordpress has been more than able to handle things. It's easy to install and get up and running, plus you have complete control over everything. It's got a great community base, and there are ample free plug-ins so that you can quickly and easily expand upon your site.

Cole, I have to disagree... You would be surprised how many high profile, well designed, and great looking sites are out there that are powered by tools such as Wordpress. As long as you design your templates right, and customise any plugins to suit your own needs (most produce good valid code, but some need a bit of tweaking), you can easily create a site that has beautiful clean, compliant and valid XHTML code with stunning style sheets.

I must confess, I'm not a programmer or web designer by any stretch of the imagination - but over the years I've had to throw together all manner of sites. As someone who's had to code complex online ticketing systems using ASP, hand written CMS' using PHP, etc. I must say - Wordpress just makes everything so much similer. But the main reason I love it is that once the site is up-and-running, ANYONE can update it without ANY prior knowledge of Wordpress. The backend interface is just so simple and easy to navigate.

That said, there are plenty of other great options out there - but don't overlook the simple blogging platform. It's much more powerful than you'd think!

Over and out!

Chris!
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