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: User friendly CMS? Also, webmasters wanted.
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Mar 4th 2009
Hey guys. I'm looking for a user-friendly, preferably free Content Management System for a website I work for. Basically we're a pinup girl-type website with articles and forums, but the ladies running the site aren't too technically literate; I'm trying to help as best I can, so I'm starting from the bottom. I need a CMS that will be easy to update, yet powerful.
Also: any webmasters willing to chat and help me find some things that will suit the needs of the site? I'm a newb when it comes to things that aren't related to blogger.com, but I really think the women behind the site have a good idea and I want to try to help em out; I mean, this could be a kickass job if it takes off.
Currently looking at Joomla, but the site uses Drupal at the moment.
Mar 4th 2009
First question would be what is it you're trying to do that Drupal won't let you? You should probably work out, in as much detail as possible, what the requirements of the site are before trying to pick a CMS. What features do you need, how do you want them to work etc?
There's an awful lot of material out there on how to configure and run Drupal sites, and hundreds and hundreds of pre-written modules for it including a lot of community-type features. There's probably a similar community around Joomla, but I haven't looked at that much.
I'm going through the process of building a Drupal site at present as a 'learning experience', am an intranet manager but on the business rather than technical side so can't be of that much help, but 'why do you need a new one' would be my starting point!
Mar 4th 2009
I work in IT but I'm not a developer or anything, so I apologize in advance for not being able to get really technical.
The company I used to work for until just recently spent about a year using both Drupal and Joomla. They were a multimedia company that owned about 15 different companies, all of which published quite a large amount of information every day. They converted a couple sites using each of the two CMS's. At the time, we had a Joomla contractor and an FTE who was very knowledgeable when it came to Drupal. In the beginning, I believe it was their intention to use each CMS for different sites depending on number of users, amount of data, etc. Joomla would be used for smaller sites, Drupal for larger ones.
Well, the only reason this was a good plan was because it allowed them to compare the two CMS's side by side. It wasn't a very good idea to try and run two different CMS's...two knowledge bases, two communities, two methods for doing everything...it was very redundant. After a year or so, the company decided to scrap Joomla altogether. The Joomla guy's contract wasn't renewed and soon afterward the Joomla sites were converted to Drupal.
From what I can tell, these are the reasons the company went with Drupal instead of Joomla:
*Drupal is less complicated than Joomla. As I said, I don't know all the technical aspects here, but essentially our developers much preferred using Drupal by the end of it based on the company's needs. It was a large company with a lot of different sites though...it still might be too large/cumbersome for your needs. Even though it's a bigger system than, say, Wordpress, it still seems better than Joomla in the area of the technical expertise level needed to maintain the site.
*Better community support. Essentially, there are more thoughtful/helpful conversations that take place in the Drupal community than the Joomla community. Also, you've got resources like drupaldojo.com that have helpful videos and such.
*More people are using Drupal. And by people, I mean both companies and developers. I don't know which happened first. More and more people started building their site using Drupal and so more and more developers became proficient at Drupal. This in turn brought more people into the Drupal community. I assume this means it would be easier to find a Drupal developer (if you needed one) simply because there are more of them out there right now.
At the very least, I don't think Joomla will be any less complicated than Drupal. Chances are it'll seem even more complicated to Joe the Internet User. I think it's entirely possible to get regular users on Drupal though, at least when it comes to updating the site, creating contests, participating in forums, etc.
The thing about Drupal that confuses a lot of people is the vocabulary. Most people are used to calling them widgets, but with Drupal they're called blocks. There's a lot of stuff like that, stuff that your brain thinks should be called one thing when it's actually called another.
Will you stay in charge of site maintenance or will that be passed on to one of these women? If it's being passed on and they're not too technical, then maybe you'll want to go with something else. If you'll stay in charge of site maintenance and they'll strictly do updates and such, then I think you should give Drupal a shot. I can tell you that my former company got middle aged people using Drupal every day...these are people that only use computers for basic internet surfing and email.
Perhaps Drupal would be too big a beast for this project, though. If that's the case, have you looked into WordPress? While it's quite a lot different from Drupal, millions upon millions people are using it, there are a lot of themes and widgets available to customize sites, and it's much more down to earth. I don't know what your exact intent with the site is...Drupal is good for handling A LOT of information. I think it'd be counterproductive to learn and install Drupal if the site is only going to have 5 users and will only be updated once or twice a day. I'm using Wordpress for my own site--a basic blog--and it's pretty kick ass. VERY easy to learn and update, not as good with large amounts of data though.
That's about all I've got. Does any of this sound interesting to you? Do you want a more professional/technical opinion about Drupal and/or Drupal vs. other CMS's? If you really think it would be useful, I can ping a friend of mine (a Drupal developer) and ask him for his opinion. Then I'll post it here. He stays busy, though, so it might take a couple of days.
I see your account is pretty new...you gonna stay around after you find a CMS? I'd like to hear more about the site once it launches and such.
Mar 4th 2009
Well, these are the features we need on the site:
- A gallery photo, with comments, ratings, and captions. This would also need to be able to differentiate between paid and unpaid users, and give a different set of photos as a result (paid and free galleries, essentially)
- A basic forum, with post-counts, signatures, avatars, and the like.
- A frontpage and content system, which really, is like any other blog service
- A way to tie forum usage, picture commenting, and subscription status to a single account, which we can charge a subscription fee.
- A shop. This can be done through cafepress, I guess, but I'd like it to be done in our site
- Places for staff profiles, which I guess are really just basic pages.
I'm not too technically literate with things on CMS, or website building in general. I'm just used to managing my own Blogger system and copy/pasting code in when I need it. I've found a webmaster that's willing to make us a site in Joomla for free, so I guess that takes care of that. However, I've never been behind the scenes (if you will) of our site, so I don't know what the Drupal control panel looks like, or how it functions.
Basically what I need help with now is the subscription system, which I think we can do via paypal; anyone know anything that would help me out? Tutorials?
@tcatsninfan: I'll be staying around here for a long while and probably post stuff in the projects thread when it's all up. No worries, mate :)
Mar 4th 2009
I've run a couple different CMS systems over the years - I used Zope/Plone for a nonprofit site I ran for about a year (can't recommend it, I'm afraid, way too complicated), as well as Sharepoint and dotNetNuke. I'd recommend looking into DNN if you're able to do Windows hosting. It has strong community support and a number of commerical plugins and support as well, and I find it pretty enjoyable to use.
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