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Best CMS for a client?

  • # November 9, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    I have been meaning to try this out. Its seems like i might be really cool for small sites.

    http://statamic.com/

    # November 9, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    @pkinchla I’m very curious how it works without a database.

    # November 9, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    me too. using it as a blogging platform seems like magic to me. What happens if you decide you want to migrate to another platform.

    # November 9, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    I assume a lot of copying/pasting. I just looked into it and I’m not a fan. I would essentially have to learn an entirely new way on how to structure my pages. Plus, I bet the SEO aspect is not nearly as great compared to WordPress. This appears to be targeted towards really small sites anyway.

    # November 9, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Most clients want a CMS they can use though – just to make their lives easier. While some of these nosql or no database CMS’s are fine with us nerds, if I was to suggest to a client paying thousands for a site that they have to learn markdown I doubt it would go well.

    As much as WordPress being the goto/defacto CMS depresses me, I’d use that over an option that requires a customer to learn any type of code any day.

    # November 9, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    @andy_unleash I dont believe the client would have to learn markdown to be able to edit content. There is an admin panel with a GUI for editing and adding content.

    @ChristopherBurton yeah for a blog I would probably not use this. It seems like a viable option for static sites that need a “CMS” though.

    # November 9, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    @andy_unleash Why are you against WordPress as a CMS?

    # November 9, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    @ChristopherBurton – I know most web dev’s swear by it as the ultimate system, but it’s not a CMS – it’s a blog platform that has evolved over time, but at it’s core, it’s a blog system. A CMS should be ultra simple & user friendly, especially for non-technical customers.

    For example, all of our projects are business sites, so some with e-commerce, others just informational sites, none of our customers know anything about web design/development/coding etc etc. They just want to be able to login, switch in a new page, add some content, update an image or post a blog post with no mess or fuss – almost like they were using MS Word.

    Wordpress for me is problematic from a user experience point of view. Sure – I could train them up on how to use it, which parts to avoid etc etc – but ultimately my problem with WP is that it’s everything and the kitchen sink. It’s not ultra clean and simple (which is what we endeavour to provide) and also I find that WP really holds us back.

    Sure you can write plugins/grab plugins for everything which is great, but in my opinion everything should be from scratch and the CMS an afterthought.

    I love Perch for those exact reasons. It allows us to build a site completely from nothing, all HTML/CSS/PHP etc etc, and then throw in the CMS only where it’s needed, total freedom and makes our dev cycle super fast.

    The main benefit is though that customers love it and after showing it to them for 5 minutes they just “get it” and are happy creating new pages, adding content and editing to their hearts content.

    Ultimately it’s all about the customers ease of use for us. I’m sure people will exclaim I’m wrong – and I’m sure I am in a lot of cases, I’m not besmirching everyone who uses WP for customer projects. It’s just not to our taste and in my experience not the best option for our customers. Other developers’ mileages may vary!

    # November 9, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    But you can tweak WordPress (even the backend). I actually agree with some of your arguments. Especially it being really bulky. With my site, I literally create functions to hide things I do not use as they are pointless options to be seen. I’m a designer and I’m not that great with the development side of things but I think WordPress can be transformed into something everyone can use.

    # November 9, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    I have used WordPress for massive websites and have done WordPress training sessions with clients. After every training session the response is always, “I can’t believe it’s that easy, this is going to be great.”

    # November 10, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    @TheDoc yes that’s true BUT I do have to side with andy in that while I’ve had the same experience as you have had in client training, it seems like post project is a little more up in the air.

    Sometimes I’ll have clients that just have a hard time getting it long term and they will ask the same questions over and over despite even having a manual to reference back to.

    I’m wondering if Perch will solve that. In these cases, it’s usually a client with a very simple site and they just simply don’t log in frequently enough to develop that cms “muscle memory” to remember where to go. Any case that where I’ve had clients with a lot of hans on involvement in their site work great in WP.

    I would venture to say that WordPress’ best future development lies in simplifying and making it easier to customize as a CMS to scale with client needs. Personally I’d like to see a totally scalable dashboard with a more integrated backend/front end. I’m not a Drupal fan, but I really did like the way Drupal’s dashboard sort of lays over the actual website. It really makes for a more cohesive feel.

    # November 11, 2012 at 12:47 am

    @JoshWhite @TheDoc

    Perhaps WordPress doesn’t need to be the standard basis for every client. WordPress has certain functionality and features however that not all clients need. Josh, as you expressed, clients that only need to update or login here and there and have issues learning WordPress, maybe Perch would be the solution.

    # November 11, 2012 at 5:10 am

    @JoshWhite – definitely check out Perch, grab a single license and give it a whirl – I promise it’s totally worth it.

    Re: WordPress – I’m not against it completely, I know a lot of devs/designers swear by it, but for me it’s the “all seeing, all powerful eye” – as in it takes over everything.

    For me a CMS should be easy to use and simple for customers and stay out of the way during development.

    Perch is great as an example because it can be thrown in at the end of a project. You can build out all the entire site how you want it and then just chuck in like;

    < ?php perch_content('CONTENT AREA');?>

    - Easy peasy.

    You can make it more complex and have it manage menus, page templates, a blog app etc – but it’s as simple or complicated as you want it to be.

    Just for the WP peeps – I have used WordPress before on certain projects – particularly real estate websites because there are some great plugins for it and Perch doesn’t have that ultra power quite so easily.

    Ren
    # November 11, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    I had the worst experience with PERCH!! It is super easy for the client to use once you have got it up and running but it is really complex to use is you are not a developer but a designer like me. It was easy enough to create basic editable zones but if you want to do anything else you need to have extensive knowledge of PHP code and don’t expect Perch to help you. Their support system sucks big time. perch ended up costing me a LOT of time, money and stress. I ended up having to hire a developer and my clients are still angry at me because of the time it took and all the little glitches that keep coming up. So unless your a confident web developer I would say stay clear of perch!!!

    Square space was recommended to me after I used perch and I reckon it is a step up from wordpress but haven’t used it myself yet.

    # November 11, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    Squarespace is in a tough position at the moment. From a developer’s stand point, it’s not something that I’d give to a client. Building custom themes and implementing them is troublesome. The biggest problem is that there is no ‘Theme Options’ panel where you could have toggleable fields (eg. Slider, Sidebar options, Color options, etc).

    I’m not suggesting that WordPress is perfect for *every* project, though. I would say that’s it’s going to work for the majority.

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