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Traditional vs CMS site?

  • # February 14, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    Hi. I just started learning HTML and CSS about a month ago.

    I’m wondering what the actual difference between hosting a website the traditional way compared to hosting one with something like WordPress. I looked at what people said on other websites (mostly business focused, not design) and most of those people say that there really is no reason not to use a CMS. However, I feel like a place like this would give me much better answers.

    I learned the fundamentals of HTML and CSS and understand JavaScript, but I know nothing about WordPress. Are there scenarios where a traditional website would be better than using WordPress? And vice versa? If you have a large organization website is a traditional website better? What are some of the things WordPress simply can’t do? Etc.

    Thank you :)

    # February 14, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    @kmj2318 HTML is not dynamic. Therefore, if you added an additional link in your menu you would have to do this on all your pages. Not fun if you have a lot of them. Many CMS’s use PHP which allows dynamic content. So adding an additional link in your menu would update across all pages with one single change.

    I worked with WordPress for a few years, only really getting deep into it for about 6-8 months. I think it’s quite heavy for a small/portfolio site, though. Not something I’d use unless building a site like CSS-Tricks. Kirby is a really great CMS to learn and I think others have mentioned Perch (I believe that’s what it’s called) as well.

    Edit: To answer your question, I’d probably only use HTML & CSS for a one page site. But it depends. I like using a Panel when editing a site so a CMS would be appropriate for me.

    # February 14, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    @chrisburton Hey, that screenshot is really cool! I love the slick and clean design for the panel interface! Is that Kirby?

    # February 14, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    > Hey, that screenshot is really cool! I love the slick and clean design for the panel interface! Is that Kirby?

    @srig99 Indeed. That is the Kirby panel (with a few changes to the design).

    # February 15, 2013 at 2:16 am

    @kmj2318

    My opinion is that every good website deserves his own custom CMS. Or no CMS at all if it’s small website. If you know HTML, CSS, JS you will have no problem to learn a bit of AJAX, PHP or ASP. Don’t poison yourself with WordPress, Joomla or similar stuff. Don’t get me wrong those are amazing platforms for building websites, but if you wan’t to master web design and development do all dirty job. Like suit tailored for you fits you better than one you bought in shop so “hand made” web site will fit better users.

    # February 15, 2013 at 3:46 am

    @vladimirkrstic

    Though I see your point, I think it’s a bad idea to so heavy-handedly dismissing the value of building on what others have done.

    Yes, using WordPress or Joomla or anything like that means that there will be times when you will feel like you’re forcing a square peg into a round hole, but it also handles a lot of the heavy lifting, which leads to the developer getting to focus on the things important for _that specific website_ rather than needing to decide how to setup transients, cache, resource handling, editing of the content portion of the pages, etc, etc, etc.

    I’ve seen my share of systems written by someone who knew HTML and learned a bit of PHP. One of them gets hacked on a fairly regular basis due to the way they’re dealing with the logins, and the system is so convoluted and complex that it’s near-impossible to fix one thing without breaking ten others.

    Now, don’t get me wrong. This does not mean that you should grab , slap a theme on it and call it a day without understanding what you were doing, to really get the best out of all the CMSes/Frameworks, you should understand it. If you’re working on your own website, by all means, do it yourself, if nothing else as exercise, but if it’s going to be a larger system, it might be a good idea to browse for a solution that fulfills your needs close enough.

    # February 15, 2013 at 5:42 am

    @Melindrea

    I like to have full control. :) As you said there are stuff that those CMS can help you a lot. And I’m not against them as probably sounded in my previous post. But as @kmj2318 is pretty new best decision for him will be to do all dirty job first. And he will know later when he really needs some CMS.

    # February 15, 2013 at 8:01 am

    It depends a lot on what I’m doing, though I’ve started to appreciate frameworks (in particular Kohana lately) a lot more once I started to see how much more productive I could be without having needed to write all of it myself =)

    But yes, I agree. When you’re just starting out, it might not be a bad idea to start a lot simpler. Learn the basics of PHP before diving nosefirst into the complexities of >insert your CMS of choice here >.

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