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    I normally build sites using Textpattern, but I’ve been asked by a client to produce a site where the users can register, have a very basic profile page and submit information – probably an email form – and I’m almost certain that Textpattern cannot handle this. I was thinking that i could build most of the site with Textpattern and then ‘add on’ another, more specific, CMS or system to handle the registration aspect.

    Does anyone know of a solution to this?

    Many thanks in advance


    Chris Coyier

    As much as I tout WordPress, I would actually NOT recommend it in general for a heavily user registration based site. Maybe check out Drupal instead. The big exception being the BuddyPress add on stuff for WordPress: I just have zero experience using it so I can’t say much about it yet.


    Drupal would be perfect for this. It’s very powerful and flexible, but it’s not very user friendly unless you’re a programmer. Drupal can do pretty much everything but you have to put the parts together.

    Download the core at then a couple of modules:

    CCK – Custom Content Kit which will allow you to define the "custom content type" (input fields) for your profiles.

    Content Profile which will allow you to set your new content type to be a profile type (which can be displayed at registration)

    If you want the full out user profile experience you’ll also need:

    Filefield which will allow your users to upload pictures

    ImageField which will define a custom image field for CCK

    ImageAPI used by imagecache (below)

    ImageCache which will allow you to define the size of thumbnails & full picture

    Location module which will allow your users to enter street, city, zip, etc info

    Gmap module which ties into the location module and will allow your users to set a gmap marker for location (and allow you to show all users on a single map)

    Then spend a day or two writing a css file to make everything pretty.

    That should get you started, and if you need help, I’d be happy to give you advice. I’m going to write a very long multipart tutorial on this.


    I would have to agree with Jared+Chris. Drupal is pretty well built for this. I recommend watching a lot of tutorials and be ready for the learning curve. I’d also check out Aquia Drupal to make the set up a little simpler.


    Guys, thank you so much for helping me out. After Chris’ post I downloaded Drupal but didn’t know which modules would best, so I owe a huge thanks to Jared and Ashton for pointing me in the right direction. Now I have to get my head round Drupal, coming from Textpattern it is quite different.



    Zander, if you hang out for a while, I’ll message you when I get my user profile tutorial (and website) up.


    That would be great, thanks man!

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