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    I have always built sites from the ground up, done all the code myself, and done all updates by hand, etc. However, I’m the new webmaster for a state technical school and looking at doing a full redesign a lot sooner than anyone expected.

    In the past if a client wanted to update their own site I would create forms they would use to update a database with MySQL and the site would pull the data off the database. The new site will be much much larger than it is now. For example, the president wants a blog to talk to students and I want teachers to have the choice to create a "class website" and add image, docs, etc to it as they see fit.

    I have NEVER used a CMS before. Since I’m the only "webguy" an no one else will be working with the site directly should I make the switch from updating by hand to using a CMS? Will using a CMS allow me to set up teachers to create their own sites and update them?

    Basically, before I jump into a CMS I want to be sure I’ll get use out of it. I don’t want to spend my time learning a CMS like Joomla or wordpress only to continue to update the same way and continue to create the MySQL forms.

    Thanks for the info in advance guys!

    Ian G

    A CMS (I use Drupal) is great for projects with a lot of content updates or a multi-user site, especially when the users may not have even the slightest clue about how web sites work on the back end.

    For blogging and other basic types of text/image content, most CMS’s allow you to use WYSIWYG text editing much like a word processing program that most users would be familiar with. That alone is a lifesaver if you are looking at creating a site with the intention of being the sole trainer and maintainer for the users of the site. Having the ability to give the users a familiar and simple interface for adding content is a real boon.

    The real difference with a CMS vs a straight up coded site is that Content Management Systems are updated, not fire and forget sites. This is something to consider when committing to a CMS for a project. If you are looking to just design the site and then walk away, it might not be the best choice, since best practices for maintaining a Content Management System requires routine maintenance and upgrades to keep the site secure. But if you are to be the ongoing maintainer of the site anyway, the scalability features of a CMS are hard to beat.


    I like working with a CMS quite a bit personally, but they do have their pros and cons


    • Your using someone’s code so you don’t know everything that goes into it[/*:m]
    • Almost always there’s more functionality then you need[/*:m]
    • There’s always a learning curve.[/*:m]
    • more I can’t think of…[/*:m][/list:u]


      • They have been tried and are usually very secure[/*:m]
      • They have done a lot of work for you, so it speeds up the production process[/*:m]
      • They deal with all the low down issues such as database management, caching, sitemaps, etc…[/*:m]
      • There’s tons of tutorials and support you gain. [/*:m]
      • Usually gives the user much more control over their website and allows them to not rely so much on programmers help to add and change content. [/*:m][/list:u]

        The Bigger question I find is which CMS to use.

        My favorite CMS is probably SilverStripe
        I also like WordPress

        There’s tons of good ones just depends on what you want.


    I am College student who is now studying here in the Philippines.
    well, as of now I am working on a project using Joomla (a pretty good example of CMS)..
    well, base on what you said, maybe it will be a lot better for you to use a CMS…
    and you said that our the only "webguy" there, then it would take at east a week in studying one particular CMS…
    my advice to you, choose the CMS that is very easy to use then if you have managed to learn the basics from it… then go to the next level… upgrade you CMS by putting extensions, modules, an components or have a switch of CMS if you feel you need to…

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