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hey geeks: recommendations for easy-for-end-user cms - Madame Woo
May 19th, 2008
04:25 pm

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hey geeks: recommendations for easy-for-end-user cms
okay, pretend you're an italian gentleman farmer who needs to change something on his website.

which cms would be the easiest for you to use?

dude wants to be able to updates pages himself, which makes total sense, but the only cms i really know is drupal, and that's barely developer-friendly, never mind user-friendly.

the website will have about 40 pages, (really, 8 pages, but each of them has to be in french, english, italian and german), it's a brochureware site, but he wants to be able to make changes to the content.

and i have to be able to get the css to look exactly the way that i want -- not just use some provides themes or whatever. in my ideal world, i wouldn't have to learn how to write a theme, but i'll survive if i do.

i thought of wordpress since it's a small site. any ideas?

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From:octal
Date:May 19th, 2008 10:03 am (UTC)
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wordpress seems to be what most people with no clue use for maintaining their own site, so that's probably what I'd go for in this case.
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From:swestrup
Date:May 19th, 2008 04:40 pm (UTC)
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I would recommend PmWiki. Technically, its more of a wiki than a CMS, but its easy to lock down so only one person can edit it.

If you have your own web-page design, its not hard to turn that into a theme, but I think you'll end up having to create your own theme no matter what CMS you use.
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From:cpirate
Date:May 19th, 2008 04:41 pm (UTC)
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I don't have a huge pile of experience with Wordpress, but it seems reasonably straightforward. I gather that, while you have to write themes, it's pretty straightforward and you get a good deal of control.

I do know that, for the love of sweet zombie Jesus, do not even think about touching Typo3. It's a very Enterprisey open-source CMS that I had the misfortune to use once; it's thoroughly insane.

If Wordpress doesn't work out for you, the only other open-source CMS I hear about in anything other than pejorative terms is Drupal. It's still big and complicated though, definitely try Wordpress first.

The bad news is that both Drupal and Wordpress (and Typo3, for that matter) are written in PHP. Stupid PHP.
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From:duncanmac
Date:May 20th, 2008 02:15 am (UTC)
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You may also want to consider the Zope CMS, which is written in Python rather than PHP.

Incidentally, both Python and PHP are interpreted. What is so bad about PHP (except for the inevitable overhead linked to interpretation) anyway?
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From:cpirate
Date:May 20th, 2008 02:45 am (UTC)
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The problem with PHP isn't that it's interpreted; that's usually fine for the web. The problem is that it's a just plain badly designed language. Among my many complaints: there's no database abstraction layer, its MySql bindings don't let you use bound parameters, and its standard library doesn't have a semblance of a sensible naming scheme. The first two are particularly galling for a language whose main use is talking to databases. Oh, and it's insanely irritating trying to write secure code in PHP, without worrying that some crazy quirk of the language or some goofball config option is going to turn around and screw you.

I've written a lot of PHP, and there's a lot of PHP out there; you can mostly get stuff done, and we're going to be maintaining it for a while so it's not exactly instant grounds for not using something. It's easy to learn, at least, so as long as someone else has gone to all the work of dealing with the language, it's reasonably easy to modify stuff. But I've personally sworn off writing anything new in PHP; there's a lot of languages out there that are just better suited.
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