Best CMS and Method for website launch

  • aleks77
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hi,

I am planning to launch a magazine-style website, and I am looking for the best way to do this. I have maintained some blogs in the past with Wordpress, but I was pretty disappointed about the possibilities. My website would contain the usual pages and posts, a forum, a member area with the option to maintain a profile, expandable menus, options for readers to rate articles and products, etc.

Here are my questions:

- Which is the best CMS to setup such a project? I thought about using something like Drupal, since I heard it has more possibilities than Wordpress and it's better than Joomla. What are your experiences with setting up complex websites with CMS?

- Would it be advisable to have a web designer to make the website completely, or would a premium template do for the beginning phases of the projects?

Thanks for helping me out.

Cheers, A.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • mindfullsilence
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I'm a pretty strong advocate of Drupal. it's downfall is it's complexity - it has a pretty stiff learning curve that the Drupal community refer to as the "Drupal learning cliff". However, it can do just about anything you want to do with a website. I can't vouch for ease of use with templates, so I won't answer that any further than if you have a template, your website will look like a million others. As far as doing it yourself or having a web designer do it, that depends on your level of knowledge in php, html, mysql, and css, as well as the amount of time you're willing to dedicate to the project. Setting up a Drupal site takes a bit of time. Once it's running, maintenance is minimal and use is easy - it's the initial hurdle of getting the site set up and running that will leave you pulling your hair out.
  • aleks77
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks. Actually I might want to rephrase my question, since I would consider Wordpress to be an option, if it can handle a few of my requirements. I know Wordpress much better than Drupal or any other CMS, so it would be my first choice.

The site I want to create is a magazine style website, and a mixture of pages and posts. I will have around 100 or so pages, which resemble static information. Additionally, i will have posts. The following is absolutely mandatory for site:

- I need full control over my menus, and I want to combine pages and posts in the menu bar,
- I need different side menus, and a full control over which menu is displayed with which page.
- I need a member area where people (mainly authors and contributors) can sign in and create articles. The member area should be customizable and user rights need to be assigned by me individually.

These are the main points that give me a headache. I didn't manage to fully customize menus when working on my previous website, but maybe there are plugins i can use, which I don't konw.

I know that all the other things I want to do are possible in virtually any CMS.

Thanks.
  • mindfullsilence
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Post 3+ Months Ago

The points you just listed are some of the most basic functionality in Drupal. The things you mentioned in your points are all part of the user interface for Drupal, no coding required for them.

In Wordpress, I've ran into a couple plugins that allowed me to do custom menues in the past, can't recall what they are but they are definitely easy to find with a simple google search. I've used Wordpress only a few times and found it frustrating when straying away from it's basic blog functionality, but I know it can do a lot if you have the time or knowhow to code it.

In Drupal, there is a built in menu manager that allows you to define links to pages, posts, forms, and database query pages(called "views" in Drupal, but not much different than the "search results" page in Wordpress, with the exception that the admin defines the search results by taxonomy rather than the user by searching for keywords)

If all you need is an admin account and some author and contributor accounts, Wordpress is capable of that. The convenience is that they are available out of the box. The downside is that they aren't configurable.

However, if you need more fine-grained control over your users, Drupal allows you to define account profiles wherein you set the permission of every piece of functionality - what's allowed under said profile, and whats not. Then you assign users to the profiles you created, as well as set a default profile for new sign-ups. This can be taken even further by setting a user to an account profile, and then adding rules specific to that user. Basically, any permission you can think of setting to any user, all users, or sets of users can be done in Drupal.

Funny enough, Drupal's predefined content types (the definitions of sets of content) are Page and Post. You can always set more with as many fields/rules as you want, just letting you know that the ones you're after would already be set up for you. In this respect Wordpress and Drupal are the same, both come with content types of Page and Post.

I'm sure at this point it sounds like I'm trying to sell you on Drupal - I'm not. Just giving you as much information on both CMS' as I can based on my experience.
  • musik
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Post 3+ Months Ago

WordPress can do all you ask and more. It is an extremely powerful and fairly flexible content management system. 3.0 and higher can now do custom menus you simple tell it what you want in the menu, where and if an external link you define the URL. Its in the Dashboard under Appearance > Menus

You can also assign new users and set what they can and cannot do. It has some basic user levels already built in but you can refine those using some role manager plugins.

WordPress is perfect for magazine styled websites. You just need to find the right plugins and widgets to provide the bells and whistles you want to add.

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