A question that I see being asked in developer forums or groups on the internet is: What is the best content management system(CMS)?
Every time this question is asked it just opens up the floodgates to the fanboys of a particular CMS to hype up their choice whether that be WordPress, Drupal, Joomla etc.
The correct question to ask in the first place I think is: Does my website need a CMS? Some websites just don’t need a CMS as they are not updated often enough or they are only up for a short amount of time. If you website does need a CMS then the next question I think you need to ask is: Which CMS will meet my needs?
What I mean by this is that if you are building a simple blog site with a few static pages, Then WordPress would be an excellent choice as this is what this CMS is made for. But if you are going to build an ecommerce store then WordPress probably is not the best solution, Magento in this case could be a better solution or even building a custom system could be the way to go.
There is no one CMS that fits everyone needs, Different CMS platforms will appeal to different people, which is a good thing. But it means that we have to think about what CMS to use a lot more.
There are a few other aspects to think about when looking for a CMS for your project. Once you have figured out what your website will do, blogging or e commerce etc. Then you can start to narrow down which CMS you want.
A major point I think you have to look for is what community there is around the CMS you are looking at. For example WordPress has a massive community that has built up around it so if you have a question or an issue when developing on the platform you can normally find an answer to your question with just a quick search on Google.
If you start to use a CMS with a small community or a private company it may take you longer to get the answers you want which could add to your development time.
While looking at a CMS it is important to look at the development of the CMS, How many times has it been update? When was it last updated? is there active development? Its important not to pick a CMS that has no development being done to it as the CMS is probably dead and not going to be improved over time.
Another thing to consider is the end user, The person that will be using the CMS. Is the CMS easy to use? To answer this you may have to ask your client if they have used any other CMS platforms in the past as they may prefer a system like that.
On a side note and thinking about the end user. It is important to provide proper training to the end user when you finally hand over the website to the client. This can be in the form of documentation or videos.
So not that there are is already lots to consider when picking a CMS for your website, A point that I have not seen raised too many times and its a point that in the current economic situation I feel is an important is budget.
An example of this is if you have a choice of using an open source platform like WordPress or building your own custom system. If the end client does not have the budget then WordPress is the option to go for. But if the client as the budget then they may feel that going custom would be the way to go. The whole budget point also affects the developer / agency working out if they can afford to build the site custom with the price that they have quoted.
This post is not about saying this CMS is the best, it is just to highlight all the points to consider, and I am sure there are some points that I have not touched on in this post. When picking the CMS to use with your project.Posted in Web Development | Tagged cms, content management system | Leave a comment May 5, 2013
A special mix request by Andy Doane
1. John O’Callaghan – Find Yourself
2. Armin Van Buuren Ft Jan Vayne – Serenity (Sensation 2005 Theme)
3. Gabriel & Dresden – Tracking Treasure Down
4. Paul Van Dyk – For An Angel
5. Conjure One – Tears From The Moon (Tiesto Remix)
6. Ridgewalkers Feat El – Find (Andy Moor Remix)
7. Cygnus X – The Orange Theme
8. BBE – Seven Days & One Week
9. Nu NRG – Dreamland
10. Lightforce – Join Me (Club Mix)
11. Solarstone – Seven Cities
12. Vincent De Moor – Fly Away
13. Paul Oakenfold – Southern Sun (Tiesto Remix)
14. Armin Van Burren – In and Out of Love
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I was listening this week to some web conference talks and there was a talk about a website called http://www.webplatform.org/
This website is an open source project in which Microsoft, Google, Mozilla and others have brought all there documentation together so you can find out about technologies all in one place.
Now the site is in beta but if we all help out then this website as the potential to become the number 1 resource for information when you need to reference for example a new CSS3 property that you have not used or very rarely use.
I will be keeping an eye on this site and where I can try and add to the project and I hope you guys can as well.Posted in Web Design, Web Development | Tagged web documentation | Leave a comment March 16, 2013
Today I was browsing BBC News and came across the story Google to retire RSS news-feed service. Now I have to say that I was not shocked to see this headlines has before Christmas last year I had heard talks that Google was considering shutting the service down as apart of the Google clean up of products and services that are not doing that well.
Now Google have given Google reader users a couple of months to move all your feeds but I thought I would get on with it and move my feeds today and start using a new service straight away.
I should also say about now that with Google reader shutting down, there are a few other RSS service shutting down as well, Feeddemon being the biggest which I know of.
There are certain features that I am looking for when looking for a replacement for Google reader, its needs to be free, it needs to be cloud based so I can access it from everywhere, it also means that it can be backed up as well.
Browsing the internet there were a few services that stood out that I should try, these where:
- The old Reader – http://theoldreader.com
- Netvibes – http://www.netvibes.com
- Newsblur – http://www.newsblur.com
I went on a mission to have a look at these services and quickly found that Newsblur, even though has all the components I need, has stopped sign ups to its free accounts at the moment so this was a big no no straight away.
The old reader looks like it will be really good as its based on the old Google reader but for me its still in beta and I just did not want to take the risk.
The option I went for is Netvibes, Now I should say that I used to be a customer of Netvibes about 4 years ago. But they offer a free version, and you can get netvibes on mobile devices which all appeals to me.
I resigned up to Netvibes and the good guys at Netvibes have written a blog post about how to import your feeds from Google Reader. The steps are as follows:
- Log in to Google Takout
- Click on “Create archive” to export your subscriptions as a ZIP file
- Unzip the saved file to your desktop
- Go to Netvibes, click on “Add content” then “OPML: Import”, “Choose File” and select the “subscriptions.XML” file you just unzipped
- Click on “Import”
This worked like a charm, The only thing that you will have to do is that when Netvibes imports your feeds, its does not know the feeds you have read. So you will have to have Google reader in a browser window next to the Netvibes browser windows and go through and click read on all the ones you have read and unread all the ones which you still want to read.
If you can’t be bothered to do thi then the best way it to check all the feeds and click “Mark as read” for all of them and start again.
This is the solution that I came up with to meet my needs your needs may be different and if I change I will post and update here.Posted in Ramdom, Web Development | Tagged Google Reader, RSS | Leave a comment February 15, 2013
This morning I finally got around to watching Anna Debeham’s talk on Exploring the game console browser landscape. Ever since I saw Anna talking about this on Twitter I have been following from a distance to see what would come from it and I have to say after hearing Anna’s talk I will be certainly thinking about console browsers in the future.
Game consoles have evolved over the years from just playing games to nowadays being sold as complete media solutions for the living room. The problem at the moment is that the current consoles that are around at the moment, Xbox360 and Playstation 3 have been around now for more then 6 years have only just got browsers on them which means at the moment they are not very good, but first let me have a lot at some stats as to why this as caught my attention
In Ann’s talk some stats where given about who uses consoles and hand held games and these where:
Age of people who own TV game consoles:
- 12-17: 80%
- 18-29: 59%
- 30-49: 51%
- 50-64: 20%
- 65+: 4%
Age of people who own portable game consoles:
- 12-17: 51%
- 18-29: 22%
- 30-49: 30%
- 50-64: 9%
- 65+: 1%
From these states we can see that there are a lot of kids that use game consoles and even though some will have mobile devices if your own the games console why should you not be able to browser the web on it instead of picking up another device, there is also the point to be made that kids under a certain age will not have mobile phones as they are to expensive.
With this in mind it got me thinking that in 2013 there will be a new xbox and new playstation and with the Wii U already having a good browser on it, it really is worth considering having designing for a TV console, While thinking about the future there is also the case that the kids that are in the 12-17 bracket in the stats are going to grow up and continue to want to browse sites on the console when they are using that device.
To get our sites to work on console browsers at the moment and in the future then we can use responsive design to help us out. f we use responsive design for this then I think designing for a mobile touch device could work really well on console browser.
The reason why I think this is because there is a massive range of input devices from the xbox connect to the stylus used on the Nintendo DS, there is also a massive range of screen resolutions to think about as well.
From Ann’s testing which can be found here using web browsers on consoles at the moment is very fiddle and they don’t really work well. So having big buttons and large text could really improve the easy of use of websites when viewing sites on game consoles.
The thought of mobile first can also be applied to this as well, as because console browsers are not easy to use, finding information on your site if you have a lot of information can be painful. If we think mobile first then the important information will be easy to find.
While this is a good way to go i think, In Anna’s talk she mentioned the Vimeo website and the fact there is button on the site called couch mode which when clicked will change the view completely to make it easy to scroll though the site. This gave me an idea that could there be another way? Could we have a button like that for games consoles that changes the lay if you wish. Now a lot of standards based developers will be screaming at me but as we look into the future I will be hoping that browsers will be getting better and they will be able to show websites how they are meant to look, but if you the user wanted to he/she could change the look of the site on a click of a button to make it simpler if they wish. This though is just a thought tho.
At the moment there are no real debugging tool to use on these devices so its kind of going old skool coding and trying something out and then testing on the device, I am hoping this will get better in the mean time. But there are some tools to help you out, Depth.js, Kintic.js ands Wii.js are all jquery frameworks to help you. Google also some great documentation about designing for Google TV
From Anna’s talk I really want to take a site we have produced at Langarth and see how we can use responsive design to get the site to work on console browsers better.
Annas Website – http://www.maban.co.uk/
Annas Twitter – https://twitter.com/anna_debenham
Exploring the game console browser landscape – http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=lGWyXVyCZhs#!