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  1. #1
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    question about CMS and custom HTML pages

    I've been hand coding pages for many years(as a hobby more or less), but I'm currently working on a site where the client wants to use CMS to give users the ability to dynamically update certain parts of the site. These include: headline ticker on front page, teacher homework assignments on teacher pages, etc.

    Admittedly, I'm completely in the dark about CMS, but with limited research, I believe CMS sites are more or less template driven(non editable) and exclusive to the certain providers?

    I'm just wondering when they get me their hosting info, if I'll be able to modify the corresponding parts of my code to hold CMS code in order to get the section or page to be user editable? -That sounds confusing, basically: can I nest CMS code sections into my custom HTML?

    I have a bad feeling that CMS doesn't work like that though. If I can't implement the dynamic data in that way, does anyone have any script suggestions where the users wouldn't need to log in to the ftp site to make basic changes? Thanks if anyone can help!

  • #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by gba88 View Post
    I'm just wondering when they get me their hosting info, if I'll be able to modify the corresponding parts of my code to hold CMS code in order to get the section or page to be user editable? -That sounds confusing, basically: can I nest CMS code sections into my custom HTML?
    Hello gba88,
    I don't have any experience with CMS either. I can tell you that whenever I work on a DreamWeaver template that has editable sections, with in DW there are sections you cannot change. Have to edit that code in notepad, which can move the edit section tags around.
    Maybe CMS will be the same way?
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  • #3
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    Some CMSes are better than others. I'm a huge fan of ExpressionEngine; it allows for near complete control of the HTML, so much so that I usually build the site in pure HTML/CSS however I want and then just plug it into EE, rather than fitting it into the CMS from the start.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rmedek View Post
    Some CMSes are better than others. I'm a huge fan of ExpressionEngine; it allows for near complete control of the HTML, so much so that I usually build the site in pure HTML/CSS however I want and then just plug it into EE, rather than fitting it into the CMS from the start.
    This sounds promising! I'm not 100% sure how CMS works, but I think you need a host that supports CMS, then a CMS provider?

    For all I know, the client may not even have either setup. In fact, the only info I have is that they registered the name through godaddy.com. I'm a third party and my go between hasn't gotten me details yet.

    The predicament is that between the middle of last week and yesterday, I've hand coded a 60+ page site. There is no way I'm going to have time to redo this site at the mercy of some sort of template system.

    Thanks again for the info, I'm going to check into "expressionengine", and I'll relay any info to my contact that may be of use to the client (assuming they didn't already setup an account with a different provider).

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    Quote Originally Posted by gba88 View Post
    This sounds promising! I'm not 100% sure how CMS works, but I think you need a host that supports CMS, then a CMS provider?
    A content management system (CMS) uses some sort of scripting language (if you're buying a prebuilt system for shared hosting it'll usually be PHP) to store the content in a database (usually MySQL). So your hosting provider needs to be able to handle those—most do.

    Most CMSes are simply a set of scripts that you install and configure in the host's root web directory. Then you integrate the templates to work with it. Each CMS has a set of rules or tags it uses to bring content into the template. You can try free ones at http://opensourcecms.com, or try out EE like I recommend. If you search here for "cms suggestions" you should learn a lot as this topic has been discussed a bunch of times. Good luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by rmedek View Post
    A content management system (CMS) uses some sort of scripting language (if you're buying a prebuilt system for shared hosting it'll usually be PHP) to store the content in a database (usually MySQL). So your hosting provider needs to be able to handle those—most do.

    Most CMSes are simply a set of scripts that you install and configure in the host's root web directory. Then you integrate the templates to work with it. Each CMS has a set of rules or tags it uses to bring content into the template. You can try free ones at http://opensourcecms.com, or try out EE like I recommend. If you search here for "cms suggestions" you should learn a lot as this topic has been discussed a bunch of times. Good luck!
    Thanks for the explanation and info! I actually think the client in my case didn't even fully understand what CMS was/is, just a "hot" term that someone mentioned to them and then they threw into their word document....the 68 page document I designed the site from

    Anyway, thanks again, I'm going to check out opensourcecms, and I'll do further research here as well.


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