KillerSites Blog

Drupal

Learn a CMS or Learn Dreamweaver?

June 15, 2012

Hey everybody!

Recently someone asked whether they should learn Dreamweaver OR whether should they jump into a CMS like Joomla or WordPress.

What is a CMS?

CMS is short for Content Management System, and are web based programs that you upload to the server and they provide word-processor like capabilities to your website – and much, much more.

To make an analogy: you can think of a CMS as being a restaurant buffet, where you have many prepared dishes to choose from, that you can use to create your meal. Where Dreamweaver is like an electric appliance, that helps you create a meal from scratch.

You can learn more about it here:

http://www.killersites.com/blog/2008/blog-cms-wiki-compared/

… The above link points to an older blog post, but it is still good.

Anyway, the core of this person’s questions, comes down to skill-set choices and choosing the best technologies to be able to:

1. Get the most work as a web designer.
2. And to be able to build the best websites.

Here is my answer:

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WordPress, Joomla and Drupal in Web Design

May 3, 2012

I was recently asked a question about the future of web design:

I have a short general query about the Future of Web Design: do you think that we are going towards a trend where, particularly with the use of Web environments like WordPress or Joomla, programming skills will be more and more oriented towards updating and customising plugins?

My answer:

I have been a long time believer in this strategy of using a CMS as the basis of almost all your web design projects. I wrote about this back in 2010, talking about the ‘WordPress Web Designer‘.

I use WordPress for my web sites, but Drupal and Joomla can do a great job too. You just have to figure out which one suits you best.

Learning PHP and JavaScript:

Since Drupal, Joomla and WordPress are built with PHP and JavaScript, it makes sense (if you really want to learn how to use these tools to their fullest,) that you should learn at least a little programming. You don’t have to become a full-blown nerd coder, but you should be able to write simple scripts and modify existing PHP and JavaScript code. It will make your life so much easier.

For a more detailed discussion, watch my video below:

Thanks,

Stefan Mischook
killersites.com

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Is Drupal too hard to skin?

January 1, 2010

Hi,

I occasionally use email questions sent to me as the basis for a quick article; this time around I had a question about Drupal:

drupal

Just enjoyed your website introduction video. I am a senior but am still a regular producer of ads books and booklets for my church, having been a printer all my life. A member has set up a Drupal site – I have been asked to ‘smarten it up’ – I am new to it but I don’t see to prospect of arriving at a graphically attractive site from that program. I think I would be better suggesting we start afresh and build our own site.

What do you think?

Kind regards
John

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What are gravatars and why you need them.

June 12, 2008

What is a gravatar?

Let’s take it from the source:

A gravatar, or globally recognized avatar, is quite simply an avatar image that follows you from weblog to weblog appearing beside your name when you comment on gravatar enabled sites. Avatars help identify your posts on web forums, so why not on weblogs?

From a community members point of view, what’s cool about gravatars is that you don’t have to upload your avatar image on every blog, forum or community that you are a member of. And from the community owner’s point of view, you can now add a little pizazz to your blog or forum with your members gravatars.

You can read more about gravatars in the magazine.

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The differences between a blog, CMS and Wiki.

June 11, 2008

What is the difference between a CMS (content management system) and a Wiki?

In a nutshell:

Both are web based applications/software designed to allow many people to contribute content (typically articles … but podcast and videos are becoming more common) to a website.

I would say the basic difference is that a CMS (Ex: Drupal) is a closed system where only certain people can add or edit content to the website/cms.

drupal-logo

On the other hand, a wiki is an open system where anyone can edit and add content. The idea behind a wiki is that the masses will eventually correct any false information – with the help of editors.

My thoughts:

I’m no wiki expert, but I see wiki’s being more suitable to general encyclopedic information. If you need a tighter structure and control over what is being posted on your site, I would be leaning towards a CMS rather than a WIKI.

That said, I am sure that the differences between the two types of software has room for a lot of gray area – I’m sure some CMS software have WIKI like functionality and vice versa.

How about blogs?

Blogs are kinda like a CMS for one person. One other distinction would be that the blog traditionally is date driven – where newer articles are posted to the front page of the blog. As with the WIKI/CMS blurring of the lines, you see the same with blogs and CMS software.

For example: WordPress (a popular blog program) has CMS like features:

  • Multiple users can post articles.
  • You can have static non date affected pages. WordPress call these ‘pages’.

Beyond the CMS-like features built into the core WordPress package, WordPress has a huge number of plug-ins out there that extend it’s capability considerably … bringing it even closer inline with a true CMS.

A few links:

WordPress home page: www.wordpress.org
Drupal home page: http://drupal.org
Another popular CMS – Joomla: joomla.org
Wiki software: Media Wiki

Ciao,

Stefan Mischook

www.killersites.com

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Drupal 6 looks pretty cool.

May 20, 2008

Hi,

I was just looking around the CMS and Blog scene, in terms of software, and I just finished taking another look at Drupal 6.

drupal-logo

… Based on what I’ve seen so far, it looks very cool.

With this version of Drupal (Drupal 6.2) you see a lot of administration panel improvements and the whole process of installing and configuring Drupal has been streamlined. It is actually really easy.


Drupal 6 has a lot of other cool additions and tools like:

  • Built in triggers: you can tell Drupal to do things when say for example someone post a comment.
  • Better Forums: more features now.
  • Drag-and-drop admin UI capabilities. It is easier to manage where things appear on your pages.

… And much more.

Most important, Drupal looks to be much faster than it was in previous versions.

… That’s one thing that bugged the hell out of me about old and slow Drupal 5.

You can get Drupal at: http://drupal.org/

I know, short post. I’m just busy with other stuff.

Thanks,

Stefan Mischook

www.killersites.com

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Introduction to blogging: a business perspective.

October 9, 2007

In the following article, using a question and answer format, I try to answer some of the common questions about how blogs fit within a business.

1. Can you describe your introduction to blogging, how you became interested how has it impacted you personally?

I first heard about blogging in about 2001 and dismissed it as another tool for people who didn’t want to learn HTML. A year or so later, I realized the significance of blogging and blogging software:

… it was going allow for the original vision of the Web to actually materialize, where anyone could easily get a website on the Web.

Blogs and the blog phenomenon, made me rethink my whole approach to web design as a web professional: blogs, CMS and other similar content formatting tools where the future of web design.

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Blogs vs. CMS

September 19, 2007

Preamble:

I’ve mentioned several times in the past 2 years, that web designers should learn how to use/edit at least one blog or CMS. Some popular choices:

  • WordPress – a blog.
  • Drupal – a CMS.
  • Mambo – a CMS

.. And there are many, many more.

Why should web designers be concerned?

I won’t go into all the details here, but in a nutshell, a lot of web sites can use the features/functionality provided by blogs or CMS packages. Why reinvent the wheel?

That said, what is the difference between a blog and a CMS?

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WordPress vs. Drupal and Rebuilding a Website

September 15, 2007

wordpress-logo

Killersites.com was started by David Siegal (of ‘Creating Killer Web Sites’ fame) back around 1996. This was effectively the first version of the site.

drupal-logo

In 2002-2003, I officially took over and started version 2 of killersites.com. It has gone through a lot of changes over the last 4-5 years that has resulted in a lot of web design related content … too much content to manage with html, php and jsp pages running all over the place!

… It is time for a major shift.

WordPress vs. Drupal and Killersites.com version 3:

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