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Good morning, I could do with some advice. I have tried to hand code my sites to validate xhtml, css,wai and 508. So far successfully. I meet many snags but with the help and advice of members of forums I keep going. Whenever I have seen a template site it never verifies and uses deprecated terms so it never entered my head to use one. Recently respected forum members on here have admited using them and in some cases actively encouraged the use of them. My questions are these, Why are you using them? What is wrong with hand coding? Would it benefit me to use one of these and which one? Is this the way forward in web design or just a passing fad?

Kindest regards

David

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Hi David,

 

I think you've done the best thing by starting with hand coding your sites. I started that way and because of it, I understand what's going on "under the hood" of the websites I work on. That experience in invaluable.

 

The reason I use a CMS for my client's websites now is because it puts them in control (somewhat) and lets them edit their own text, images, and products. Websites should constantly be revised, improved, edited, etc. and as a work-at-home mom with 3 kids and several clients, I simply don't have the time to edit everyone's websites. I wouldn't get anything else done! So, I develop client sites in WordPress or CMS Made Simple and it really is great to let my clients take care of daily updates while still depending upon me for major updates.

 

While it's true that some templates out there don't have good code, that doesn't mean you have to settle for that. Both WordPress and CMS Made Simple (and others) allow you to code your own HTML template and CSS. I still hand code everything, but now I integrate my custom designed templates with a CMS to enhance them.

 

I hope this makes sense. :)

 

Edit to add: A lot of times, if you run across a WordPress powered website that has validation errors, those errors may not be caused by the HTML/CSS, rather they are caused by 3rd party add-ons (plugins, modules, etc). Sometimes those things just can't be helped.

Edited by Susie
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A CMS will give all kinds of extra capabilities. You are still free to skin it to make it look anyway you like, but now with the added bonus of having things like:

 

  • built-in search
  • built-in editors for easy site updates
  • built-in members area
  • built-in seo
  • an easy to update infrastructure

 

In the end, understand a CMS and building off of one, will make you a much more productive and competitive web designer.

 

Stefan

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I don't use a CMS because I only work on my own site.

But,

I know people at a local office who benefit from a CMS in that they can update the content on their own company website, a site that was designed and developed by a web design firm. Now, when the client company has any new courses, seminars, news releases or other time-sensitive information, it can be posted on-line quickly ... no more e-mailing the web developer asking if they would please add such'n'such and then the back'n'forth with e-mails to proof things before even minor updates went live.

The client is very happy, being able to have some direct control over content.

I'm sure the developer is also happy, having delegated daily maintenance back to the client .. now they can go off and do new creative work.

 

btw.. the CMS they use is Joomla. It was recommended to me when I was asking about their site .. and it must be fairly transparent because they didn't know it as a CMS. To them it was just the website program.

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btw.. the CMS they use is Joomla. It was recommended to me when I was asking about their site .. and it must be fairly transparent because they didn't know it as a CMS. To them it was just the website program.

 

Yes, Joomla is very popular. I've seen several books on it - so it seems the publishers seem to think so.

 

Stefan

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Thanks for the replies, I am still not sure what to do. Is it possible to put an existing site into this framework? Is it easy to enter ones own css sheet and xhtml code? Assuming I go ahead would you all advise which one to use, seriously I need a recommendation.

Kindest regards

David

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Thanks for the replies, I am still not sure what to do. Is it possible to put an existing site into this framework? Is it easy to enter ones own css sheet and xhtml code?

 

To answer your questions:

 

  1. Yes if you know what your doing.
  2. Same as #1

 

We just did this with one of one our niche web sites (www.csstutorial.net) where we used Wordpress as the engine for the entire site.

 

With some configuration and the help of a plugin or two, we were able to preserver the original static pages (to keep the URL's in place) while making the site MUCH easier to add content to and update.

 

I would suggest watching a few of my free video tutorials on skinning Wordpress to give you an idea.

 

Though Wordpress is very different from say Joomla and Drupal in many ways, the basic concepts are very much the same, so learning a little about Wordpress will help you if you decided to go with another software solution.

 

Stefan

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest Clayton

Creating a website using content management systems can really save you a lot of time. you don’t have to hand write all the codes by yourself. If you are using the templates from any of the CMS you can still edit it to your liking.

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