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110 posts

Master Geek


# 131124 9-Oct-2013 20:34
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Hi there

I'm not very experienced at website design but managed to fumble my way through developing and managing a basic Dreamweaver website for a sports organisation (on a voluntary basis). 

The organisation is keen now to upgrade the website to include:
* In context editing (so customer can easily edit webpages themselves)
* Database link with login for interested parties to register
* Email newsletter send to registered parties
* E-commerce

Additionally, whilst only about 8 pages are ever updated, their website currently has about 70 pages, but most of them are simply 'archive' type pages with reports and photos from the past.  These 'archive' pages increase by about 7 or 8 per year.

I've been researching for weeks and there is just so much out there my head is spinning!

Would I be best to find them an off-the-shelf product (which I would set up for them initially), or try to manage these functions with Dreamweaver extensions?  (Some of the extensions look simple enough even for me to use!  :-D    )

To be honest I'd prefer to find them an off-the-shelf product, set it up for them then leave them to it - but because this organisation relies on grants they don't have much $$$, so they would be looking for something that would be a one-off cost with very little ongoing fees.

About 10 years ago I studied database design/management with SQL, aslo some VB and HTML so I do have some skills though very rusty and outdated!

I know there are many options out there, but if you were me, what specifically would YOU do?

Any suggestions greatly appreciated! Many thanks   :-)

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1689 posts

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  # 911656 9-Oct-2013 20:43
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Look at a CMS, specifically I would suggest Wordpress, it does everything you need and has thousands of add-ons both free and premium.

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  # 911684 9-Oct-2013 21:20
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Depends on what ecommerce functionality you need?

 
 
 
 




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Master Geek


  # 911692 9-Oct-2013 21:33
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Thanks itxtme - Would Wordpress act as our complete website, encompassing all we wish to do?  If so, that's a great option! 

Mattwnz - ecommerce functionality could be as simple as operating through Paypal.  Would I need something quite specific (i.e. other than Wordpress) if wanting to use credit cards?

Thanks again ...

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Uber Geek


  # 911700 9-Oct-2013 21:48
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You use the wordpress.org version, and host it on your web host. Wordpress can allow you to have as many pages as you want, but it isn't the easiest to manage / order them. But I think it would suit your needs. Otherwise you could look at joomla

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  # 911881 10-Oct-2013 08:27
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mattwnz: You use the wordpress.org version, and host it on your web host. Wordpress can allow you to have as many pages as you want, but it isn't the easiest to manage / order them. But I think it would suit your needs. Otherwise you could look at joomla


I disagree, it is one of the easiest ways to manage your content.  Having HTML experience will make the process even easier for getting exactly what you want from a page layout.  I would have said something like Joomla which most consider a 'real' CMS is by far, much more difficult to use.

It does come with a learning curve, although I think it is less steep than the competition!!

If you can find a plugin, then yes it will do what you want.  You could check out templatemonster or themeforest for templates.  Just make sure you get a template that works with the current Wordpress.

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  # 911892 10-Oct-2013 08:55
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Hosted wordpress is a good option. There are plugins to do just about anything. You can buy or get free themes that will itegrate with Paypal to take payments. Can you give us more context about what the payments are for, eg ordering system, donation, membership, etc.



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Master Geek


  # 911966 10-Oct-2013 10:52
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You guys are amazing - thanks so much for your help!

The payments would be for a small range of sports clothing, membership fees and donations.

Thanks again  :-)

 
 
 
 


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  # 911968 10-Oct-2013 11:08
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There will be plugins for wordpress to do that, however you might look at wordpress for the website pages/blog and another product for the sales side of things. I don't know what system that would be, you'd have to look into it. Some wordpress templates will let you do it, Photocrati for example, though I don't think that one would be the best fit.

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  # 912015 10-Oct-2013 12:04
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For eCommerce and good themes for WordPress I would suggest Woothemes.

http://woothemes.com/ - Their eCommerce plugin woocommerce http://www.woothemes.com/woocommerce/ is a great eCommerce system with lots of possible extensions. http://www.woothemes.com/product-category/woocommerce-extensions/ amongst them is several different payment options (It comes standard with Paypal payment)




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  # 912057 10-Oct-2013 13:34
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itxtme:
mattwnz: You use the wordpress.org version, and host it on your web host. Wordpress can allow you to have as many pages as you want, but it isn't the easiest to manage / order them. But I think it would suit your needs. Otherwise you could look at joomla


I disagree, it is one of the easiest ways to manage your content.  Having HTML experience will make the process even easier for getting exactly what you want from a page layout.  I would have said something like Joomla which most consider a 'real' CMS is by far, much more difficult to use.

It does come with a learning curve, although I think it is less steep than the competition!!

If you can find a plugin, then yes it will do what you want.  You could check out templatemonster or themeforest for templates.  Just make sure you get a template that works with the current Wordpress.


Really. I use wordpress quite a bit, and linking pages from within a page is a PITA, unless I am doing it wrong. You have to scroll through all the pages and blog titles, or type in the page name if you can remember it. It is fine for a smaller site, but a huge site would be painful. This is because the link tool isn't structured in a tree. The other thing is that if you change the page name, and the file name, the link will break, as it doesn't automatically change it, unless you do a find and replace. But all CMSs have their  pros and cons. Personally I find joomla more logical to use, but it does seem to be more susceptible to getting hacked.
Do you use the stock WYSISWYG editor, or do you use a third party plugin? I find the stock editor strips out a lot of the html I add in.

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  # 912061 10-Oct-2013 13:39
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jarledb: For eCommerce and good themes for WordPress I would suggest Woothemes.

http://woothemes.com/ - Their eCommerce plugin woocommerce http://www.woothemes.com/woocommerce/ is a great eCommerce system with lots of possible extensions. http://www.woothemes.com/product-category/woocommerce-extensions/ amongst them is several different payment options (It comes standard with Paypal payment)


I use them, but their have recently changed their licensing, so you only get updates for a set period of time. It used to be lifetime updates, but they said they made an error using that model, and their business was no longer sustainable . I purchased mine before the change, but one of my themes is due to expire in less than 1 year, so have to contact them to correct that. You do need updates to keep your site working and bug free when you update to newer versions of wordpress. I often go to themeforest and there are some great themes there, and web designers use them too to base their websites on.

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  # 912070 10-Oct-2013 13:55
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mattwnz:

Really. I use wordpress quite a bit, and linking pages from within a page is a PITA, unless I am doing it wrong. You have to scroll through all the pages and blog titles, or type in the page name if you can remember it. It is fine for a smaller site, but a huge site would be painful. This is because the link tool isn't structured in a tree. The other thing is that if you change the page name, and the file name, the link will break, as it doesn't automatically change it, unless you do a find and replace. But all CMSs have their  pros and cons. Personally I find joomla more logical to use, but it does seem to be more susceptible to getting hacked.
Do you use the stock WYSISWYG editor, or do you use a third party plugin? I find the stock editor strips out a lot of the html I add in.


Fair point, I have used tree structure plugins to help with this.  Joomla is a better option for big sites, but the concept of Pages versus menus versus access rights blows my mind!  Have not used Joomla since it changed versions last year so maybe its better??

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  # 912084 10-Oct-2013 14:10
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itxtme:
mattwnz:

Really. I use wordpress quite a bit, and linking pages from within a page is a PITA, unless I am doing it wrong. You have to scroll through all the pages and blog titles, or type in the page name if you can remember it. It is fine for a smaller site, but a huge site would be painful. This is because the link tool isn't structured in a tree. The other thing is that if you change the page name, and the file name, the link will break, as it doesn't automatically change it, unless you do a find and replace. But all CMSs have their  pros and cons. Personally I find joomla more logical to use, but it does seem to be more susceptible to getting hacked.
Do you use the stock WYSISWYG editor, or do you use a third party plugin? I find the stock editor strips out a lot of the html I add in.


Fair point, I have used tree structure plugins to help with this.  Joomla is a better option for big sites, but the concept of Pages versus menus versus access rights blows my mind!  Have not used Joomla since it changed versions last year so maybe its better??


The new version of joomla does look vastly improved, but I haven't tried it as my host, iserve, doesn't support php 5.3

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  # 912211 10-Oct-2013 18:23
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mattwnz: 

I use them, but their have recently changed their licensing, so you only get updates for a set period of time. It used to be lifetime updates, but they said they made an error using that model, and their business was no longer sustainable . I purchased mine before the change, but one of my themes is due to expire in less than 1 year, so have to contact them to correct that. You do need updates to keep your site working and bug free when you update to newer versions of wordpress. I often go to themeforest and there are some great themes there, and web designers use them too to base their websites on.


OK, I wasn't aware of that. But then I have a developer license subscription to all their themes.

There are a lot of themes around for WordPress, but of varying quality and good support (at least when developing websites, but also when you have a website that is important to keep updated and working) is invaluable. And I can understand that giving away support and updates for a theme "forever" is a bad business. 

So to me, I would rather pay a little for quality than get something for free with no support and that will break next time a WordPress update comes along and with the developers long gone when it happens. Just look at all the abandoned plugins that are around.

An old theme that has features/libraries in it that have known vulnerabilities is the short road to a lot of hurt.

Someone basing their theme off of another is not necessarily a mark of quality btw. I have seen a lot of "gaffa-tape" solutions based on common themes.




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  # 912220 10-Oct-2013 18:35
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jarledb:
mattwnz: 

I use them, but their have recently changed their licensing, so you only get updates for a set period of time. It used to be lifetime updates, but they said they made an error using that model, and their business was no longer sustainable . I purchased mine before the change, but one of my themes is due to expire in less than 1 year, so have to contact them to correct that. You do need updates to keep your site working and bug free when you update to newer versions of wordpress. I often go to themeforest and there are some great themes there, and web designers use them too to base their websites on.


OK, I wasn't aware of that. But then I have a developer license subscription to all their themes.

There are a lot of themes around for WordPress, but of varying quality and good support (at least when developing websites, but also when you have a website that is important to keep updated and working) is invaluable. And I can understand that giving away support and updates for a theme "forever" is a bad business. 

So to me, I would rather pay a little for quality than get something for free with no support and that will break next time a WordPress update comes along and with the developers long gone when it happens. Just look at all the abandoned plugins that are around.

An old theme that has features/libraries in it that have known vulnerabilities is the short road to a lot of hurt.

Someone basing their theme off of another is not necessarily a mark of quality btw. I have seen a lot of "gaffa-tape" solutions based on common themes.


I stick to the top ones in theme forest. The only thing is you don't know how long these companies will keep going for or how long they will support a theme for, so you have to expect that a website theme may need redoing every few years, as wordpress is updated. Even the best theme companies may fold. I see woothemes have mothballed some of their older themes now.
I was meaning setting up a child theme of a main one, so the theme can be easily updated, so the mods get copied across. Or putting the basic mods into a custom css file. I do use the canvas theme a bit. I did look at the subscriptions, but at the time the lifetime licence on the purchase option looked a better deal, and I don't do enough websites for a subscription to pay for itself. Personally I have never used their support, only getting updates to the theme.

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