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Where to go next??





mynameis
Ok I have designed quite a few sites using Website CMS software none of which were very successful... ok they looked alright but didn't seem to function like a decent site. I think I just need some advice on where to go next. I'm reasonably good at designing layouts or themes in photoshop but have little knowledge of css or php/html to properly theme a website.

I want to design a gaming blog both console and pc games and have already designed a layout in photoshop

http://img467.imageshack.us/img467/7536/cssmithblogpc8.png
png image ^^ 1440x900

Things I haven't include in the layout... Various side widgets/block/menus (user login, search, rss feeds..) and a clean simple comments system (which would be displayed in the full post)

Really I would want a site which would achieve the above but I just don't know where to go next, should I use Website CMS software in that case which or should I learn php and design one from scratch. I would need to easily be able to add content, not necessarily in some sort of admin cp but fairly easily
Smile
eznet
I am sure that if you are posting this then you have likely been to all of the 'obvious' places - but with that said, I will recommend checking out OpenSourceCMS. They list pretty much all of the popular CMSs and allow you to play around in full featured demos of the CMSs. I have hosted a forum or two on e107 - it is a VERY robust CMS, though the learning curve is a bit higher on it than is the case with some of the other CMSs on the market. With this said, the curve is no where near as steep as learning SQL, PHP and JavaScript on your own...

Despite what all that CMSs are capable of doing, there are none of them that are going to give you EXACTLY what you want - you will have to configure/modify/customize them to suit your needs and wants - especially when it comes to their aesthetic layout. For this aspect I would have to suggest using w3schools as a reference...

Hope this helps, though it is definitely pretty generic information if you have been doing this for some time...
{name here}
eznet wrote:
I am sure that if you are posting this then you have likely been to all of the 'obvious' places - but with that said, I will recommend checking out OpenSourceCMS. They list pretty much all of the popular CMSs and allow you to play around in full featured demos of the CMSs. I have hosted a forum or two on e107 - it is a VERY robust CMS, though the learning curve is a bit higher on it than is the case with some of the other CMSs on the market. With this said, the curve is no where near as steep as learning SQL, PHP and JavaScript on your own...

Javascript is the least of your problems. Unlike the SQL, PHP, HTML and CSS you can go without Javascript and make a good design. Heck, you should already know PHP, HTML, and CSS if you are a webmaster because you need to know these to make a template on probably 90% of CMSes out there. If you're lucky the CMS uses smarty, but you'll need to know smarty's syntax to deal with the template.

As for your design the one thing that stands out is the background - it's large, gaudy, and will take to much time to load even on faster connections. Plus it'll hog all your bandwidth. Don't put any widgets into the design - menus yes, search bars (without the little google logo) yes, but widgets from random sites like Google and Yahoo are a no.

I suggest SiteFrame, but here at Frihost we don't have PHP 5, so if you're hosting it here you're stuck with version 3 or 4. Don't use 3, it's really dated and poor. Trust me I'm trying to get OSA off that thing. 4 is better, but I think that it could be improved (it also needs smarty like version 5. In a previous topic in the PHP forum, IIRC, I showed all how you can, in fact, install smarty on your FriHost account). Coranto might even work for you as it's child's play to make templates for and has a mod called iSay for a comments system. Wordpress isn't my favorite to deal with, but I'm throwing it out there.
mynameis
I'm trying Joomla at the moment its reasonably easy to skin I think its probably inevitable that I would have to learn CSS, basic php and html just to skin a website. Joomla has a pretty big community meaning lots of resources, plugins and help when u need it... so that probably a good choice.
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