Complex CMS system

I know there are lots of posts about CMS and Freeway, but I’m after some advice. I have used Freeway/Pulse for sites which is great for what it can do, and I produce a lot of sites purely in Wordpress, redesigned from templates with CSS and images.

But if I wanted to design the site in Freeway with the power of a wordpress-type back end, which would be the way to go?

Do people still use Expression Engine? (Costly and maybe too complex for me)
And Perch - (Does it have more power than Pulse?)

Is there a happy medium or should I look at Freeway like I often do - small sites with option of minimum CMS - perfect. Wordpress - max CMS and plugin capability.

I think the type of features I look for would be - blog, news page, archives, featured content pulled to home page etc. There’s also the factor of time and cost, and I’m aware it might not be viable for me to design the site and implement complex CMS in budget…

Any suggestions welcome! Thanks


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I use Perch and it’s great. Deceptively powerful but easy for client and designer to use. It does require code-level tinkering to get the most out of it so have the proper expectations going in. It’s not point-n-click. Highly recommended (by me).

Expression is great if you need it. It can certainly be used for smaller sites but depending on your timeframe, budget etc. the learning curve might be too steep. It’s very well documented and a beautiful app.

My other fav is MODX Revolution http://modx.com which I’ve recently posted a tutorial for here http://xiiro.com/musings/2013/02/05/modx-freeway/. Very similar to EE in many ways but free (Open Source) and very designer friendly but again, not point-n-click. That pesky learning curve. *Note: I’m currently working with a FW Action writer to further streamline the process in my above blog post so if/when the time comes I’ll post an updated tut. for you FW users.

My advice, look at Perch first.

Todd
http://xiiro.com

On Feb 7, 2013, at 8:47 AM, Mark email@hidden wrote:

I know there are lots of posts about CMS and Freeway, but I’m after some advice. I have used Freeway/Pulse for sites which is great for what it can do, and I produce a lot of sites purely in Wordpress, redesigned from templates with CSS and images.

But if I wanted to design the site in Freeway with the power of a wordpress-type back end, which would be the way to go?

Do people still use Expression Engine? (Costly and maybe too complex for me)
And Perch - (Does it have more power than Pulse?)

Is there a happy medium or should I look at Freeway like I often do - small sites with option of minimum CMS - perfect. Wordpress - max CMS and plugin capability.

I think the type of features I look for would be - blog, news page, archives, featured content pulled to home page etc. There’s also the factor of time and cost, and I’m aware it might not be viable for me to design the site and implement complex CMS in budget…

Any suggestions welcome! Thanks


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Thanks Todd, I took a look at perch a while ago and thought it looked good. I think i need to understand the tags some more and just how to implement the markup throughout sites. I also remember getting a bit confused over styling, and whether Freeway’s style sheets are redundant when you integrate Perch… Nothing a good few night’s reading can’t solve.

I see you’re featured on their site as a testimonial to the product, so I guess it must have worked very well for you!


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Hi Mark,

As far as the tags go you’re right, but then no matter which CMS you use you’ll most likely have to familiarize with syntax, but that’s easy to learn.

Yes, styling can be confusing at times. I think part of the problem is that the Perch docs assume you’re using a programming editor to do the work which in many ways makes the instructions much more straightforward to implement. But if you’re using FW, which has it’s own way of doing things, it does sometimes muddy the waters though obviously it’s doable, I know of a few people here who have successfully integrated it with FW.

It’s a nice little CMS, but do be aware that you will almost certainly have to learn to write Perch template code (not just tags) which is where its flexibility stems from. It’s not as bad as it may first appear but it does add to the learning curve.

Todd
http://xiiro.com

Thanks Todd, I took a look at perch a while ago and thought it looked good. I think i need to understand the tags some more and just how to implement the markup throughout sites. I also remember getting a bit confused over styling, and whether Freeway’s style sheets are redundant when you integrate Perch… Nothing a good few night’s reading can’t solve.

I see you’re featured on their site as a testimonial to the product, so I guess it must have worked very well for you!


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Ciao. Allow me to introduce myself as Your Worst Nightmare: the self taught, possibly in over my head.
I’m developing a site, and need to have member registration/profile capability.
It appears that I need to use a CMS to the site in order to get the member reg/profile. Is that right?
While I’ll need the CMS in a few months…is there a way to bypass that and get the member part running?
Like Mark, I may be looking for something that is easier done with WP, but I’d rather stay within FW if its possible.


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You could probably find a standalone script (PHP, Ruby etc.) to accomplish what you need, of course it will function separately from a CMS you might use down the road which isn’t necessarily bad. But if you want to create a unified experience and keep it all under one CMS roof then you may want to research your CMS options and see if any offer what you want via plug-ins/add-ons. I’m sure many of the Big Boy CMS do.

Todd


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Depending on what you’re trying to achieve, the free available ExpressionEngine Core and Craft still are great for CMS. I’ve bought the excellent tutorials on http://www.mijingo.com/products/screencasts/learning-expressionengine-2-complete-series/ (even used by EE employees) and http://www.mijingo.com/products/screencasts/craft-cms-tutorial/, both put together by Ryan Irelan. You can create your sites using FW, and link the CMS afterwards.

In case of EE you even can use the EE Actionsuite ($40) https://order.kagi.com/cgi-bin/store.cgi?storeID=6CYFF&& created by Joe Muscara: http://www.actionsforge.com/projects/view/18-expressionengine-action-suite.
Due to redesign of his website, you’ll have to contact Joe via email.


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Thank you Richard & Todd. Greatly appreciate your time & comments.
Richard, I’ve worked with EE and it does not have a great member
profile/reg setup. It was the one thing that gave us endless trouble.
Todd, I’ll take a look at Ruby and PHP.
I know I’m looking for a shortcut…which always comes back to bite you,
doesn’t it?!

Richard van Heukelum wrote:

Depending on what you’re trying to achieve, the free available ExpressionEngine Core and Craft still are great for CMS. I’ve bought the excellent tutorials on http://www.mijingo.com/products/screencasts/learning-expressionengine-2-complete-series/ (even used by EE employees) and http://www.mijingo.com/products/screencasts/craft-cms-tutorial/, both put together by Ryan Irelan. You can create your sites using FW, and link the CMS afterwards.

In case of EE you even can use the EE Actionsuite ($40) https://order.kagi.com/cgi-bin/store.cgi?storeID=6CYFF&& created by Joe Muscara: http://www.actionsforge.com/projects/view/18-expressionengine-action-suite.
Due to redesign of his website, you’ll have to contact Joe via email.


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So you aren’t that promised nightmare (probably) and know much more about Freeway and WordPress? You’d even prefer WP as your CMS system no. 1?

Excellent.

Cause I started to find a (basic) hand-hacked way in combining them both. The challenge was, to have a member (subscription) area and the only one that was a just work I found in the WP world. Naturally I wanted to have a clean blog post whatever space as well.

So if you’re able to deal with a combo of Freeway/CodeEditor give it a try. During this process I did some screencasts of it - just to show what I’ve been done so far.

The downside of it is, that you’re left alone with the WP specific stuff (loop, functions) so that’s up to you and it furthermore should be said that you need to know how to place items relative in your Freeway-workaround - but that’s a thing I anyway assume. Without a proper box-in-box inflow construction a CMS is anyway useless.

That’s the current project still in beta 0.9 (and the wp-casts in the video-section):

http://www.kimmich-digitalmedia.com

Cheers

Thomas


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Have a look at MODX, too http://modx.com. I recall seeing at least one tutorial on setting up a member registration area. And even if it doesn’t do exactly what you need out-of-the-box I suspect you could customize it as much as you like/need, that’s part of the beauty of MODX. Also, I’m sure there’s useful info lurking in the MODX forums.

I’ve used MODX quite a bit but haven’t yet had a need to do the registration thing so I can’t comment further on what is or isn’t possible.

Todd

I’ve worked with EE and it does not have a great member profile/reg setup. It was the one thing that gave us endless trouble.


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There is also a Members App in Perch - I have not yet used it but I’m getting ready to build a site with member login functionality.

http://docs.grabaperch.com/docs/members/

Cheers
Marcel


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