Have a new client on the hook. They want to include the ability to log in and upload videos, photos (to a gallery), add & delete downloadable PDFs, change home page content/images and a few other odds and ends. What package would you all recommend for this?
The main thing to consider is whether you want to use a Mysql database as the backend for your CMS. Some CMS (such as MiniCMS or WebYep) do not require Mysql. Expression Engine on the other hand does as well as many many others. Complexity of set up is also an issue as you must know (or learn) how to setup a Mysql database. Installing the php portion of all these CMS is very simple as it usually just means uploading a single folder to your root directory then changing a couple of config.php pages. Also, there is a licensing fee per domain for the following three CMS in addition to the cost of the Freeway actions. There are quite alot of very good free cms available, but they do not offer Freeway actions for inclusion into Freeway layouts and require more coding to set up and utilize.
All of the current available CMS actions for Freeway Pro will help to create this kind of site, but there are differences between the CMS capabilities to keep in mind. The main choices are:
MiniCMS is very simple to integrate into a web site, but it only offers one kind of editable area. Don’t misunderstand, this one area can have any kind of content at all you may want to include, but you cannot designate it to be only text or only photos. The online editor it comes with lets you add and edit all kinds of content which is very flexible as a result. The problem is the editable area you assign will be wide open for the client to add/subtract absolutely whatever they want including fonts and colors, and perhaps making ugly choices in the process. If the client wants total control after you hand off they will like this choice.
WebYep is more involved as far as how you design your editable areas but is a bit more controlable than MiniCMS. You can designate specific editable areas to be only usable for photos, or only a menu, or only body copy. This could be useful if you want to control the overall look of a site. Even though this gives the designer more control overall, there is more thought involved with planning your editable areas.
ExpressionEngine This is by far the most complicated of these three CMS to set up, but much more powerful than the first two and can handle much bigger sites in general. It is also the most expensive of the 3 choices. There is cutdown version of EE that you can experiment with for free but it leaves out alot of the useful bits (such as photo gallery module) so it may not work for you.
I recommend buying Joe Muscara’s Expression Engine Actions. It will save you hours…weeks…months worth of work. I’ve used them now for a few projects and it has never been easier, plus the support is fantastic.
Sure, it truly has been a great experience for someone who didn’t know much other than the name Expression Engine when I started. Totally worth the money to pick those actions up and hopefully when EE 2.0 finds it way here that the actions will continue to work just as well.