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I'm designing a website for a small-business, manufacturers representative.

The website should advertise the product lines, products, parts, etc., but customers would still call for information, a quote, or an order.

The product listings, descriptions, etc. infrequently change, but I would still like for the company to be able to modify its own content.

I have much lower-level technical knowledge (HTML, CSS, scripting) but lack in design and knowledge of higher-level tools.

Section 1: Description

Requirements:

  • User-friendly content editing
  • Product images
  • Customer photos
  • Polished designs / themes

Nice to have:

  • Compatible with GoDaddy Hosting
  • Social media sync ("Announcements page," Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
  • Content management (rollback, changes, backups etc.)
  • Mobile viewing
  • Tweakable themes

Not needed:

  • User comments / discussion
  • User login
  • Online prices, ordering, shopping cart, SSL
  • Multiple authors (ie: created by John Doe)

Section 2: Considering …

  1. WordPress: At first glance, WordPress has the content-management features. However, the design customization falls short. Every theme seems to fall short in some non-customizable aspect: font-styles, font sizes, window resizing issues, menu behavior, spacing, etc. There's no customization. It's just settling on a theme that's not quite good enough.

  2. Drupal, Joomla, etc. - I've played around briefly, but they seem to have similar issues or steep learning-curves.

  3. Static HTML / CSS: This option has the highest potential for customization. However, static pages are not user friendly for editing of content.

Which tools, CMS, system, etc. would you recommend for creating and maintaining the website I described?

  • What do you mean with "design customization"? Customization on the backend (so your client could customize the design)? – unor Sep 27 '14 at 3:11
  • WordPress themes are frustratingly all-or-nothing. Short of hand-editing the CSS (which I have read is bad practice), I can't adjust margins, spacing, font-weight, column widths, etc. I must either settle on a theme that falls short or spend hours searching for that "perfect" theme. – Steven Sep 28 '14 at 23:02
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    Modifying an existing theme is perfectly fine, and this is very common in all kind of CMS. You’ll rarely find a theme that is so good that you don’t need to adjust something. – unor Sep 28 '14 at 23:05
  • Going along with unor, your question, especially in regard to WordPress, confuses me. What themes have you tried? Most themes have a settings page where you can drop in your own CSS and there is a customization page built into Wordpress for ever theme. Where have you read that custom CSS is a bad practice? They're wrong. You could even create a child theme and add the CSS there. I'm not sure you have given WordPress a chance, you're saying that every theme on the market (which by the way there are thousands of themes) can't be customizable? – Tom Jun 5 '16 at 12:10
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If it is a small business and it should be easy to edit WordPress sounds like a good solution. Drupal is definitely the wrong CMS as it is primarily an multy user editorial system. Joomla and TYPO3 could be a solution but the work you have to do might be higher than by using WordPress.

Here is a good side where you can compare some functions of common CMS: http://web-cms.findthebest.com/

On this Page you can find some more details about the CMS: http://whichcmstochoose.com/

About WordPress themes they differ alot in the case of settings, functions and appearance. You can also get some very well designed once.

On http://themeforest.net/category/wordpress you can also get a live previews of the themes.

  • OP especially wrote why Wordpress doesn't meet his needs. And while links are fine for reference (especially the comparision matrix might prove quite useful), links alone make no answer (see here for some reasoning). Answers on SR should especially point out how the recommended product meets the listed requirements, which is missing in your answer as well. Maybe you could edit it once more and fill the gaps? Thanks! – Izzy Sep 27 '14 at 15:18
  • @lzzy I think that WordPress matches his requirements he just has to take a closer look and if he has "a good knowledge in HTML, CSS, scripting" he can create a theme that fits to his concerns. – kimliv Sep 27 '14 at 15:41
  • Not my area of experience, so I might have missed that; maybe you could point out how and "what to look for" to make that clear? As I wrote, answers should explicitely show how the recommended product meets the requirements ;) – Izzy Sep 27 '14 at 15:44
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Orchard is one one the bests in .NET world.

And it's really amazing and useful for me that it's written in ASP.NET MVC 4

Edit:

It's easy to manage galleries and product shows in Orchard. It also is easy to extend it's functionality by writing your own modules with C# and ASP.NET MVC 4.

Orchard is very user friendly too. So, it's suitable for corporate employees to work and manage content with it.

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    Please edit your answer and tell why Orchard would be a solution for the OP. Just dumping a program name is not sufficient for a good answer on SR, and even smells like spam. – Jan Doggen Sep 27 '14 at 11:55
  • Thanks for your update, Amin – but I'm afraid that's still not sufficient. Answers should especially point out how the requirements are met. One of the must-haves was "polished styles/themes", the nice-to-haves you've not mentioned at all. In "section 2" OP mentioned some essential needs as well. Could you elaborate a little on those? – Izzy Sep 27 '14 at 15:15
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I would put my vote on Joomla. It's a PHP/MySQL based CMS, and it's highly customizable. It does take some work to get used to, but many template providers offer a "quickstart" download of their templates, an exact replica of their demo including all modules. It's a good start and you can simply replace the content and images as needed, and then modify the template code. The templates are built using HTML/CSS, mixed with some PHP code.

As for your requests:

Requirements

  1. User-friendly content editing
    • Front end editing and content creation is easy to use once it's correctly. configured. A WYSIWYG editor (TinyMCE) is included.
    • Other editors can be added for extended functionality.enter link description here
  2. Product images
    • Images can of course be added to content.
    • There are lots of extensions available for any kind of image display.
  3. Customer photos
    • Not entirely sure what you need here, but I'm sure there's an extension for that.
  4. Polished designs / themes
    • Many free and commercial templates are available, see Resources below.

Nice to have:

  1. Compatible with GoDaddy Hosting
  2. Social media sync ("Announcements page," Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
  3. Content management (rollback, changes, backups etc.)
  4. Mobile viewing
    • Most recent templates (as in last 2-3 years) are responsive and mobile friendly.
  5. Tweakable themes
    • Templates can be customized both in template settings (from the admin area) and by modifying PHP/HTML and CSS files.
    • Detailed customization of Joomla and most of the extensions is possible using overrides.
    • Many template clubs has a free Joomla Template Framework that can be used to customize your site.

Resources

Download Joomla
Joomla.org

Templates
Joomla24 1
RocketTheme 1, 2, 3
Shape5 1, 2, 3
JoomlaBamboo 1, 2, 3
GavickPro 1, 2, 3
JoomlArt 1, 2, 3
Joomla51 1, 2, 3
YooTheme 1, 2, 3

Notes:
1 Free templates
2 Commercial templates
3 QuickStart available

Getting started
Beginners tutorial
Joomla StackOverflow
Joomla Forum

0

I would use Processwire. It is a very simple but flexible PHP CMS, which you can model according to your needs, like Drupal. Each page type can have its own set of fields, it has modules providing many functions and its jQuery-like API is damn simple.

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I would really keep at wordpress, do to the growing cms market, who is actually staying on the curve for upgrades and support. Wordpress If it is a small web business and it should be easy to edit WordPress sounds like a good solution. Drupal is definitely the wrong CMS as it is primarily an multy user editorial system. Joomla and TYPO3 could be a solution but the work you have to do might be higher than by using WordPress. I like the reviews at http://www.dailyhosting.net as hosts that use just wordpress.

  • 1
    Can you explain how to overcome the theme customization issues the OP had? – Tom Jun 5 '16 at 11:54

protected by Community Jan 31 at 12:36

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