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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    New York City
    Member #
    Hello. I have recently agreed to redesign a website for a small non-profit. The current site is out of date, and the staff have no formal training in website design, so it has been challenging for them to add new pages or even update the existing content.

    I'm looking for advice and recommendations about the base format for the new site. The staff all have access to Dreamweaver (CS4), and have some experience using it to update content. Because of the way the page was originally written (alot of PHP and "includes") they have often been stumped when they want to add new pages or sections.

    This summer, the staff successfully created a wordpress blog about their programs. They felt comfortable enough with the forum, and liked being able to add posts from their phone and by email.

    I myself have slightly (but not much) more experience with Dreamweaver than the staff, and limited experience with Wordpress. As I've been poking around design forums to get me started on the redesign of their site, I've seen reference to the fact that you can really do a lot with Wordpress.

    Can anyone give some advice about the pros and cons of CMS (specifically wordpress), and how it might limit the site? I think the most important feature in the site I design for them is that new staff can learn to handle the updates without any technical training. Does this mean CMS is the only way to go?

    Thanks in advance for your insights!


  3. #2
    WDF Staff AlphaMare's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    Member #
    878 times
    Hi. I use WP a lot for my lower-budget clients as well as for the technically challenged. the admin backend is pretty easy and intuitive, so updates, adding, and deleting pages are simple.

    On the coding side, you should choose a theme that specifies updates to correlate with the versions of WP it should not offer any "my site is broken!" challenges.

    The best thing would be to use a framework and develop your own child theme, but that would require a fairly decent knowledge of CSS. Basically a child theme is just one or more CSS files (and possibly, but not necessarily, a few extra functions in a PHP page). It's fairly easy to learn, for more go here and here for a great tutorial.

    Side note - DW tends to bloat the code, and so it makes it difficult to find what needs changing. Also, if any of the functionality needs changing (accordions, menu bars, tabbed panels, validations, etc.) it can be a challenge to get it all changed or removed, since the code for these is often split into several locations on the page.
    Good design should never say "Look at me!"
    It should say "Look at this." ~ David Craib ~ my current site . . ~ my email

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