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  1. #1
    Senior Member RDesignista's Avatar
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    Hi everyone,

    I'm getting ready to start a new site. One of the main requests of the client is that they be able to do a lot of positioning, spacing/padding, columns. In other words, they will not simply be using the editor to edit text - they almost want to be like God and make everything look the way they want. If you've used Wordpress before, you know Wordpress is quite awful for this. Generally speaking, the Wordpress editor makes it good for editing the content within blocks, and not much else. For example, one of the things my client wants is to be able to edit the padding in an image. This is not an innate ability of Wordpress and I'm sure any plugin that does this would be clunky at best.

    The one other CMS I have taken a look at is Concrete5. I play around with the demo about 7 months ago. Great visual editor! And I think their interface is 100x better. At the time I was looking at it however, I had no clue how to upload it to my server so I gave up on it .

    I will be using Wordpress by default, just because I am so familiar with the system and there are so many 3rd party plugins that I would feel comfortable with. My client is also favoring Wordpress. However, I know there are shortcomings to WP, so if you have any recommendations, I would appreciate them.

    -R

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Webzarus's Avatar
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    Wordpress was originally designed as a "semantic" blogging platform.

    Yes, it has evolved into a lot more, but its doubtful it will ever do, or any plugin that they allow to interact with it... Will ever do what your customer wants control to do, because quite simply, its a CMS "content" management system...

    Not to say what you're asking couldn't be done on a "custom"' basis, it just doesn't fit into the model of what 99.999% of designers and site managers use it for, which is to manage the content.

    You'll need to add a field for custom CSS ( may already be in the DB ), and a CSS editor into the dashboard... Them the tough part starts... Teaching the customer about CSS, what thy can edit and what they can't.

    I built a custom document management system about 6-7 years ago, they asked specifically for the ability to be able to edit all the queries for all the document types and areas ( ISO STUFF ), I thought I had done a pretty good job of making it sensible and easy to use based on their requirements, ended up setting up a table just for the queries, and associated links for the queries, there was a total of about 60 queries that they could edit, copy, add new ones when needed, etc...

    I provided extensive documentation on how the queries were done, what function each part of the query did what, etc... Left several custom queries in the DB, but left them turned off but accessible to the guy hat was gonna manage it... Durning training ( part of the contract ), the guy wrote several custom queries, was able to modify some that were already there...

    Even though they asked for all this control and ability, and I provided, i still get calls to write custom queries for this system, and pretty much do everything but add and remove documents from the system...

    Sometimes, the client wants and wants and wants, but when it comes down to it... They don't use, all you can do is give them what they ask for or as close as you can get it, and as long as they pay good... Continue to do what they ask. I got over 10k for the original system and I've made 5 times that over the years doing exactly what the system was designed to do, because they asked for the control, but don't want to take the time to actually use the system as it was designed.

    The good thing is, it was a good learning experience and I've sold the same system as a turn key system numerous times ( ISO DOCUMENT CONTROL is pretty standardized )...

    Sometimes, customers want a lot more than they ever have the need or desire to actually use,' but hey, if they pay good, why not.

    And yeah, concrete5 is a bear to install, I've done it once, and it was a real pain. It does offer more granular control of each page though.

  4. #3
    Senior Member RDesignista's Avatar
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    Webz,

    Thanks. I'm sure most people would love to have a CMS exactly the way they want it... but given the difference between Wordpress for free or a custom-built one, I'm sure many people settle with WP.

    I keep playing with Concrete5. Their instructional videos and pretty good and their built-in ability to edit basic properties of a block element (padding, border, margins, background color) is so refreshing. I don't see anything yet to adjust positioning of blocks, but there seems to be a little line in the properties box to insert custom css.

    My client and I already setup a contract, but I mentioned the Concrete5 to him and told him that I could make the site in Concrete5 if he wishes. Would take a lot more time out of me to learn the ins-and-outs of concrete5, but I think the learning process would be very beneficial, much like it was for you making a CMS.

    -R

  5. #4
    Senior Member RDesignista's Avatar
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    So it turns out that my client really loved Concrete5's interface. He wants me to use C5 now, instead of Wordpress. There is still a bit of uncertainty on my part, because I've yet to make a website with concrete5, but after fooling around with a couple open-source software already, I feel I should be able to do this without major headache.

    And here's a cool thing about Wordpress: there are paid frameworks out there that override the natural interface of Wordpress. Most impressive was Headway, which has a ridiculously easy-looking visual tool utilizing a drag and drop interface. The demo video looked amazing - you basically build blocks by dragging a square across a grid. Developer's license is $187. That's a large amount, relative to my contract price, but it's for unlimited installs, so I could keep using it in for future projects, so I might look into it if Concrete5 can't do what I need it to.

    -R

  6. #5
    WDF Staff AlphaMare's Avatar
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    You can easily edit the padding on images in WP - once the image is inserted in the post or page, click on it and choose the little picture frame - a pop-up will open where you can edit the settings for the image - in the Advanced tab, there is a place to edit the border, vertical space, horizontal space, etc.
    Good design should never say "Look at me!"
    It should say "Look at this." ~ David Craib


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