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  1. #1
    Senior Member kade119's Avatar
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    If I were to need a site that involved a few various functions on the backend of my site.. say.. for example:

    newsletter, form, search... would it be better to try to customize drupal or create a new site and try to add in some open script ?

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  3. #2
    Senior Member
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    Its whatever you prefer really.

    Drupal is very easy to theme. It also has lots of modules which could probably do just about everything you want to do with your website.

    There are a couple of downsides.
    - I have found the support on the site to be a little slow
    - Takes a while to get your head around the module system
    - At first there are many concepts which require reading.

    Basically if you want to put a few days into getting to grips with it then drupal is as good a choice as any. It sounds like there are many CMS solutions which could do what you are after, have a look around and see what is best.

  4. #3
    Senior Member imagn's Avatar
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    Since it loads every module on every page it can become extremely bogged down if your traffic grows to a sizeable amount.

  5. #4
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    I started with Drupal and found it really hard to get to grips with. I then took a look at Joomla and wasn't impressed. I finally went back to Drupal, dug my heels in, and got on with it. I've never looked back since. Once you get your head around it it's great to work with on the whole. Modules like Views can be a real headache to start with - even just figuring out what the hell they are for is a challenge.
    The only thing I've found with Drupal is there is almost an air of 'you should know how to do that' which surrounds it. Support could be better and I think that a few people take too much pride in the fact that they are using the most flexible and advanced CMS - which they probably are.

  6. #5
    Junior Member mzslater's Avatar
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    I've been talking with a lot of web designers about their CMS choices, and the consensus among the folks I've spoken with is that Drupal is great if you're a developer at heart, like to deal with PHP code, and are comfortable with complex admin interfaces. If you're a designer at heart at prefer to focus on front-end code, Drupal gets quite painful.

    There are many choices between Drupal and "code it all from bits of script". The main reason, in my mind, to use a CMS is if you want easy end-user editing of content, and if you have content in a structured database that will deliver automatically generated pages.

    You could probably use a much simpler CMS and a few third-party services. For example:

    - Vertical Response, Constant Contact, or aweber for newsletters
    - Wufoo for forms
    - Google site search for search

    You could also look at some of the other CMS platforms out there.

  7. #6
    Junior Member
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    Actually, I think that the PHP aspect, while being important, is overstated when it comes to describing the advantages. If you start with the Zen theme and produce a sub-theme you realise offers the greatest degree of flexibility in terms of CSS. I've written virtually no PHP while designing my site but I've modified the provided Zen CSS files to produce the result which I've wanted.
    So, to summarise. In terms of Design via CSS Drupal almost certainly beats Joomla, it's just that people quote the PHP advantage so much that this is often overlooked.

  8. #7
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    I think slater's assessment is right on.

    Drupal's real advantage is that you can customize it. You don't have to know PHP to do so, but you have to be familiar with how data structures work. CCK and Views, for example, mirror the way a developer would create a table and query it and display that data on a page.

    I have, however, grown tired of its inefficiency. For example:

    CCK doesn't create properly indexed and structured tables. It's very sloppy how data is stored. There is too much redundant data. Modules are all loaded on every page, whether used or not. Queries are inefficient, and there could potentially be dozens per page.

    i think if you're a coder at heart, you don't need all the pretty interfaces on the back-end to build a nice CMS for your customer.

    That's why we've been working hard on developing our own framework at Transio. It's very similar to Ruby on Rails, but for PHP. The core of the framework is a data modeling system based on a single XML file that builds your database and a completely dynamic data access layer. PHP has some unique characteristics that allowed us to do this - namely, its magic methods (__get, __set, __call, and __callStatic in 5.3). These allow for some really powerful dynamic coding.

    We're just wrapping up Archetype 1.0. It's pretty sick. Think of it this way: with it, you can build a completely custom app in 1 day. An app that will be as customizable as a Drupal website, and about 10-20x faster.

    When we're done with the first version, I'm going to release it as an OS framework. I'll keep y'all posted!

  9. #8
    Junior Member brandontran's Avatar
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    How do you guys feel about using WordPress as a CMS? I have setup my last 4 client sites using wordpress and good results so far. www.cruzchiropractic.com my latest client is using wordpress and I like it. Easy to setup, the speed seems fine to me.
    Brandon Tran - Asheville Web Design


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