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  1. #1
    Senior Member Tech0rz's Avatar
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    Permission to pick your brains, please? :cheeky:

    I'm a Web Designer who focuses, at present, on CSS based design, and is a sole user of XHTML and CSS (with the odd snippet of Javascript if I'm feeling dangerous!). However, my aim is to gradually expand the features I am able to offer clients; from the ground up. My future objectives are to learn how to implement search functions, contact forms, logins, etc.

    However, the idea of CMS is holding my attention at the moment, and I am excited about how much they could help me provide a more complete and practical solution for my clients. I have tried to do a little research into the deluge of free and open-source CMS scattered across the Internet, and one name kept popping up, Joomla!

    Joomla! is free. Sounds good... but is this right for me?

    I want to be able to allow clients to simply login to a web based application and create news bulletins, add new articles etc. and in the future be able to allow clients to update their online product catalogue with new items etc. I want it to be simple, intuitive and have exactly what they need and nothing more, all at their fingertips.

    A few questions, if I may?

    1. Firstly, is it worth me looking into this further as a solution to my wants/needs?
    2. Do you use this regularly in your web design/development projects?
    3. If so... What is your overall opinion of this as a CMS for paying clients?
    4. If Joomla! is worth the time and effort, I'll be diving right in... but just so I know, from your experience, was there a steep/gentle/moderate learning curve?
    5. What alternative free CMS are available, and which can you recommend from personal experience?
    6. I'm sure more questions will come to me later, but for now that will do :classic:

    Feel free to answer any/all of the above or just give your opinion on Joomla! or CMS in general.

    Thanks!

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  3. #2
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    http://www.webdesignforums.net/showthread.php?t=27686

    That pretty much sums up my feelings on it. Joomla's great to start out with, and I have no problem charging to set up a Joomla site. You'll eventually probably want to swtich to Drupal, but it requires a lot more programming knowledge.

  4. #3
    Senior Member Tech0rz's Avatar
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    Thanks Transio.

    Well, one thing I won't have much of over the next year is free time because I'm studying full time. Taking this into account, as well as the fact that the extent of my coding expertise beyond CSS and (X)HTML goes no further than creating simple and meaningless apps. in VB (Visual Basic), I think Joomla would be my first preference.

    1. What kind of feedback/comments have you received, if any, from your clients about their experience with Joomla!? Do they find it easy to use?
    2. What would you typically add in terms of cost for implementing a basic CMS for a client's Website? I understand this is highly dependent (and confidential aranoid: ) but as a rough guide?
    3. What resources do you give to clients so that they're able to learn how to use the system without needing to contact you again? For example, do you provide a small user guide/tutorial, or is it so intuitive that this isn't necessarry?


    Appreciate your input.

  5. #4
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    1. and 2. - I include a CMS in every website I create, because I believe there is never a site that won't need some content management. I charge $2500 for a complete basic website, which includes most of the sites you see in my portfolio. My clients, of course, don't always expect to have a CMS included with their website, and are very happy that they get to change and add content at all.

    3. - If I have a client who isn't a DIYer, I'll usually give them a 2-4 hour training session in which I explain the basics of Joomla, covering the majority of the functionality they'll need to know. There is a lot of on-online documentation and even a Joomla book available for purchase on Amazon for those who require more in-depth knowledge. That makes it an easier sell.

  6. #5
    Member blue_francis14's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by transio
    I charge $2500 for a complete basic website
    $2500? wow! I never thought that they were THAT expensive...

  7. #6
    Senior Member -chris-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blue_francis14
    $2500? wow! I never thought that they were THAT expensive...
    Did you look at the sites he listed? He does excellent work, and has been at this for years, and can charge that much.
    Portfolio | Blog | Twitter

    Was my post, or someone elses, helpful? Click the thumbs up to let everyone know!

  8. #7
    Senior Member Tech0rz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by transio
    1. and 2. - I include a CMS in every website I create, because I believe there is never a site that won't need some content management. I charge $2500 for a complete basic website, which includes most of the sites you see in my portfolio. My clients, of course, don't always expect to have a CMS included with their website, and are very happy that they get to change and add content at all.

    3. - If I have a client who isn't a DIYer, I'll usually give them a 2-4 hour training session in which I explain the basics of Joomla, covering the majority of the functionality they'll need to know. There is a lot of on-online documentation and even a Joomla book available for purchase on Amazon for those who require more in-depth knowledge. That makes it an easier sell.
    Thanks, very useful advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by blue_francis14
    $2500? wow! I never thought that they were THAT expensive...
    If you take the time to look at the array of services they provide, the market the provide for, and the experience they have, then you'll realise that $2,500 is a very modest price.

    -AudiTy =o

  9. #8
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tech0rz
    $2,500 is a very modest price.
    Too modest, actually, to even make a living doing... which is why I'm not going after "basic" websites anymore. My new focus is developing internet startups for entrepreneurs.

  10. #9
    Member blue_francis14's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by -chris-
    Did you look at the sites he listed? He does excellent work, and has been at this for years, and can charge that much.
    It's about that, I just realized how horribly underpaid we are here. :tired:
    Oh well, at least it's a steady income. Come to think of it, we don't use any CMS.

    What would be better, use Joomla or build your own CMS if you are a freelancer?

  11. #10
    ljm
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    Senior Member ljm's Avatar
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    If it were me, I'd build my own once I was confident I had a decent system in place. I can't stand using prebuilt CMSs because they never do anything the way I'd like them to: I have no control over it. Plus, they're an absolute bugger to alter. Seen the phpBB3 templates now? I daren't touch them.


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