1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Great CMS Debate - Interested In High End Web Design...

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by stevesdata, Feb 26, 2010.

  1. stevesdata

    stevesdata Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2008
    Messages:
    357
    Likes Received:
    140
    Location:
    Next to Chuck Norris
    Hello

    I am really interested in learning about high end web design after attending some conferences recently and meeting people charging between £5000 - £20000 per website. I am beginning to learn dont undersell your products often people will sell the same thing and having a slick sales team and targeting large corporate companies can result in ridiculous fees for web dev even up to £60000.

    Half were selling Drupal powered sites the others were bespoke .net sites that I think may have evolved from either old CMS's or DotNetNuke.

    I am also aware of some of the worlds top design companies using WP a lot and charging around £5000.

    My opinion keeps shifting between the different CMS's but here are my opinions:

    WP

    *Easy to learn
    *Great SEO
    *Love the plug ins inc. lots of free ones
    *Security sucks
    *You need to deblogify if not a blog site
    *Looks good

    Joomla

    *More powerful than WP
    *Bad for SEO
    *Plug ins ok but many are paid
    *Community smaller versus WP
    *Far less tutos around
    *Front end looks great

    Drupal

    *More difficult to learn
    *Extremely powerful
    *Scales well
    *Doesnt look great (I have really struggled to find sites that look as Joomla or WP)

    I am also looking at other alternatives but I am really drawn between either using different platforms for each project or really sticking with one of the really powerful platforms for everything (this could be a PITA for a small basic site).

    I would be really interested in the best options for serious web dev on these open source platforms. I believe there are some really complex and massive sites out there on some of these but have heard criticisms for when the sites get huge whether they can be stable enough versus enterprise solutions. The less well known options can look great but I worry about support in the future. Especially if you built very expensive sites which broke or you couldnt support later on.

    I would love to hear from more experienced people than myself on these topics and hear from people who have build extremely large or complex sites on open source platforms?

    Are they really robust enough for say massive social networks, e-commerce projects etc.?

    Would love to hear strategies for building very high end sites.

    :D
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2010
  2. stevesdata

    stevesdata Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2008
    Messages:
    357
    Likes Received:
    140
    Location:
    Next to Chuck Norris
    I was hoping people would be more interested in this...

    I have been really inspired by complex / high end web development. Not exactly black hat but great for potentially making a lot of cash...

    :(
     
  3. bavahz

    bavahz Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2008
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    103
    Occupation:
    marketing rep
    Location:
    Milwaukee area
    Might you have seen this listing of Drupal users?
    General Motors is on it but, don't let that sway you to NOT use Drupal ;)
    Code:
    http://buytaert.net/tag/drupal-sites
    GL
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  4. jay2success

    jay2success Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    40
    Joomla is the best. You are mistake if you thought joomla has bad SEO, you can shape any kind of url you want with joomla but needs understanding on joomla development. I am developer of Joomla and i thought it's the best with many cool templates available.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  5. gregstereo

    gregstereo Elite Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,833
    Likes Received:
    1,027
    Occupation:
    I'm known to locate certain things from time to ti
    Location:
    Moose Factory, ON
    Have a look here for some independent feature comparisons and some highly-biased user reviews:

    http://www.cmsmatrix.org

    You can select different cms apps and see a comparison matrix of their features.

    Also keep in mind that whenever someone is trying to sell a solution, they will often try to convince you that platform x is, without a doubt, the greatest thing ever. Don't buy that snake oil.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  6. stevesdata

    stevesdata Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2008
    Messages:
    357
    Likes Received:
    140
    Location:
    Next to Chuck Norris
    Many thanks for the comments :)

    I dont believe in the BS everyone was saying especially about MicrapSoft and .net etc. as so many of the sales ppl were saying that in comparison LAMP servers were no good lol. I was inspired more at the thought of developing my own CMS sites and selling based on some of the business these companies were generating.

    I would be interested in ppls thoughts on enterprise level open source CMS development such as an ecommerce project with 300,000 pages. I have been warned anything less powerful than Drupal could cause problems for these kind of projects and may not scale well.

    I love the idea of WP and Joomla but can only imagine them being good for fairly small projects. I guess it would be Drupal for the big projects or are all three suitable for enterprise level web dev?

    I would also be interested in more info on Joomla & SEO as many people have warned me it is the major downside, but have found little info. I would love to use Joomla for small corporate sites.

    :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2010
  7. judson

    judson Power Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Messages:
    530
    Likes Received:
    319
    Occupation:
    Fulltime Newbie IM
    Location:
    Sub Ubi
    mmm, it is not clear what your question is.
     
  8. judson

    judson Power Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Messages:
    530
    Likes Received:
    319
    Occupation:
    Fulltime Newbie IM
    Location:
    Sub Ubi
    >>Would love to hear strategies for building very high end sites.

    Very high end sites is too vague a question.

    Most of these so called high end sites are just Flash adverts. No really. What many people see as high end sites is just fancy flash, with very little SEO. These sites also do not change much, so less value in a CMS.

    These are the sort of sites that you get paid big bucks for. You are really being paid for your graphic design skills. Plus, you only get the gig if you can sell well, or have a shoe-in from a contact on the inside.

    A bit further down the line, are the bread and butter sites. The three CMS systems you highlight will allow you to build pretty much anything you want. WP does (contrary to many opinions) work well as a CMS. Joomla is really ugly and clunky, but works too. Drupal is a beast, but is far more extendable than either WP or Joomla.

    There is no right answer to "What CMS should I use". Each will invariably have tradeoffs. Unfortunately, you have to learn *all* three to know which one to recommend. In many cases, all three are overkill, and you only need a micro CMS like Pixie (http://getpixie.co.uk)

    WP is great. With plugins, you can extend it and build a website for 90% of businesses out there. If you are clever about designing the theme, and widget areas, you can also make it easy for users to customise. Throw in the custom menu plugins, and you can have a pretty decent WP based CMS installation.

    Joomla - I think it got lost in the great plugin war. Everyone wants to charge for their half baked plugins. Plus, it is more difficult to learn than WP, and does seem fairly set in its ways. It can be difficult to get new users to understand how it works. My biggest problem is that Joomla finds itself in a situation where it is far more difficult for total newbies than WP, but also far more difficult to truly extend than Drupal for seasoned pros.

    Drupal - Quite the beast. A lot of learning to set it up just right. One of the reasons it is difficult to find themes for Drupal, is that the themes are tightly linked to the way a specific site is set up, via CCK & Views. As a result, they are not easily shared across installations. You do run into the same problems once you start using WP as CMS instead of a blog.

    My take on the situ::
    Learn WP. Learn it very well ... you can cover a lot in a weekend if you focus. Have a cursory glance at Joomla. Learn Drupal when you are ready to work in a team for clients paying you really big $$.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  9. tanay46

    tanay46 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    88
    imo, wordpress is the one to learn. It's the one I'm learning. I haven't tried the others, but there is absolutely nothing that wordpress can't do. It is super powerful. Plus the plugins and themes already available are awesome.
     
  10. greyhatdude

    greyhatdude Regular Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Messages:
    377
    Likes Received:
    255
    Occupation:
    Medical Field
    Location:
    Philippines, here I come.
    Home Page:
    I am confused by the vagueness of your phrase "higher web design". The architecture of my sites has recently gotten more complex, if that's what you mean. Who and what do you want to design sites for? I'm going to guess that you need to learn graphic design more than anything else, and then some basic mysql database administration. The particular CMS you master is less important, unless you want the option of being somebody elses employee. In that case, yes, the consensus is to learn Drupal. Otherwise you might look into combining different apps to provide different functionality across large domains.

    I have used WP for most of my sites for the past 3 years, and before that I used html only. I have recently discovered info.tikiwiki.org/tiki-index.php and think it is an excellent CMS for an all-in-one non-shopping cart site. I learned how to use it in 15 minutes! Tiki is free and featured on Cpanel as a one click installation through Fantastico Deluxe, and it is as easy to configure as wordpress. All you need is a graphic header design and you can have a site with built in banner ads, blogs for all site members and autoblog/rss feeds, wikis and built in forum + newsletter. It is also often used for corporate intranets so it's as powerful as a wordpressMU installation.

    Ferrari.com is built using Microsofts Sharepoint. It's awesome but expensive. I have it but still haven't found a reason to use it.
    See news.softpedia.com/news/The-New-Ferrari-com-Is-Powered-by-SharePoint-Server-2007-108088.shtml

    I have also begun to use wordpress autoblogs to flesh out sub-domains attached to html sites, in order to get spiders and traffic to the main html site while putting shopping cart installations on sub-domains like /store or /products. So if I built, for example, a (cheezy) Ferrari fan community it might have this structure:
    owning-a-ferrari-will-get-you-laid.com = a tiki installation
    owning-a-ferrari-will-get-you-laid.com/forum = that same tiki installation
    owning-a-ferrari-will-get-you-laid.com/blogs = that same tiki installation, member blogs
    owning-a-ferrari-will-get-you-laid.com/blog = that same tiki installation, main blog
    owning-a-ferrari-will-get-you-laid.com/ferrari-news = a wp autoblog
    owning-a-ferrari-will-get-you-laid.com/ferrari-race-results = a wp autoblog
    owning-a-ferrari-will-get-you-laid.com/clothing = a shopping cart
    owning-a-ferrari-will-get-you-laid.com/memorabilia = an amazon store
    ...and so on. The thing is that you could do the same thing, create a site with that architecture, using just wordpress (and plugins/premium themes) or just sharepoint. I'm not sure about how simple that would be to do with Drupal. Large sites like that are built around consistent graphic design and sometimes a mysql database that ties the different software on the subdomains together.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  11. jazzc

    jazzc Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Messages:
    2,468
    Likes Received:
    10,154
  12. judson

    judson Power Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Messages:
    530
    Likes Received:
    319
    Occupation:
    Fulltime Newbie IM
    Location:
    Sub Ubi
    True, but with some major qualifications. Here's an interesting thought exercise. Take a big site as your spec. Replicate it using your fav CMS. Can it be done? How easily? What do you get for 'free' ... i.e. using existing functionality and plugins?

    Here's one ... http://news.bbc.co.uk

    WP ... Yup, you can go a long way with this. Cleverly using posts, categories, tags, custom fields, many plugins and a highly custom theme, you can go a long way to creating something like that. You can get the basics up and running quite quickly too. Heck I have seen a 'BBC clone' on teh intarwebs before.

    Joomla ... The last time I built a Joomla production site was about 6 months ago, so I'll skip this one.

    Drupal ... Yup. It will probably take a lot longer than WP to get something you can show the world. That said, it is much easier to get 'enterprise' features like proper versioning and workflow into the final product. Overkill for a small organisation but absolutely essential for one with many authors and editors. Plus, I know it plays really nice with subdomains sharing content and users. Community features will also be more extensive.

    In short, you can use WP to build a site that looks and feels like the Beeb much quicker and easier than you could using Drupal. To build a site an organisation the size of the Beeb would need though, would need something like Drupal.

    Which would I recommend? If my nephew wanted a magazine site for his school, I would tell them to go with WP. If his dad finally decided to start that magazine venture he always talks about, then Drupal is the way to go. The final product might not look *that* different, but the two are different beasts.