2008/07/24

Building a Website: Focus on CMS

Andy M recently suggested we build a new website. This begs the question, "What tool(s) should be used to build an easily managed, scalable website which allows easy contribution (posts or entries) by non-tech people?" (There are other criteria, but those three are the main ones.)

My reasons for working with Andy on building this website include learning how to build a good quality website. Based on my extremely limited knowledge of how to build good quality websites of this type, using an open source content management system (CMS) seemed like a good direction to go. The open source CMS website tools about which I've read the most and discussed the most with others are Joomla and Drupal. For various reasons, including knowing a few people in the Drupal community, my suggestion to Andy was that we try figuring out how to build his suggested site with Drupal.

Andy spent quite a few hours experimenting with both Joomla and Drupal and is currently at the point where he has a test site set up using Drupal. He's waaaay ahead of me in terms of Drupal knowledge and skill, as is pretty much true in any tech area he tackles. I plan to contribute to the building of the site through gaining and using lightweight Drupal skills, through finding Drupal info and making connections with Drupalers who can assist us with building and improving the site or answering Drupal questions, and through writing content for the site.

One CMS resource I plan to use is books on the topic. There are a few books available about building websites with Drupal and Joomla. One publisher of those books offers to send complimentary evaluation books for online review. I'm going to send them an email to ask that they send me their intro books for both Drupal and Joomla for online book reviews.

If anyone is interested in joining us on this adventure, especially skilled Drupalers, please send me an email at bwaldron [att] gmail {dott} com, and we'll figure out how best to work with you on this!

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