General Question

starbuxaddct's avatar

How do I create a website that will allow a user to easily edit.

Asked by starbuxaddct (10points) October 20th, 2009

This is totally a question I should know the answer to, but, I don’t. I have worked for a company for the past year maintaining only their sites and then was let go when I needed to take maternity leave. So, here I am 7 months later designing sites on the side.

Enough background. :) Here is my question.

I use Dreamweaver CS4 to create sites for my clients. But I would like to know where/what I could use so that my clients could easily make changes to certain areas of their site. i.e. I design the site in Dreamweaver… upload it somewhere… make a certain area editable with an easy user interface. So that they will not need to contact me for daily inventory changes.

Does any of that make sense? I know it is a basic question, but I don’t even know what to search for.

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13 Answers

Dog's avatar

If you use a Wordpress base the user can update and use it pretty easily.

Breefield's avatar

You want some kind of CMS, that stands for Content Management System.

You have a few options, you can either outsource, and have someone else turn your websites that you created in Dreamweaver into CMS ready websites. There are a lot of CMS’s you could use to do this.

Another option would be learning to do this yourself, which is a little tougher, but sooo worth the payoff. Having that diversity makes you so much more valuable to the clients, and you’ll be able to put more in pocket at the end of the day.

Lastly, there are some CMS’s such as CushyCMS which doesn’t require any coding background. You can add classes to your HTML markup and plut it into their websites so that your clients can edit their website’s content.

Where in Idaho did/do you live? I live in Idaho atm

jackm's avatar

I second @Dog ‘s answer. Wordpress can be used as a CMS very easily. I worked at a advertising and we design firm for some time, and Wordpress is the only CMS I used to build clients websites. It is so customizable, and easy to use.

starbuxaddct's avatar

Thank you guys! I was looking into WP earlier this evening and the templates that I found have “designed by so and so” in the bottom left. I wouldn’t mind the WP info, but not the “designed by” Is there something that I am missing? I read that you can remove them in footer.php, but the .php was encrypted. How do you get around this? Do I just need to find a template to purchase instead of the free versions?

I am in Coeur d’Alene :)

jackm's avatar

Well, if the theme designer put in in their you should keep it.

If you know CSS then you can design your own themes very easily. Look into the K2 theme, it has styles that make it very easy for you to customize.

patg7590's avatar

My vote goes to Joomla! over WP any day.

funkdaddy's avatar

If you use Dreamweaver already you may want to look into the Adobe product Contribute which lets you design the site and define sections within your Dreamweaver templates that can be edited with the software.

I’ve never used it personally, but have talked to a few folks that are very happy with it. They build the site, install a copy of contribute on the client’s machine, give them a quick tutorial and say it’s fairly intuitive from there.

It sounds like it might be the best fit for your current workflow.

Regarding wordpress, the themes designed by others are just one option, you can also create your own themes and there’s quite a bit of documentation on how to do so if you don’t mind learning a bit of PHP and CSS (you may know these already).

One of the things that really helped me was having a “blank” theme to start with, found one that works well here

If you’d rather go with someone else’s theme, there’s quite a few that don’t require a link back or anything in the footer. Also, there’s several places that sell themes, which should also not require any acknowledgement.

Good luck with it.

patg7590's avatar

How does the licensing work with Contribute?

poisonedantidote's avatar

You need to use PHP a server side language and databases to create a CMS, so that you can feed data in to your HTML and CSS, alternatively… use one that some third party has made.

me and my business partner are currently developing a CMS system, i am not going to post links and passwords here. but if you would like to take a look at it and test it out and pick my brains i dont mind helping.

funkdaddy's avatar

@patg7590 – my understanding is the client needs to buy a copy of Contribute ($199), they shouldn’t need Dreamweaver or any other software to edit content within the framework of the template you set up.

Is that what you meant?

patg7590's avatar

yeah – thats exactly what I was asking.
seems silly to pay $200 a client for front end editing when free and open source CMS’s do the same thing….

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