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  1. #31
    clay's Avatar
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    One last thing for anyone contemplating the Wordpress alternative: Your website content and visual appearance are pretty much independent. If you decide you want to change the look of your site, it can often be accomplished by simply selecting another theme in your Wordpress control panel. Of course, exceptions abound. Some of the older themes do not gracefully handle menus, and other more recent Wordpress features. But in general, it is a fair statement that you could put all your content in your Wordpress installation and decide a year later that you don't like the Hello Kitty theme that seemed so cool at the time, and simply upload your alternative Pinstripes and Wingtips theme and your site's look-and-feel instantly goes from a 'bubbly female pre-teen' to a '55 year old Proctor and Gamble executive'. Cool stuff.
    I just want to feel nostalgic like I used to.


    http://www.clayharmon.net - turnip extraordinaire

  2. #32

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    To be fair clay, that's pretty much true with any blogging setup. In reality, any HTML page where all the layout is done in CSS can be restyled by merely changing the CSS file. Though it is super easy to switch between premade themes in in Wordpress.

  3. #33
    clay's Avatar
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    Tim, that is absolutely true. I probably wasn't clear that this advantage applies to more CMS's than just Wordpress. Joomla, Drupal, Movable Type, and others all take advantage of the separation of content from styling.
    I just want to feel nostalgic like I used to.


    http://www.clayharmon.net - turnip extraordinaire

  4. #34

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    Tom,
    Kerik's site is using Thesis.

    Dalton,
    I like your theme as well, very clean. I turned a friend onto it who's using it.

  5. #35

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    It's not just CMS's that do that though. Separating content from styling has been a hot thing to do since the early 2000's. I forget the exact date, but it was definitely pre-2004. Once we got past layout with tables, and turned to layout with CSS, good things happened.

    EDIT: I'm not trying to be argumentative, just trying to help those out making their sites for the first time in a long time. If you haven't played around with CSS yet, you can do quite a lot of things with it.
    Last edited by Tim Gray; 10-22-2010 at 08:52 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Gray View Post
    It's not just CMS's that do that though. Separating content from styling has been a hot thing to do since the early 2000's. I forget the exact date, but it was definitely pre-2004. Once we got past layout with tables, and turned to layout with CSS, good things happened.

    EDIT: I'm not trying to be argumentative, just trying to help those out making their sites for the first time in a long time. If you haven't played around with CSS yet, you can do quite a lot of things with it.
    Tim,

    I have done a couple of simple sites in the past using CSS so can cope with a degree of scripting but have started to explore the Wordpress option in terms of providing a framework that may result in an easier to update website.

    Tom

  7. #37
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    You are totally correct about this. The main thing is that the CMS systems enforce this practice. If you build a hand-coded website using CSS and HTML, you have to consciously write your markup in a way that separates the semantic markup from the stylistic markup. It is still quite possible to build a handcoded HTML site that inadvertently includes stylistic stuff with the actual markup. The CMS's just make it easier to keep the two separate. But you are quite right that if you don't want to use a CMS, you can build a beautiful site the has the style completely separate from the content. You can go here and see a demo site that has many, many different styles applied to the same content.

    Originally Posted by Tim Gray
    It's not just CMS's that do that though. Separating content from styling has been a hot thing to do since the early 2000's. I forget the exact date, but it was definitely pre-2004. Once we got past layout with tables, and turned to layout with CSS, good things happened.

    EDIT: I'm not trying to be argumentative, just trying to help those out making their sites for the first time in a long time. If you haven't played around with CSS yet, you can do quite a lot of things with it.
    I just want to feel nostalgic like I used to.


    http://www.clayharmon.net - turnip extraordinaire

  8. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kershaw View Post
    I have done a couple of simple sites in the past using CSS so can cope with a degree of scripting but have started to explore the Wordpress option in terms of providing a framework that may result in an easier to update website.
    It's good stuff Tom. Like I said earlier, I've been running a site for the past 6 years on Wordpress and wouldn't consider any other software for that at this point. I will admit though that some of my views of Wordpress have been colored by those last six years. I've had to do many upgrades (which used to not be automatic but required because of Wordpress's many security holes), including 2 major upgrade versions, 1 -> 2 and 2 -> 3. Upgrading before the automatic upgrade capabilities was NOT fun. With the automatic upgrade feature however, it is pretty easy now to upgrade your site and plugins now.

    Things I've learned during these 6 years that I would caution other users about:

    - You WILL need to backup your site. At some point, your host (or you) will screw up and whatever backup service they provide will not suffice.

    - Backing up content stored in MYSQL databases is not quite as straight forward as content stored in flat file systems.

    - Wordpress sticks content in several places. Themes are one place, images and other files are elsewhere, page content is in the database, etc. You need to back up all of these to be safe.

    - This scattering of files and the database makes it tricky to export your site to a new CMS. It can certainly be done. However, on my current Wordpress site, we have 760 entries categorized with 470 tags, 3200 comments, and about 4 gigs of associated content (images, videos, etc.). Major CMS software will provide an import function for the MYSQL dump files, but doing any thing by hand is not feasible in my mind.

    Obviously, a lot of those concerns above, especially the exporting bit, are not as looming if your site is kept small, which it would be for most portfolio sites. But it's something to keep in mind. Plan for the future

  9. #39

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    Tim,

    Thanks for your comments, I've just installed MySQL on a local machine for development work (Mac OS X 10.5) and will proceed to get WordPress up and running. Will also need to check up on 'Thesis' or another theme. I see the book I have here, the 'Wordpress Bible' gives extensive attention to themes.

    On the issue of backups: have you come up with an effective strategy?

    Tom

  10. #40

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    One of the main reasons I do not have a website (yet) is that I only understand about 10% of this thread.

    I do have a blog, however, and I'll get there.



 

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