CMS Decisions

For the last couple of weeks, I was able to explore the world of content management systems. Some were easy to install, while others were complicated. Many issues would appear during installation, which helped me narrow down the ones I would use for clients and personal projects. After installing Get Simple, Drupal, and WordPress, I felt comfortable choosing a favorite. WordPress and Drupal are larger content management systems with lots of resources, but I wanted simplicity. So I chose Get Simple as one I would use frequently, unless I needed more plugins and tools. WordPress would be my second choice, while Drupal would be my last.

My Experience

Drupal

The process of installation should not take longer than 30 minutes, which Drupal exceeded. That was one of the issues I ran into with the CMS, and I felt the system would be a last resource. Several errors would appear while setting up the database and configuring the site. After installing the CMS, I admitted to liking the layout and appearance. When the time came for posting content and adding plugins, the difficulty level had risen. The time I spent with Drupal was short, not even getting into the database backup. I felt my frustration took over the ambition to understanding the CMS. Honestly I would not use Drupal unless I needed to use the CMS for future employers. Although, setting up the database and installation was aggravating, I would still recommend the CMS to web developers seeking a challenge.

WordPressWordPress was simple to install and set up. Like many others, I would recommend the CMS to every developer and non-developer. The process of adding or editing content, adding plugins or pages and more, was effortless. The CMS has an unlimited amount of resources, from plugins to themes. I spent time understanding the PHP implementation and integrating static html pages into themes. The process of working with templates to make a simple theme was tolerable. I did not run into any issues setting up the CMS, although I still have a lot to learn. In other words, WordPress would be my second choice for a content management system. The system is powerful with tons of tools and themes, it would be difficult to comprehend in one day.

GetSimpleIt cannot get much simpler than Get Simple! Get Simple was the content management system that had my requirements. Setting up the database and installation was a breeze and without error. Now of course the CMS is not perfect, and the lack of themes and plugins would be a reason. Get Simple does not receive as much traffic as popular CMS like WordPress and Drupal. Although, the CMS is simple and effective, even though it lacks the many resources and tools other CMS have. The backup was straightforward. The template implementation was easily done using a handy copy and paste method. However, I must admit the CMS will need more plugins and themes, which would help the traffic flow. I would easily use Get Simple for future clients without hesitation, unless I needed more tools, then WordPress would be a backup.

Simple but effective was key to choosing the right CMS. Get Simple will be my first choice for the simplicity. WordPress would be my second for the larger amount of resources, while Drupal be last just for the challenge. Each system has its pros and cons, but they are great tools for managing content. I would recommend all three to developers.

Resources:

http://caseymarketingservices.com/blog/2011/digital-publishing/understanding-content-management-systems/

https://wordpress.org/about/

https://drupal.org/about

http://get-simple.info/start/

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Who will win? Drupal or Newbie programmer?

drupal-logo

Originally, I was going to talk about the difference between content management systems, Drupal and Get Simple, but that all changed. After my experience of downloading Drupal and installing the CMS to my localhost, I thought this would be a wonderful topic to talk about!

Drupal vs Newbie programmer

Let’s begin by saying, if you love Drupal and had no problem installing, congratulations! For those who gave up or was scared away this article is for you!

The first step to a problem is admitting, I knew Drupal was trouble when I received errors during installation. WordPress and other CMSs installed and ran without a problem.  Before I installed Drupal, I researched a few articles that would help with the process, that being said I only found one article that gave me hope. Throughout the article Drupal become less intimidating and more impressive. Drupal was known to be complex yet very powerful. I knew the CMS was going to be learning curve, nonetheless I was up for the challenge!

Round One: Downloading Drupal

Before downloading Drupal, I found an article that explained How to Create a Drupal 7 Theme from Scratch from onextrapixel.com. Although the article did not explain in depth the process of installation, the tutorial was helpful.

Due to the fact I was new to Drupal, the first step to learning about the CMS was downloading the file. In short, I decided to document my experience with installing Drupal.

Here we go!

Downloading Drupal 7.26 zip on https://drupal.org/start

download_drupal

Alright! Now that wasn’t so hard! Next up, moving the Drupal file to my local server.

Round Two: Installing Drupal

Local host Xampp ran Drupal without a problem.

On the Drupal website, an installation guide was provided for creating a database using phpMyAdmin.

(URL: https://drupal.org/documentation/install/create-database)

After creating a new user, I dropped the Drupal File into my htdocs folder and started the installation process.

(The first time I installed Drupal, there were a bulk of errors while setting up my database. This was frustrating, so I express my frustration by googling the errors and behold others had the same issue. One problem I had was an error from one of my files, which was missing a file.)

Once the database was step, everything ran a lot smoother than the first time.

I finally made progress when I got to the configure site page.

install_drupal

Final Round: Newbie Wins…. Using a small tool!

Using a localhost to install Drupal seemed easier. The next big step was using a live host, which would be a whole new ball game. For now I wanted to start small using a local host, just to get my feet wet. If you are new to content management systems, using web server like Xampp will be useful. Xampp has MySQL, PHP and Apache, which is required for installing content management systems. Also, Drupal is known to be tough, but there are plenty of resources that will assistance you while managing the CMS.

myfirst

Resources

Previously, I talked about the article that had a tutorial on how to create a Drupal 7 theme from scratch. The tutorial was helpful in explaining the process of folder structure, maintaining files, setting up front pages, and adding content. I recommend the tutorial to anyone who would like to learn about creating themes. Below, I have a list of resources that I found useful for setting up Drupal.