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Smee
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Hi guys

This isn't about styling yet - it's about finding the right CMS for a non-profit (NFP) that I'm doing some volunteer work for as web dev/admin.

The NFP is for people diagnosed with ME-CFS, fibromyalgia, multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS) etc. Some of the office volunteers also have these conditions which means they often suffer from "fogginess".

I have one site written and two more to do. A CMS wasn't discussed originally but now is on the table - particularly for the two to be done and possibly a retrofit for the existing site.

Forgive the crummy/old fashioned styling - the logo fell through (long story) and the picture was a substitute to get something up. Unfortunately the manager likes the picture and doesn't see how old fashioned it is so it may never be changed!
You can see it here.

It is a content heavy site accessed mainly by clinicians looking for info on the conditions and is quite well known in the community.

PROBLEM
CushyCMS provides the simplicity needed (fogginess remember?) and can be locked down to specific paras or lists within specific pages.

These people have NO idea about file structure or anything of that nature.

The main problem is that CushyCMS is a hosted solution which as I understand it has to access the files on the NFP's computer to change them and then it uploads automatically to the website.

This is actually a good feature of Cushy since it does not need the volunteer to know anything about ftp or where to put the changed file on the server.

Where/how can I put the website files on the NFPs's computer out of harm's way for Cushy to access? The website says presumably htdocs - the NFP is Windows, I'm Mac.

Any suggestions as to how I can use Cushy or if there's another free/OS CMS you recommend that would work within these parameters?

Thanks as always.

//mod edit: Link addy fixed. ~gt

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Hugo
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It may not provide ease of

It may not provide ease of use that you seem to be suggesting the other has but WordPress is now being used more predominately for it's cms capabilities than as a blogging platform.

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Smee
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Hi Hugo - thanks for that but

Hi Hugo - thanks for that but ease of use really is paramount.

I have to be able to lock everything down and point them only at the bits they can change.

Not having built a WP site, I don't know what's involved it's true, but I see a lot of other people getting lost in them Smile But I'll keep it in mind.

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Quote: //mod edit: Link addy

Quote:

//mod edit: Link addy fixed. ~gt

Thank you Gary - I don't know which one was at fault but I know Hugo never looks at links unless he's troubleshooting the code Wink

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gary.turner
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It was your client's address;

It was your client's address; you had wwww.

g

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nothing wrong with .wwww

nothing wrong with .wwww it's, after all, only a subdomain; could be wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.howmanytimeswillItypethatincorrectly.com

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gary.turner
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True, but …

Unfortunately the (virtual) host isn't named wwww.

cheers,

gary

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ServerAlias

ServerAlias *.howmanytimeswillItypethatincorrectly.com

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gary.turner
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Below my paygrade

Talk to the hand server admin. Wink

cheers,

gary

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Smee
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While you're on redirects can

Big smile

While you're on redirects can you sort this .htaccess out for me please?

...snip....

ETA: Never mind - support finally sorted it (after 3 days)

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gary.turner
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Getting back on topic

Just what do you expect to be edited, and what are the consequences of error? You mentioned editing list items or their contents; what limits are there to which items? What about rollback capability? There are other questions that need asking without even getting into the issues of authentication, authorization, and access control.

The first question to ask is whether a general purpose CMS is desirable in your application. Is the site dynamic with ongoing changes or is it static with occasional edits? If the former, à la a blog or forum, then yes. If the latter, then not so much.

The first problem with available CMSes is what I call the Goldilocks Conundrum. They're too big/complex (Papa Bear) or too small/simple (Mama Bear), but rarely just right (Baby Bear).

If Cushy-Wushy seems otherwise OK, then the issue of allowing an untrusted entity into your files raises its ugly head. If you or your client is uncomfortable with that, you will need another solution. There is the advantage that the edited stuff ends up on your own servers; CushyCMS's going down the tubes would mean you lose your editing convenience but not the data.

Since there are accessibility needs to be met, be sure to run test pages for everyone involved. Note how they manage with and without training. I suggest testing sans training first as a good proxy for intuitive affordance.

In the case of static pages or where changes are fairly rare, use a form that on submission generates an email to the web Mistress of the Dark or other responsible party requesting the changes.

cheers,

gary

If your web page is as clever as you can make it, it's probably too clever for you to debug or maintain.

Smee
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Hi Gary - you bring up loads

Hi Gary - you bring up loads of good points and I'm not sure I have all the answers yet.

The manager recently stated that they need an office volunteer to be able to update the activities monthly to keep the website fresh. This later changed to weekly.

Consequences or error is probably a messy page that I have to unravel Big smile I don't even know what they would want to edit at the moment on the existing site except perhaps the networking page.

I haven't properly explored this with the manager since she told me the above in an email and went away till the 10th April. She assumed that they could edit the site as is. I did send a reply stating that a CMS was never discussed for this site and therefore not implemented and vols could not edit the current structure, which her long time IT person in another state supported.

Rollbacks? Gah! I dunno. How do I control that?

They do have a lot of activities going on which change venue/day/time etc so I imagine this is what they want to update most but it's all conjecture at this stage.

Quote:

The first problem with available CMSes is what I call the Goldilocks Conundrum. They're too big/complex (Papa Bear) or too small/simple (Mama Bear), but rarely just right (Baby Bear).

I couldn't agree more from the bit of research I've done mainly limited to this list a number of which, including Cushy, that I'd looked at about a year ago.

Quote:

If Cushy-Wushy seems otherwise OK, then the issue of allowing an untrusted entity into your files raises its ugly head. If you or your client is uncomfortable with that, you will need another solution. There is the advantage that the edited stuff ends up on your own servers; CushyCMS's going down the tubes would mean you lose your editing convenience but not the data.

Agreed. I'm not sure the client would understand the issues at stake with a hosted solution. It's the storing of files on the client's computer and keeping them safe from curiosity that most concerns me (apart from the whole idea of Cushy changing and loading remotely).

I personally think that if they create a PDF with these activities, they can change them as much as they like, send me the new PDF weekly and I'll fling it up. Seems simple really.

Quote:

In the case of static pages or where changes are fairly rare, use a form that on submission generates an email to the web Mistress of the Dark or other responsible party requesting the changes.

Big smile How would I go about that?

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Think I'm going to direct the

Think I'm going to direct the thread back to WordPress.

Set up in it's most basic fashion with static home page the blog loop removed or at least not implemented, using WP's 'pages' capability administrators get given a Role of 'Editor' with a pared down set of capabilities this gives them basic set of menus in backend for editing just pages.

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gary.turner
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WP? Maybe best alternative

Hugo brings up WP again. It may be a good solution, plus there is a large community which may or may not be all that helpful; probably a whole lot better than any smaller, almost unknown app. :shrug:

If all that's needed is an event calendar, a simple php script that provides an input form and edits the database will do for whoever does the editing. Another php script will generate the calendar for the user; yes, php pear has a package for that.

cheers,

gary

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The scale of WP is what does

The scale of WP is what does help, also the app itself slowly marches forward to absolute world domination *sigh*. The mid level community is very large, the codex now is actually quite useful with many examples of how to get things achieved from beginner level to advanced developer and naturally there is a frightening amount of plugin development going on day in day out. It does now function as a CMS in a fairly good fashion, albeit having approached this from a skewed angle, given it's original function was for something quite different. Recent additions such as 'Custom Post Types' means developers can create unique post/pages with their own taxonomies, custom meta fields etc.

More importantly WP still remains relatively easy to get up and running with on ones own theme / site layout and that can be as simple as a single page.php holding the WP loop necessary to query the pages/post loop and retrieve and display DB content.

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Smee
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hmmm...I guess WP has a lot

hmmm...I guess WP has a lot going for it if my only other option is Cushy.

Luckily the other two sites have only got as far as the design stage because the NFP have been scrambling to get funding applications (and all they entail) in since Sept.

Quote:

More importantly WP still remains relatively easy to get up and running with on ones own theme / site layout and that can be as simple as a single page.php holding the WP loop necessary to query the pages/post loop and retrieve and display DB content.

This makes it more attractive than having to find a theme/layout to fit the existing design into.

Thanks guys...your rational analysis has won the day again.

But for their existing site I think it's a PDF Wink

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andy1212
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I've tried using those free

I've tried using those free cms creators and they don't work nice at all with a normal laid out html website. Everytime you make a change to the content of your webpage it ads paragraph takes which throws off the layout and you don't really have the option to resize images, make them thumbnails, etc. Also if you have another site administrator and try explaining how to edit the content, it's pretty difficult and they could end up messing the page up even more. Now I use php and have learned quite a bit about this kind of stuff from PHP Academy. They have free tutorial videos on YouTube and their own website which lists out each tutorial based on the function or operation you're looking to accomplish and they have a forum with tons of great advice, help and more. And the best part of creating your cms yourself is the options and layout style of your editable content is endless. I strongly encourage you to check them out as you'll learn alot and creating your own way of editing pages, making search engines for your website, uploading images or whatever is way more rewarding.

Smee
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Hi Andy1212 - thanks for

Hi Andy1212 - thanks for that. I had heard that resizing pics, thumbnails etc was difficult or non-existant with some of the free CMSs .

However, I have absolutely NO desire, inclination or time to learn to write a CMS Shock Big smile I can edit the files as they are (I wrote them after all), I'm just trying to find the best option for the client's volunteers.

Thanks again for the info.

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