6 replies
  • WEB DESIGN
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I have a full time job and I also do webmastering. I am still trying to get the balance right between CMS and non CMS. I still find this whole web mastering thing difficult because users don't seem to have any idea of the difficulties I have to endure and how difficult things are. All they want to see is a website and they seem to think its all produced with powerpoint, frontpage or sthg like that.

If im doing a flash site that's arduous action script routines I have to plough through and hidden routines etc I have to try to find and figure out the logic of.

Users get too demanding about updates and I really don't have time to e updating someones site every 5 minutes. So i use Wordpress when I can which has its own limitations. You have to work on it live as its database driven (unless u have local php). Its not like HTML where u can just complete it all then preview in your browser offline, see its all ok then go live.

Also wordpress is a blogging software and needs to be modified for it to function more like a traditional website. This requirement is not understood by many users whochoose themes then don't really appreciate the limitations of the theme or wordpress. CMS is a big issue for me - I tried Drupal and Joomla but they are very top heavy and pretty difficult to get the hang of so Im stuck with wordpress.

If i have to do a flash website, ill do it but only update it 2-3 times a year to avoid constant updates in complex actionscript and flash routines. If the client wants regular content changes then I do them a wordpress site blog with links to it from the flash site.

Does anyone have similar client issue problems particularly with CMS requirements? What are you using for CMS if anything? Do clients have problems learning to use Wordpress or indeed Drupal or Joomla if you are using these technologies?
#webmaster #woes
  • Profile picture of the author gyar29
    Jay,

    We fill you pain.

    One suggestion. Get wampserver for your pc. It will take care of your not having local PHP problem.

    Gene
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  • Profile picture of the author LADWebDesign
    I mainly use Joomla for all of my client's sites - and that's only after I endured a steep learning curve. Most of my clients are extremely non-techy people who still think IE6 is the greatest browser.

    I set them up as Administrators in the admin area so that while they can change all the text that they want, they can't mess with any of the coding.

    I don't use flash for any of the websites for exactly the reasons you described - I use plugins and modules that imitate flash animation and the clients are able to add their own pictures and text themselves.

    I always back up at least once a month.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bellthorpe
    You should have a cheap Linux server next to your PC. Then you can test anything at all before you put it on the live site.

    Performance is not an issue. It can be pretty much any old piece of junk. It doesn't even need a terminal or keyboard.
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  • Profile picture of the author jjpmarketing
    It is simple. If a client wants constant updates... you need to charge for your time. You could have a design update grace period to offer initial revisions to the client. Then after a set period deem the design finalized. If they want it updated after that, then you can charge them a monthly retainer fee or per hour based on the type of work being done. You could charge more for action scripting and less for updates on a WP blog.

    Dennis
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  • Profile picture of the author Manfred Ekblad
    Great questions!

    A lot of my clients buy our Drupal-services. I definitely recommend Drupal, although I'm fully aware of its drawbacks and the steep learning curve.

    What we do is that we build a nice and easy-to-use backend for the clients "admin" which is a very very limited version of the real site admin. Basically hiding everything except the bare minimum that the client needs to update the site content.

    The initial configuration took some weeks of tweeking, but now we've got it set up so we can clone it or do a multisite setup, allowing us to add a new client web site in 10 minutes. So, we can focus on additional functionality and making the theme stand out.

    I've used Wordpress a lot, it's really a great platform although I don't use it for clients sites anymore. They tend to be willing to pay more for Drupal-sites than they do for WP-sites, just my experience.

    Clients do have problems learning either one of them, clients always have problems... or they wouldn't be clients, right? :p When they have problems learning, we sell our seminars and support.

    You could install Drupal/Joomla/WP on a virtual machine running Linux, then you don't need an additional physical server... and if you mess things up you can just reboot and do a clean install.
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  • Profile picture of the author RedLED
    In terms of revision hell, I find it's best to be as up front as possible about my web development process. If my client requests too much (like flash intro or video editing), I just tell them I'm not qualified. They can't really do anything because I'm basically the "guru" to them, even though I'm pretty much a novice in my own eyes.
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