Richard and I have been kicking around ideas for a Content Management System (CMS) for the Screencasters’ website. We are both new to this and are open minded to solutions. I won’t speak for Richard (although I’m sure he’s in the same boat as I) but as far as I’m concerned my mind has been racing for the last week regarding CMS. I’m not sure what is right for us. All I know is that it has to be simple to use and simple to maintain. Most importantly, it has to be compatible with my web hosting service.
Right now our main website is static. Updating is not difficult due to the fact that Richard wrote a few python scripts that piece together our HTML in the proper order. Without those scripts it would surely suck a fat one with all of the HTML that we would have to manually construct. 🙂 That’s why CMS makes sense. No more fiddling with HTML. Sure…I suppose we’ll alter a few things here and there manually but I imagine that we’ll use a GUI interface to do all of the main stuff. That’s the beauty of it.
Recently, Richard purchased a few domains and web hosting for his online life. He’s has been in the middle of transferring his Blogger account over to his new WordPress account that he intends to use with his hosting package. I have been keeping tabs on his progress regarding setting up a full blown version of WordPress as opposed to a free account (that we are using for our blog). I’m not sure if he knows it but he’s been playing guinea pig. He has already gotten me to interested in installing and setting up Apache, PHP, and MySQL locally so that I can play with WordPress without hosing anything online.
Over last weekend I sat down and converted a default WordPress theme into our main Screencaster’s website. I just wanted to see if I could do it. My prototype looks pretty good so far. Now what I have is a cross between our main website and our blog website. My goal is to mesh those so that we can eliminate one or the other. Just one website to do it all. I would like to keep our main content (screencast videos) separate from blog content if possible. Not sure how to do that yet.
It took me about a day and a half to figure most of it out. There are PHP files galore in the WordPress directory structure. It took me awhile to figure out which PHP files to alter and which rules to alter in the style sheet. I have a hard time looking at someone else’s code and figuring out what they’re doing. I don’t code the same way as others. I guess I do things a little differently. Plus, I don’t know squat about PHP yet so it might as well be Latin…and since I’m Catholic I know more Latin at this point. 🙂
To conclude my weekend, I walked away with the impression that WordPress could be a pretty powerful CMS solution for Richard and I. I think it would work great for our small website. We are already familiar with WordPress and it has a bazillion plugins to boot, specifically the podpress plugin for our videos. That one is awfully handy.
So what do you think? Do any of you use a CMS? Any horror stories or advice? I have read several articles regarding using WordPress as a CMS. It makes sense to use it but maybe there is something even better. Please comment or email us. We wouldn’t mind a little input. 😉