(Re)Starting a web site

Good evening

I have currently begun working on a personal project in web programming, as part of a preparatory year to enter an Ingeneering school.

It is my first time working with a CMS, and I've been programming small projects in HTML/CSS, Javascript, C, PhP, MySQl and Java since last September during the preparatory year's first semester. I have a correct - yet still superficial - overview of what can be done and on which technology I may want to rely in the field of web programming. But it isn't sufficient for me to decide by myself which framework to use in order to go through this project.

The reason I am writing here is to ask you whether or not I should, in your opinion, use this CMS for the needs and functionalities listed below, and I'll be glad if you'd have additional tips or comments to give me.
I have begun analysis this week, and am currently filling a statistical sheet on about fifteen selected frameworks, to define which ones will best fit my needs.

About the website :

It is an already running website, created with WordPress on a dedicated OVH server (providing web, mail and FTP hosting on one domain, x-roi.ch - not pr0n I assure you).

My main objectives are:

- the implementation of a wiki (with useful infos about how to prepare scouting activities)
- the simplification, for non-adept users, of practical tools such as
managing an agenda
managing pictures folders for public display and download
edition of the wiki articles
- last but not least : keeping an interface for the webmaster to rely on, because he doesnt work in the field

Aside form those, I would like to rework the login system to let the "managers" (regarding obj. 2) only use specifically crafted pages to work on. That means being able to change data on the website whilst avoiding working on a dashboard, or by using a very simplified workflow(actually many of my colleagues don't even bother trying because of the very dense and first-hand complicated aspect of the WordPress backend dashboard).

We also have two forms(for notifications, questions or subscription to our scout group) and a few simple controllers over those.

We use very few articles for our website and don't post news, except from the online agenda. The articles aren't often edited, and it will be the webmasters task to edit them.

The agenda is a key feature of our website, as much for the parents than for the people responsible for the kids. We only use its month view, with "secret" events visible when logged in as an authority. We would like to enable small popups to show onclick for details display(redirects us currently to another page).

The wiki is the current most important step, and I'm already looking forward to use the MediaWiki CMS to implement it aside from the main website. I've been told there will not be any compatibility problem as we can install the framework in another subdomain for itself(I'll figure out myself to what extent).
My colleagues have to be able to read, edit and print a formatted pdf of any of those articles, as well as upload and link - when editing those articles - useful files for download.

Again, it is vital that our webmaster may be able to manage the domain with as much help as possible from the interface, though he is able to tweak small code (mainly html/css, php and WordPress tags) with tutorial help.

At last, it would be a plus if your CMS allows us to customize the website appearance.

Thanks in advance for your answer !

Best regards,

Fridolin Sallin

View Replies:
PineCreativeLabs replied on at Permalink Reply
I have been using Concrete almost exclusively since 2009, and can say that it is ideal for custom projects. It is a "build anything" type of CMS, and should work well for your projects.

I built a CMS directory site with C5 that you may want to check out:


Maybe you could use it to find what you're looking for.
aMLC replied on at Permalink Reply
Thanks for the advice !
I'll look it up.
Choppie replied on at Permalink Reply
I'm also fairly new to concrete5 but can maybe tell you why I chose it as my preferred CMS. I've worked in the industry for about 10 years now. I have a strong UX focus hence why things like simplicity and flexibility is important to me. I'm by no means a programmer, nor a designer but fairly competent in CSS.

I chose concrete5 as it is a CMS that is easy to use for clients wanting to update their webpages, add images, etc. Their main focus is running a business, not updating a website. You can also create custom blocks (Block Designer add-on) which makes it even easier for them.

It has also been fairly easy for me to install, get started, and customise. It's a nice modular build so you can edit the styles by customising the template and do the rest in a stylesheet without running the risk of breaking stuff. The database structure is also very intuitive and easy to understand - not that you'd have to do much with it.

The community is quite active via the Forums also and there are legends like MrKDilkington always eager to help out.

You do have to however understand that it is by no means as widely used as Wordpress. There are by far more Wordpress themes and add-ons out there. But having worked with Wordpress before, I understand what you mean by it being a bit complex at times. I also still feel that it is better suited for blogs than websites.

I can't give you much advise on hosting a concrete5 site - haven't gotten that far yet and still working via localhost. However the server requirements listed on this website is pretty standard so you should be fine.

In short, concrete5 is a no nonsense CMS and for now, I wouldn't use anything else :)

Hope this has been slightly helpful?
ramonleenders replied on at Permalink Reply
As you can read above, you can use concrete5 for about anything you want. If you want everything on your frontend, and not in a dashboard, you can continue using blocks and single pages. If you want to do it all backend (which you don't want to, but just saying), you can chose to do so as well (you will have to programm that too of course).

In some situations, you would need a dashboard functionality. Let's say you have customer quotes you want to show all across the website for example. Or your opening times. Wouldn't make sense to have such a thing entered multiple times on pages.

WordPress is widely known of course and has LOTS of plugins. True. Most of them are free too, true that. You will have to keep in mind though that WP indeed does most of their things in their way too overcomplicated dashboard/backend and their codebase is damn old (read: not updated to current coding standards). A real die-hard programmer wouldn't dare to develop for WordPress - at least I wouldn't.