Thursday, October 11, 2012
Static websites are not all that difficult to work on. I have been providing them for a quite a few years now for my print customers with the upfront disclaimer of "I can make it look nice but don't ask me to make it actually do anything". Php, eCommerce, databases and other backend programming are not my forte. When we decided to make a website for our new ranch, I knew that it would need to be more robust. We would be adding news and stories and pictures daily so static pages would just not cut it. Time to tackle CMS!
CMS stands for Content Management System. Without going into the details (because I don't know the details), it allows users to write articles and add pictures in a user-friendly environment and they automatically show up where they are supposed to in the website. One of the top CMS platforms is Joomla. I have had a couple of run-ins with Joomla in the past resulting in many headaches but I still thought it was the best option for what we needed to accomplish.
Joomla has been quite the challenge. It may be easy once it is all set up and all you have to do is add articles, but getting to that point is an exercise in frustration. Nothing is easy or intuitive. I have literally spent hours just trying to figure out how to add a module or change a menu item. All you can do is dive in and mess with it to figure it out. I'm not joking when I say that the way I have learned most of what I know about Joomla is by pushing a button and refreshing the page to see what happened.
Now that it is finally starting to come together, I can see the potential. We can do much more with this site than we could ever accomplish with a blog or static presence. So... if you are not yet blown away by this little farm icon at the top of your tab or bookmark bar, you should be... it took me 5 hours to make it show up there.