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22-11-2011, 21:03   #1
Trojan
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Flat HTML site rather than CMS

Aidan's post on the one-page-website thread got me thinking about flat HTML sites.

Although I do 99% of sites in CMS these days (98% of them in WordPress), there are occasions when I might do a flat HTML site - one opportunity upcoming in fact. It's a site for a professional firm, they are old school - don't use the web much at all. I think they'll want every pixel in the right place when we setup the site, and won't want to change a thing on the site for years once it goes live.

But I need to examine that - how true is it to say that they won't need to change anything? Well they probably won't move offices, or change phone numbers, or change the way they do business. But they might change partners and need that page changed. Is that enough to go with a CMS?

To choose not to use a CMS these days is a questionable decision - they provide so much flexibility and website accessibility to the client. You can use page templates to provide the design flexibility that flat HTML provides. Plugins give you infinity possibilities.

It's an interesting question - what do you think? When would you use a flat HTML site as opposed to a CMS?
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22-11-2011, 21:59   #2
Pixelcraft
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Something like unify is great for bridging that gap, and very easily set up.
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23-11-2011, 00:29   #3
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Interesting debate, the over head of making the changes in the future vs the burden of setting up and educating the client with the cms.

Depends on your client, in your case not too technical, perhaps best solution would be FLAT html and making the changes yourself [as annoying as it is]. I think educating and setting up the CMS out weigh the minor change requests.

Unify does seem like a great solution. But cost is something to take into account
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23-11-2011, 08:17   #4
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I'd setup a CMS anyway and don't tell them.
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23-11-2011, 09:42   #5
S.M.B.
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Originally Posted by Pixelcraft View Post
Something like unify is great for bridging that gap, and very easily set up.
We use something similar here, PageLime. It's 20 dollars a month for up to 50 sites.

You can then bridge the gap between a normal static HTML site and a CMS as you see fit.

Editable content, repeatable content, image galleries, navigation management, use includes to manage content across a large number of pages. It's all there.
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23-11-2011, 10:03   #6
Pixelcraft
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You can then bridge the gap between a normal static HTML site and a CMS as you see fit.
Yes, and sometimes it's a better option than a full CMS, if it has all the functionality a site is going to require then it's a much friendlier UI for the client.
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23-11-2011, 10:04   #7
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again something that I have used in the past is http://www.cushycms.com/en
where it gives you a quick an easy interface to change the content on any specific DIV if needed without going to the trouble of implementing a full blown CMS system.
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23-11-2011, 10:05   #8
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To a techno-phobe, Wordpress can be very intimidating. Trying to teach someone who has trouble with MS Word and uses the google bar for web addresses how to use a CMS would be a nightmare. Implementing a CMS that's not going to be used is (or can be) time-consuming, so why do it?
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23-11-2011, 10:53   #9
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To a techno-phobe, Wordpress can be very intimidating. Trying to teach someone who has trouble with MS Word and uses the google bar for web addresses how to use a CMS would be a nightmare. Implementing a CMS that's not going to be used is (or can be) time-consuming, so why do it?
If it's time consuming, you're not doing it properly.
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23-11-2011, 11:00   #10
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If it's time consuming, you're not doing it properly.
Depends on the client's requirements. If they're happy with a template, then obviously, no problems. If they have a very specific layout in mind that doesn't match up to a template nicely, or they're the type to need you to "move this column 5 pixels over", a flat HTML site will be easier to manage
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23-11-2011, 11:09   #11
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From what I've learned from my web development days is that if they say they won't change something or are happy with everything the way it is, then they are lying.

I'd have any potentially changing content (images, text, links etc.) editable via CMS
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23-11-2011, 11:37   #12
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From what I've learned from my web development days is that if they say they won't change something or are happy with everything the way it is, then they are lying.

I'd have any potentially changing content (images, text, links etc.) editable via CMS
Exactly. There will always be changes, and if there aren't, you don't have to worry anyway!

Last edited by Giblet; 23-11-2011 at 11:39.
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23-11-2011, 13:11   #13
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Create a template with in PHP using includes.

then have the editable content in separate php files so that all you need to do is reference it.

That way they can just edit the files manually and upload and have a simple template that is easily editable across the site.

I do it every now and again. The URLs don't look overly pretty, but with modrewrite you can come up with something thats very clever and usable.

A Simple sctructure could be;

index.php
meta.php
head.php
menu.php
content.php
footer.php

where content php changes based on your article name/id from querystring

Last edited by matt-dublin; 23-11-2011 at 13:13.
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23-11-2011, 13:33   #14
tricky D
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If they're just going to make minor changes like partner info then CushyCMS is the solution over flat html. PageLime if editing and adding some basic pages like news releases again over flat html. These two are more like Content Editing Systems than CMS and would be the ideal solution in this case imo. They just put an editing scheme over flat content. After that, the solution starts to move into the CMS/Framework territory where the content is actually managed, not merely edited.
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23-11-2011, 13:58   #15
matt-dublin
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is there any free versions of them without having to delve into the depths of joomla etc.
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