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EmmaSpain
CMS or regular coded website?

Please help, I need a website that will have 500 pages, sounds alot but 470 if them will be of the exact same layout i.e. 1 page per product with photos and description, so a template that will be replicated 470 times....

I have 2 conflicting pieces of advice from 2 different web designers...

The first is willing to create the site using regular coding and then charge an hourly fee for coding the 470 pages (after I provide the photos and wording).....

The second states that a CMS is the only way to go and if i choose the html way then I'm a fool!

1. The CMS is way more expensive
2. The thought of the CMS scares me - I am not sure if I want that much control over the site, I will probably ruin it!
3. Once the business is up and running I will not have time to add pages or make more than text/photo changes myself anyway!
4. I believe that I can buy a program to help change basic text/photos on a html site...
5. I also can't get my head around the way the CMS works... the quote I received seems to imply that for the 470 odd pages that I need, I will be adding them all on myself..... now how on earth would I know how to title them properly in a way that google likes!!

Please help, if am sooooo confused!

Thanks from fuzzledhead
Frederiek
Sounds like you are more in need of a database driven website, in which you can view each product as a result of a database query.
EmmaSpain
QUOTE(Frederiek @ Dec 16 2009, 03:30 PM) *

Sounds like you are more in need of a database driven website, in which you can view each product as a result of a database query.




So a 3rd option! Now I am even more confused!

I was told that google didn't like a database as much..... is that true?

I have no idea what a database site would entail!
pandy
Not really a third option. A CMS is a database and a bunch of scripts and templates. If you don't have the time to add new items and aren't comfortable with HTML, some kind of database driven solution sounds like the most suitable, even if you won't be able to set it up yourself. That kind of programs usually offer an interface that makes it easy to add, remove and change entries.

If you are selling stuff though, maybe what you really need is a shopping cart? Or is the site just for display, no online selling?



pandy
QUOTE(pandy @ Dec 16 2009, 06:01 PM) *

That kind of programs usually offer an interface that makes it easy to add, remove and change entries.


Compare to how a forum like this works. You just write your text in the little box, click on buttons for formatting and smiles, hit submit and voilą! A CMS, shopping cart or whatever will have a similar feature. You don't need to touch the code as long as you don't want to change something fundamental.
Christian J
A forum, shopping cart or CMS all use databases in most cases.

A CMS is useful when you don't know HTML but still want to make very frequent changes to existing pages (or need the changes done fast, even when the web designer is not at work). Using a CMS to make 470 new similar pages sounds inefficient.

QUOTE(EmmaSpain @ Dec 16 2009, 04:27 PM) *

I was told that google didn't like a database as much..... is that true?

Not necessarily, though http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/b...?answer=35769#1 says:

"If you decide to use dynamic pages (i.e., the URL contains a "?" character), be aware that not every search engine spider crawls dynamic pages as well as static pages. It helps to keep the parameters short and the number of them few."

By keeping things simple, a database shouldn't be a problem.

QUOTE
I have no idea what a database site would entail!

It means that you only use a single template file for multiple pages. Depending on its URLs query string (the part after the "?"), different content is pulled from the database on the server. For example, on this forum the page index.php is used to create all topics. This very topic can be created by attaching ?showtopic=10428 to the URL: http://forums.htmlhelp.com/index.php?showtopic=10428

Web hosts normally have the database software (e.g. MySQL) preinstalled, what needs to be written is the template file that communicates with the database (a shopping cart is normally made up of a few files like that). You also need a way to enter product data, such as a control panel (like the free phpMyAdmin for the MySQL database). And of course someone still has to enter all the product data, but depending on how it's stored now this work may or may not be automated.

Another idea might be to buy a static web page template and paste in and save the product data for each page yourself (assuming that your own time is worth less than the designer's fee).
Darin McGrew
You need some kind of automation with a site that size. You could have an automated system that generates static HTML documents (which is how I do the photo galleries on my personal web site), or you can have a server-side program that generates HTML documents on demand. Whether you call the server-side program a CMS or a database-driven site or a wiki or something else, the basic idea is the same.
Brian Chandler
QUOTE(Christian J @ Dec 17 2009, 02:16 AM) *


QUOTE
I have no idea what a database site would entail!

It means that you only use a single template file for multiple pages.


Not necessarily. All of the (ordinary) pages in my puzzle shop have different names, but the content is all generated from a database.

Fujishiro puzzles for example -- the heading with the silhouette figure is unique to this page; other pages have all sorts of bits in different orders, but it's still produced by a program.

I think if you have 500 products you are selling, you are inviting trouble by adopting any solution involving "just pasting all the bits in".

Also a "shopping cart" is only part of what you need. I would look at something like oscommerce.
EmmaSpain
Wow it's like you are all talking in a different language! I really appreciate your time though....

Few more points;
It is to target a particular type of travel..
I won't be having a forum or any special effects or features so the add-on benefits of a cms are not necessary....
There is no shopping cart either..
The 470 pages are all hotels, every page the same layout with photos and a description...
The clients would email me for a quote and I would put together a tailor-made holiday package...


Does this help a bit more, with which type I should go for?
west158
basically emma, for what you want they reccommend a database....
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Database

and when someone looks for a item, the website "talks" to the database and says ... ah this is what they're looking for.

and you can just click a few buttons to update the site.

HTML is static. you have to download the files, edit them by hand which 500 pages would take a long time, and is very limited for what you want.

(i know this site isnt HTML) for example if we wanted to post here, we would have to download this site, edit it, upload it, refresh.... imagine 10,000+ people doing this (im mem no 10,666) JUST to post a reply....

take argos for example... they need to change the site so often, updating (i dont know) 1000 pages, maintaining it etc... without relying on a database it would fail... just would not work good.

and for your "contact" bit... personally i would rely on a database... the user types in what you need to know, you click view, and you do your job... or a simpler option but spam bots may take advantage - your email in "plain text" eg emmaspain@email.com instead of a box to type the info

hope this helps wink.gif
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