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General Discussion

Keith Kelly
Keith Kelly
21,326 Points

Community Opinion: Would you rather develop a site from the ground up or use a CSM to do the heavy lifting?

This is something that I wrestle with a lot. Of course the answer depends greatly on many factors such as one's skills, confidence level, and the amount of time you have to invest in the project.

As I learn more and more through Treehouse I am getting away from the WordPress camp, even though I have played around with it a good bit over the last few years. I think there are several reasons why that is.

  1. I want to know how everything on my site works
  2. I don't want to have to debug other code that I may not understand completely
  3. I see building everything as a way to learn, expand my skills, and put it all into practice

On the other hand there are many aspects of web development and design I do not know. I am not afraid to learn, but I am also not an expert in things like account security. That is a major factor for my reasoning as to why I would use a system such as WordPress.

How does everyone else feel?

Thomas Ireland
Thomas Ireland
Courses Plus Student 8,216 Points

Hi, Keith

You're not the only one that has these types of feelings, especially when you're new to something and worried about what issues could arise.

There is no easy answer. Building a site from the ground up is great and for simple static sites, this isn't an issue. When it comes to putting control into the client's hands or when you're looking to make your websites more dynamic, that is where a CMS would come into play.

I think WordPress has it's uses and Treehouse covers it a lot, so you wouldn't be short of knowledge that's for sure. There's also a large community behind it and you can probably get answers to any questions you needed help with.

In terms of CMS's, I use MODX. It's a fantastic open source CMS, great community and gives you far more flexibility than WordPress in my personal opinion, right out-of-the-box.

Theming isn't complex as it's just straight-forward HTML and CSS. You can make your site more dynamic through the use of template variables (placeholders) and much more.

If you want the flexibility of a CMS and know everything about it, either build one (you can create simple ones) or get involved in a project like MODX, WordPress etc. One that I would recommend - although I haven't personally used it - is the Perch CMS. That is something you could probably get to grips with really easily. I believe it costs though.

Debugging is always going to be a part of design and development, so get used to it. You'll come across things you don't know and Google is your friend for those one's. Also, get involved with a local dev meetup or something. It's amazing what you can learn from being humble, watching and being taught by others much smarter than you.

Good luck!