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Web Architect at The Soulcraft Group Joined over 7 years ago
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And you said the magic word: blog! WordPress started off as a blog platform and, even today, if you look at a default install of WordPress it's still first and foremost a blog platform. At it's core, it really hasn't changed all that much over the years. Sure, they certainly made it easier in how you handle pages, plugins, and themes but much of this still feels bolted on and doesn't address some of the problems we now face with building modern websites. For those of us who prefer to build highly modern, heavily customized websites, dealing with WordPress themes and plugins just isn't fun. :(
That's something I need to do for sure. Will hopefully write something soon and post it on my personal site (http://thejeffwhitfield.com)
Be careful about SquareSpace. I had a client who had her site built with SquareSpace and asked me to review the site to see if I could improve SEO performance. What I found made me realize that I could not recommend SquareSpace to any of my clients.
First, in order to have control over the markup of templates, you have to be on at least a "Professional" account in order to gain access to their "Developer Platform". That's $16 a month which some clients might not be so happy with.
Second, the way the "Developer Platform" works might not be favorable with some designers and developers. The way SquareSpace templates work is ok and certainly gives designers and developers a degree of flexibility but there are still some severe limitations.
For instance, there is absolutely no way to add on any custom fields . You're basically stuck with the fields that SquareSpace provides. For the life of me, I could not find any information about how to get around this in their documentation and ended up contacting support. This is a huge limitation in my opinion.
For my client, these issues forced the designer to use a SquareSpace field in a way that it wasn't intended and caused a huge issue with the way the site was built. The designer used the Description field for the subheading on various pages of the site. The problem is that this field is used for the meta description of the site and caused the content of this field to show up on Google searches. Because we couldn't create a custom field for the subheading, there was no workaround for this issue.
Along with that we discovered that there wasn't any way to customize the way meta data is handled on a SquareSpace site as well. What if we wanted to add new meta tags and/or information in the header with dynamic values?
Because of these issues, I simply can't recommend SquareSpace, especially for a business site that might grow in the future.
I've got a method I use in SilverStripe that puts ACF to shame and stores everything in the database in a much more logical fashion. Basically involves creating a set of classes for modular content that are related to one another. Pretty easy to add to a page type and allow for stacking different kinds of content on top of one another for flexible layouts. :D
The problem I have with Timber and ACF is that they feel bolted on and don't address the real problem with WordPress. Like Timber says on their website..."It's a Library, not a Framework". While I agree that WordPress has a huge community and tons of support, its also starting to show cracks. Because WordPress isn't a framework, you can't easily create sites that have lots of data relations. Plus, the way content is stored in the database makes it incredibly difficult to migrate.
Just because a particular platform may be "green" doesn't mean that it shouldn't be used. Clients will still need support directly from the folks who built their website, not necessarily from the organization responsible for the CMS. SilverStripe, a CMS I highly recommend, has been around for quite a number of years now and certainly can't be labeled as "green". ;)
The community is definitely more active now than they were. The community is still smaller compared to other platforms but vibrant enough to where you can get answers for just about anything. I've always kept tabs on SilverStripe since version 2.3 but noticed quite an uptick in activity after version 3.0 was release. It's now on version 3.1 with 3.2 just around the corner. There's also a bit of talk about a 4.0 release.
Another CMS I forgot to mention is October (http://octobercms.com). This one looks quite interesting and is built off of Laravel, a pretty popular PHP framework. Been meaning to learn more about Laravel so I'll be keeping my eye on this one and might use it for a project or two in the near future.
Personally, I prefer frameworks over systems when it comes to CMS platforms. The thing I've never liked about WordPress, Drupal, and others is that there's no easy way to retain control over your business logic and have complete freedom and control over the front-end of your site. Platforms like SilverStripe, Statamic, October, and others offer far more control and flexibility in my opinion.
For ambitious sites with lots of relational elements, I prefer SilverStripe (http://www.silverstripe.org). Granted, you have to know some PHP to make the most of it. Still, it's far more powerful, more flexible, and enherently more secure than WordPress.
For lighter sites with less requirements, give Statamic (http://www.statamic.com) some consideration. Like Kirby, it's a flat-file, database-less CMS. Really fast, user-friendly, flexible, and secure.
Check out CanJs (www.canjs.com). It's light, extremely fast and relatively easy to work with.
I had thought about Knockout.js and Durandal...till it was announced that the Durandal team was moving on to help develop Angular 2.0.
Another really good one:
It's a Great Time to Be A UX Designer by Jared M. Spool – An Event Apart Austin https://vimeo.com/92744606
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