I'm hoping you guys in the community might be able to help, i'm a designer who's learning more about developing, i've build a lot of static sites and am looking to start progressing and developing these sites to be managed by clients, converting them to editable ones – does anyone have experience of doing this or can maybe point me in the right direction? Thanks for your time :)
Well the most common tool to get started with is definitely Wordpress but there are quite a few alternatives that others can point out. WP seems to have the most support around the web from their Codex to so many tutorials about nearly every feature.
I think the best way to get started is to find a 'Get Started with WP' tutorial somewhere and follow along. It should break down theming pretty well and moving content over. A lot of it will probably be by hand in the beginning.
Thanks Nick, I think that's the route i'm going with, have done a few child themes so know a tiny bit, but not built a theme from scratch or converted a static site to Wordpress yet as it seemed too extensive for some of the smaller sites I had in mind.
Gotta agree with Nick H! WP can be a bit heavy for sure, but as Nick suggested, Roots is a great starting point. I've also used HTML5Blank in the past. I came from a design school background and over the last couple of years have been moving into development roles so I can appreciate the learning curve you're experiencing. That said, Genesis Framework isn't a bad look as it has a lot of built in hooks that allow you control placement of elements, as well as a very straightforward way to build page templates and custom widget areas. It's still a Child Theme approach, but you can go crazy with it :) Hope this helps.
Perch CMS is aimed pretty squarely at allowing static sites to have CMS backend. You might want to check it out.
My partner and I are also working on a WordPress theme framework that would work similar to Perch, message me @keegnotrub if you interested in being in on a beta.
Perch is fantastic, its a very intuitive workflow for designers that want to add a dynamic back end to their static sites without all the bloat and crap wordpress and others inject into markup. The add ons like blog, forms and events add some great functionality to make more powerful sites beyond the standard small brochure sites. So great.
Thanks, I will do Ryan
Well I haven't tried it myself. But i have a friend who always talk about how good Concrete5 is. Cheers :-)
I'm building a new site with CouchCMS. Easy editable features, easy "clonable" pages (basically templates), use as little or as much as you want.
I took a weird route and learned HTML/CSS first and then figured out how to have some design sensibilities later. The major issue I have with Wordpress and other huge CMSs is the fact that I still want to use my markup/code rather than edit a theme or spend 2 weeks trying to figure out how everything works. I have a list of things I want to learn and maintaining / building a wordpress site isn't one of them.
This would probably be the easiest for your clients assuming they are mostly basic computer users http://www.surrealcms.com/
If you are doing something on a larger scale, there are about a million different CMS's out there that you could spend time converting your sites to.
I highly recommend Octopress, because it has archiving and other things solved. Jekyll powers Octopress. The rest of the CMS I've see were clunky, slow preprocessing and featureless or worse: you had to pay.
Try Fork CMS.
Depending on how complicated it is, you should try Jekyll
Jekyll is pretty cool, but it definitely isn't dynamic, and i'd hesitate to use it for a client site that needs them to be able to update it.
I've started using Github and am really enjoying it, this seems to have good integration with it so will take a closer look at this, thanks.
I would recommend going on with WordPress because you already started with some child themes when you plan to start larger projects/sites in the near future. Maybe it's a bit of an overhead for smaller projects.
But you also can try Kirby which is pretty awesome because it's small, easy, lightweight and needs no database. I will use it soon for some smaller projects.
I think this idea of two-tiered CMS, for converting current static sites and also smaller managed sites but learning more about the functionality and framework for building WP sites could be the best approach, thanks.
I disagree with the first paragraph. I don't see the need for a bulldozer to do the basics.
I agree with the second paragraph because I also use KirbyCMS. I just launched a site with it for someone, pretty good system. The Panel is very powerful and I suggest you learn how to build blueprints for it. I haven't spent enough time there but I know its immensely useful. It does have a cost for deployment, but it is really inexpensive. Free to play with and learn on however!
I like the simplicity of Kirby, it looks very linear and could be great for the static sites. Let us know how you get on, I'd be interested in hearing the good and bad points you find with it.