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Converting static to CMS

over 6 years ago from , Digital Designer

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 :)

19 comments

  • Nick HehrNick Hehr, over 6 years ago

    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.

    3 points
    • Eliot Hill, over 6 years ago

      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.

      0 points
      • Nick HehrNick Hehr, over 6 years ago

        Parent themes like roots and _s are great bases for creating custom themes without building out everything from scratch. As I said before, there are other CMS's that are more lightweight and probably better for smaller sites so definitely explore a little before settling and always keep an open mind. Like Ghost is a great JavaScript alternative to other PHP blogging platforms but requires a different hosting setup.

        3 points
        • William Minty, 6 years ago

          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.

          1 point
  • Ryan KrugRyan Krug, over 6 years ago

    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.

    2 points
    • Adam Brace, over 6 years ago

      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.

      1 point
    • Eliot HillEliot Hill, over 6 years ago

      Thanks, I will do Ryan

      0 points
  • Tim HelbergTim Helberg, over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

    Well I haven't tried it myself. But i have a friend who always talk about how good Concrete5 is. Cheers :-)

    1 point
  • Taylor Van OrdenTaylor Van Orden, over 6 years ago

    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.

    1 point
  • Chris CChris C, over 6 years ago

    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.

    0 points
  • Diego LafuenteDiego Lafuente, over 6 years ago

    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.

    0 points
  • Owais FarooqiOwais Farooqi, over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

    Try Fork CMS.

    0 points
  • Dan LeathermanDan Leatherman, over 6 years ago

    Depending on how complicated it is, you should try Jekyll

    0 points
    • Tim GauthierTim Gauthier, over 6 years ago

      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.

      0 points
    • Eliot Hill, over 6 years ago

      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.

      0 points
  • Kevin N. Kevin N. , over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

    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.

    0 points
    • Eliot HillEliot Hill, over 6 years ago

      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.

      0 points
    • Tim GauthierTim Gauthier, over 6 years ago

      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!

      0 points
    • Eliot Hill, over 6 years ago

      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.

      0 points