Ask DN: When do I use a CMS? and Which? Do I go Static?

7 years ago from , Student Designer/ Photographer

*Note: I want to go into Web Design more in-depth and UX/UI design.

This is a beginner questions, but I am a bit confused whether I build just the HTML and CSS and do it static or do I build in on a CMS. When building it on a CMS, do I mod a template or write the HTML and CSS first and then incorporate the CMS? I still have to do more research on static site generators like Jekyll.

Also what CMS's can I use. I found a DN link here for portfolio CMS's but not sure if they are good for most websites. I've use Wordpress a lot before, but I'm wondering if there's better and more upcoming things.

Also, what do sites like https://bohemiancoding.com/sketch/ or vsco.co use?

I basically want to learn good practice. I am building a one page style site for a church and am wondering if I need a CMS for that. But in the future, for more complex sites, I want to know what to use.



  • Justin CharlesJustin Charles, 7 years ago (edited 7 years ago )

    Re: the site for Sketch - https://twitter.com/pumpkin/status/455986419950178305

    1 point
  • Nice ShoesNice Shoes, 7 years ago

    Previously I've built with HTML etc first, then gone back and added the necessary handlebars.

    Not that you should build with Cargo but their documentation is quite helpful in understanding how handlebars work.

    Now I tend not to use a CMS for personal work. You'll learn more building everything as a static.

    0 points
    • Matt Scorte, 7 years ago

      So would it be more beneficial to do everything static and then add handlebars if I want to make it a cms?

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      • Nice ShoesNice Shoes, 7 years ago

        Yes. It's a steep learning curve but something that will benefit you greatly.

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      • Matt SoriaMatt Soria, 7 years ago

        That's the way I started out, and I think it does help a lot to learn that way. After a while if you get comfortable enough with the cms you're using and your workflow you can just get right into it. I actually asked DN about whether or not people tend to start coding in flat HTML and then implement, or work the CMS in right off the bat (here), and I was still coding this up as flat HTML at that point, but I've since streamlined my workflow and feel comfortable implementing the CMS right away.

        And to the original question, and I'm going to sound like a broken record here, but try Statamic — it's kinda the best of both worlds because it's a static site (no database), but it's also got a really simple, but powerful, CMS UI for you to use to easily add new posts/content with. I've been using it for my site and loving it!

        Anyway, best of luck!

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