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Any CMS (Joomla, Drupal, WP, etc) experts/coders here?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by bongomania, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    My reviews site is pretty much all in caveman HTML, and for most of it that is perfectly fine. But I want to make a database that has some specific front and back end UI requirements, and it is well above my coding knowledge. I have dabbled in the three major CMS on some project websites, and I understand the basics of how to put them together, but as far as I can tell there aren't any prefab plugins that do exactly what I want. So I'm wondering if any of you can help out, anything from pointing me in the direction of the plugin and platform that are closest to what I need, to writing code for hire.

    Here is a primitive table I made with examples of the type of data and page view I am thinking of:

    Each smiley represents a number from 1 to 5. So each line is a name followed by a string of parameters in that range, in columns. What I want for the visitor UI is for them to be able to pick a few specific columns and then sort the list by the values in those columns.

    On the back end, currently it's a nightmare of copy-pasting huge blocks of HTML for each new row, and then going back and editing each block with the new column data. It's super clumsy and wasteful. So what I need for the back end UI is some sort of simple field entry panel, say up to 20 fields, which the program would then plug into their appropriate spots in the database.

    I've posted this request a couple times over the last few years, but for some reason it hasn't borne fruit. The biggest hangup for professional coders is that I'm not a corporate customer who can say "here is my budget, now complete the task". I'm willing and able to pay for work done, but frankly I'm just a blue-collar guy with an expensive hobby, where the "budget" is however much extra I can finagle every two weeks without overdrafting. :)

    So, anyone have suggestions for a possible solution? Thanks!!!
  2. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    I'm exploring Content Management Systems (CMS) to get my own site going. You'll need a system with "Custom Fields."

    I recommend ProcessWire CMS, where all data fields are custom from the get-go. It's very well-designed, with emphasis on simplicity and ease of use, great documentation, and a helpful community.

    Here's a ProcessWire demo site about US skyscrapers. You can sort by building, architect, city, etc...it's all just different ways of organizing the underlying database info. You can checkout the admin backend here.

    Basically you'll start by adding "dynamic" (database-driven) elements to your current static HTML files, in order to bring in database content. The focus is on making a small set of re-usable templates that do the heavy lifting for you.

    I've tried Joomla (hate it), WordPress (OK but it's the #1 CMS target for CMS security exploits), Drupal (like it but very steep learning curve). I'm not sure if they all deal with Custom Fields in their core so you may need plugins to do so.

    All these CMS are based on the PHP language. There are many other languages (Perl, Python, Ruby, ASP, etc.) but PHP has by far the widest availability on cheap shared web hosts. You could also put this up for bid on a freelance site and see what people respond with.

    I'm wrapping up my Masters' thesis in the next few weeks, after which I will focus on getting my own site up. Feel free to PM if you have any questions.

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