Need some website advice

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by ryodoan, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. ryodoan

    ryodoan Resident Bum

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    To start off with I suppose some background story is in order.

    I am a college student studying Computer Science and have background in Visual Basic .Net, C++, Java, HTML (just html), some javascript, and some SQL (Microsoft SQL).

    So I am fairly familiar with object oriented programming languages and can usually pick up new ones fairly quickly.

    In any case I have been futzing around with my own personal website (www.caffeinesystems.com) for a couple years now, never really getting anywhere.

    My first attempt at creating my own website I took on the ambitious project of creating an entire web portal myself. That is what I spent my senior year of highschool and most of the following summer doing. I wrote it in ASP.net with a Microsoft SQL server database. At the end of that summer I realized how much my effort sucked. It looked bad, had numerous bugs and as I looked back on the earlier code I realized that I would need to do a complete re-write in order to be happy with it, needless to say I quickly lost interest.

    Then college started and I kinda forgot about working on my website. However, in the past year or so I have started to think it would be nice to have my own website where I can showcase some of the programming projects I have worked on.

    In the time since highschool I have played around with some website frameworks and realized that is the way I should go. I should find a website framework (Drupal, phpnuke, Joomla, Wordpress, something) that I can use for my website.

    I have tried Joomla, Wordpress, and Drupal and here are my thoughts on each:
    • Drupal - my latest examination, so far its been confusing as hell, a pain in the arse to configure, and only seems to have surface level configuration options (I cant configure how it sends emails, and it keeps failing to find my hosts SMTP server)
    • Joomal - Configuration options spilling out of its ass to the point where my head starts to spin, might go back to it though.
    • Wordpress - To simplified for what I was looking for.
    However, I am not really sure what is the best one to use or even where to start looking for advice.

    I would like to learn how to create my own theme so that I can have a greater deal of control making the website look like I want it to without all the work of writing a complicated backend for the website, however I dont know much PHP (aka none) and MySQL is just different enough from MS SQL server to confuse me, not to mention that fact its been almost 3 years since I really, trully, used SQL server.

    So, does anyone here have any favorite website frame work, content management system, or know of where I can look (forums, ect...) for more information on this?
     
  2. drp

    aa drp

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    i absoultely love wordpress. out of the box its a simple cms. but with its incredible number of plugins, it can really do whatever you want it to do.
     
  3. ryodoan

    ryodoan Resident Bum

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    I had been thinking about giving it another shot but I have been wondering for a while if there was some thing else that other people like / use more.
     
  4. ryodoan

    ryodoan Resident Bum

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    *sigh* to continue the story. I decided to take another look at wordpress, and in the process decided to look up some themes for wordpress, unfortunately I have some pretty strict requirements:

    1. Clean without being minimalistic
    2. Rounded corners, because I think all sharp corners looks like 1995.
    3. Not extremely dark colored, but not solid white.
    4. 2 Columns, I want a side bar on the left, and my content to be on the right.
    5. Fluid Width, I want my website to look good for people at 1024x768 and for people at 1680x1050.
    6. Fully utilize the functions of wordpress, aka support for widgets and plugins.
    Well, I plugged all my criteria in, and got back 2 results out of however many thousand wordpress themes there are. One was misfiled (2 columns, but the navigation was on the right), and the other one looked like a barebones theme.

    So scaling back my requirements I have found one that i can live with, and that I will probably be able to edit: http://themes.wordpress.net/columns/2-columns/3568/brown-rush-10/ (as in change the color from brown) Unfortunately its fixed width but I suppose I could live with that.
     
  5. shpladoink

    shpladoink L3: Member

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    You could always just make your own styles for it.
     
  6. Vilepickle

    Vilepickle L7: Fancy Member

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    I donno man, I've been messing around with my own site for a while as I learn new things. I'm starting to implement a backend now that I'm interested in that aspect and it really isn't too bad. I'm using PHP and MySQL, of which I've never touched before a few weeks ago. My site started as pure HTML and all that, but I've been evolving. Of course, I'm pretty skilled in graphic design and web layouts, so if you're not into that bigtime it may be an issue.

    I would recommend making your own backend if you want to dedicate a bit of time. It's only taken me a week or two to get a solid user login/control panel and a nice admin system working. I'm an Computer Information Systems major, so I probably don't have as much intimate coding knowledge as you do either.
     
  7. MacNetron

    MacNetron L5: Dapper Member

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    Another CMS might be worth looking at, pivot: www.pivotlog.net
    Also loads of templates available. And you don't need a db, just php.

    On the other hand, as Vilepickle said, building your own is quite rewarding. And you can make it as easy or difficult as you want.
    I've made my current site with jsp, servlets and css. It is doing some rather strange things but that is because it it my playground to try things out (building menus with xslt for instance).
     
  8. ryodoan

    ryodoan Resident Bum

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    I can code pretty well, but my design skills are pretty low.