Tools or Application which assist in building a website

I'm developing a website for the first time and I don't know how to start with.
Do people usually use Content Management System (CMS) nowadays or do they code it manually by hand?
What is the best CMS I should use if i want to develop a website that has articles, eCommerce and a dynamic page where
people will see different content on weekdays and weekends?
ricjavaAsked:
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boro_bobCommented:
Content management systems are usually used when there are going to be several people (possibly without any specialist html or web knowledge) responsible for updating the site's content.

If you are just going to be keeping a site updated yourself, it is much easier to code the site yourself. If you are using PHP, Dreamweaver is a good editor to use.
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ricjavaAuthor Commented:
But normally nowadays people use Content  Management System to build a website, right?
Coding by hand is unproductive use of time, isn't it?

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boro_bobCommented:
Depends how big the site is going to be. Perhaps you are confusing a 'content management system' with an out of the box template website. If you you can find one that meets all your requirements then it probably would make sense tou use one. If your requirements would lead to you having to spend a long time modifying it, you may as well build your own site in the first place.

Without knowing your exact requirements it is hard to give much more than very general advice.
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boro_bobCommented:
From the sounds of it, you may want to have a look at osCommerce, which is a free open source e-commerce solution http://www.oscommerce.com/

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scrathcyboyCommented:
"But normally nowadays people use Content  Management System to build a website, right?
Coding by hand is unproductive use of time, isn't it?"

If the content changes a lot, like a news site, then yes, you want a CMS.
If the content is relatively static, you are best to code each page using templates but individual input.

For the changing website, see this current thread, it is a great starter, and there are many other links too --

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Web_Development/Web_Languages-Standards/DHTML/Q_23109734.html
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ricjavaAuthor Commented:

Let me be more precise about my website requirement......
The website that I'm going to build consists of
1. Menu A - Home
2. Menu B - Ask Question.
3. Menu C - Articles
4. Menu D - Blog
5. Menu E - Products
6. Menu F - About us
7. Menu G - Contact Us

Like usual, every page has all those menus.
Here I'm going to describe each menu. Please read it and try to help me.

Menu A (Home)
- Here we tell visitors about our website and what is the website is about.
- I'll tell what benefits visitors can get from my website.

Menu B (Ask Question)
- The tricky part lies in this menu.
- When visitor clicks on this menu, I will check whether it is weekday or weekend.
- If  weekend, I'll display a login link for visitor to login to ask a question and submit it.
- Else if weekday, I'll display a 10 selected questions and let visitors to select a radio button
as to vote for questions to be answers.
(Of course there will be an admin page where the author can search for questions and answer them.
But this page will be hidden from public)

Menu C
- This is to publish articles.
- Each articles will be categorised.
- Articles will be published periodically.

Menu D
- This is a blog

Menu E
- This is the page where ebook will be sold and visitor can pay by paypal.

Menu F
- The About Us is to describe about the owner of the website, just like other websites.

Menu G
- Email to contact website owner


Please advise:)
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scrathcyboyCommented:
The other pages are simple, it is the BLOG that will require either a CMS system, if you post to it daily, or a BBS software package, like PHPBBS.  Those are good if you want users to be able to post to the blogs.  If just you wants to post to the blog, then you need to decide how often you are going to do it, and either --

1.  use a CMS system to manage the very frequent blogs, like once a day would be frequent
2.  you can use inline iframes to present the blog text, one page at a time.  The idea is you have a template layout for your site, with an inline frame, which doesn't appear to be a frame, it blends with the page.  Then you can write the content that goes into the iframe with a good FREE HTML editor, like open office -- www.openoffice.org.  This would be good for a blog every few days or week.
3.  However, if you are talking about searching the blogs or your site for past articles, then you are back to a CMS to manage the data and have search functions that can be built into your site -- as well as a back end database of the articles and data, like My SQL.  YOu really SHOULD read the link I posted, it is a terrific introduction to this kind of site design.
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ricjavaAuthor Commented:
I think the
Menu C
- This is to publish articles.
- Each articles will be categorised.
- Articles will be published periodically.

Will also appropriate to use CMS, right?
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ricjavaAuthor Commented:
>The other pages are simple, it is the BLOG that will require either a CMS system, if you post to it daily, >or a BBS software package, like PHPBBS.  
You mean I can use CMS for the blog (Menu D) and hand code other menus? Does CMS allow that?
Once I use CMS, it is not neccesary for all my pages (menus) to be made by CMS?

Sorry I'm new to creating a website and never use any CMS before, so I hv to ask
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scrathcyboyCommented:
well, tying your site to a CMS package is a fairly big decision, so once you use a CMS, you are better to put ALL the site in there, not just one part -- that way if links change, the CMS will change it for ALL pages on the site.  Using CMS just for a blog, and hand coding the other pages is double work.

Before you look at CMSs, try out some of the BBS software.  There are many bulletin board programs that make it relatively easy to post comments to your site -- in fact much easier than any CMS will.  If you used shared hosting that you pay for per year, most of them come with BBS software already set up.  If you choose a BBS, it will allow people to comment on your articles, etc, whereas a CMS generally will not.  SOme BBS software calls itself CMS, and in a sense it is, I suppose .... (www.webmasterworld.com/content_management/3319598.htm)

See these --
www.keytlaw.com/tech/techbio.htm
www.thefreecountry.com/php/messageboards.shtml
www.business.com/directory/internet_and_online/community/bulletin_boards/software/
reeworldbbs.org/development/features
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ricjavaAuthor Commented:
Do people create an entire website without using CMS?
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boro_bobCommented:
"Do people create an entire website without using CMS?"

Yes we do. I have never used a CMS system to create a web site, but then I know what I'm doing. If you are thinking about setting up a website like the one you describe and you have no experience of building websites, I strongly suggest you employ the services of web designer. It might cost you more up front, but it will probably save you time and money in the long run. Otherwise you may spend months trying to get your site the way you want it. Building professional standard web sites is not as simple as it may appear.

Good luck with it, whatever you decide to do.
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ricjavaAuthor Commented:
>If you are thinking about setting up a website like the one you describe and you have no experience of >building websites, I strongly suggest you employ the services of web designer.
I'm a programmer who knows Java and database....and of coz some php, html, css, javascript
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boro_bobCommented:
"I'm a programmer who knows Java and database....and of coz some php, html, css, javascript"

Thats great, but the web is a different animal to java. You need to know about web usability, search engine optimisation, design, graphics etc.

If you want to spend the time learning this stuff, good luck to you. However you would have nothing to lose by getting  a couple of web design agencies to look at your plans and give you their recommendations.  If they suggested using a CMS system, find out which one they would use. At the very least you might get some ideas from them that you could implement yourself if you chose to go it alone.
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ricjavaAuthor Commented:
I know seo too.........anyway, i'm lack of budget otherwise i won't decide to do it myself...
I don't plan to create a very attractive website but as long as it looks professional and tidy.......perhaps only one good mage on the top pane will do.................

So from your experience, do u think it is difficult for me to do that?
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boro_bobCommented:
It sounds to me like you have enough knowledge to do this yourself, but as scrathcyboy suggested, look into a BBS solution for your blog. There is no point re-inventing the wheel.

I would just store your article content in a database and have a article page which displayed it based on articleId - something like that.

Get the bulk of it done yourself and then come back here to ask for any other help or advice you might need.
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scrathcyboyCommented:
"Do people create an entire website without using CMS?"

95% of web designers do.  Very few use CMS.
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ricjavaAuthor Commented:
>95% of web designers do.  Very few use CMS.
Will it be very painful job if the kind of website I'm going to build if I don't use CMS. I would hv hard time managing articles, their session and category, blog, user comment, etc .
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ricjavaAuthor Commented:
Fyi, I never used any CMS before as I'm a programmer. Will it be possible that my

Menu B (Ask Question)
to be done with programming.

Menu C
to be done using CMS

Menu D
to be done using CMS

What I want to know is will it be possible for me  to do certain page with CMS and certain page with pure programming?
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ricjavaAuthor Commented:
I'm also thinking that by using CMS, it will solve much of my web design headache as I'm not a web designer. I can just use the template.

Is my thinking wrong?
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ricjavaAuthor Commented:
that last 2 comment should be the my last questions.........
I'm trying to install the apache, mysql, php, phpmyadmin suite to run joomla (cms)........coz if I can't combine independent programming page with cms......then i don't even bother installing that suite and waste valuable time learning that cms....

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boro_bobCommented:
I've never used Joomla, but I've heard a lot of good things about it. I think it will fit your needs well, and there's a lot of user support  for it.

Your question
Menu B (Ask Question)
to be done with programming.

Menu C
to be done using CMS

Menu D
to be done using CMS

I would say yes
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ricjavaAuthor Commented:
>I would say yes
Have u work with any CMS and can that be done?
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ricjavaAuthor Commented:
btw, it seems a) is yes though.....
and for e) if we cannot put such link in a website to earn commission from affiliate program then where should we put it? Suppose if my website is promoting badminton and i put a link to a website which sells ebook about badminton to earn commission, doesn't it make perfect sense?

If say my website talks about books and i put a link to amazon.com to earn commission on books i recommend, why google penalize?

Any comment from anyone? :)
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ricjavaAuthor Commented:
Sorry...it posted on wrong page....dear administrator, can you delete my previous comment. Thanks
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