Best CMS for someone with programming/db development experience

I have been a programmer (VB) and database developer (Access, SQL) for many years. I am turning my hand to web development. I understand PHP and MySQL but I am no means an expert in either. I can carefully tinker with existing code but that is all I really want to have to do.

I have built a few sites directly from html, css and jquery and now I am aware that a CMS may make things a little easier because they big picture features like comments, articles, blogs and forums.

I have done some online courses in Drupal because it is supposedly suited to programmers but it strikes me now as fairly clunky and the sites I have developed with it are solid but a little dated looking.

Given Drupal is free it has probably been a good option to trial but with a good review here I would be happy to part with some of my hard-earned.

Most of the sites on my to-do list are primarily about ecommerce but I need the flexibility to store extra fields in all entities and used these fields in complicated discount and pricing rules. Having the other options (comments/blog/forums) at the tick of a box I imagine will also handy.

Finally, speed is a major issue as is the ability to use attractive features like transparent pop up forms, scrolling galleries etc.

Any suggestions for the next CMS I should learn,

Thanks for your time, Neil
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I would have to recommend Drupal as well. It's both a CMS and a framework so it's pretty much limitless when it comes to what it can do. Some people like to stay "on the surface" and use just modules and the web interfaces that come with those modules.

Others, like me, prefer to delve down into the code and framework. The Drupal security team is top-notch, and each released module is run through tests as well as peer review. In fact, The White House (the one where Presidents live) is using Drupal for their main site. Twitter's development community site is implemented in Drupal.

Ubercart in Drupal is dead simple to implement, although a little tough to theme if you don't know a bit about Drupal's internal workings. However, it's really quite amazing to work with.

Check out Ultrus's comment here for a custom-coding vs. CMS/Framework argument. I think it perfectly explains the choice:

Hope this helps!

Scott Fell, EE MVEDeveloper & EE ModeratorCommented:
Personally, I think all the cms sites are clunkly.  The more they try to make it "easy" for those that don't want to make their own site, the more complex it is.  Another problem you can run into is many people leave default options as is and others try to exploit that.  Also some of the plug ins are not very well written as far as security leaving another easy target.

If you are comfortable with databases you may be better off making your own custom cms just to post blog entries and accept comments.  Just use a wysiwyg like tinymce, ckedtor or some you can find on jquery.

If you have very specific items you want others to update or for updating on your own this is a great option.   If the folks that will be using the admin back end are expecting to be able to do a lot of "customization" then you are better off using wordpress et el.
Panagiotis Sweb developer - designer Commented:
why to invent again the wheel  !!!!

try one of the popular cms like (joomla, wordpress ...)
for ecommerce i also suggest magento

with all the above you can design anything you want there are no limitations (you can have a look to the commercial templates all )
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offshorewindinwinterAuthor Commented:
thanks panaglotiss ... I am trying Drupal ... what is your recommendation of what to try next?

I have read about magento ... I got the feeling is was primarily an ecommerce solution. Do you combine it with a cms of your choice?

which is the fastest cms + ecommerce solution (this is how customers are tending to choose)
Panagiotis Sweb developer - designer Commented:
i use joomla with vm for the last 5 years. Its not the easiest (virtuemart) but i have managed to do anything i wanted.

but for me try out the demo of all and then you can choose which one suits you the best.
We use Drupal, but you can find other CMS: Alfresco, CMS Made Simple, Documentum, Drupal, e107, Joomla, Liferay, Mambo, Plone, Silva, TYPO3, WordPress
offshorewindinwinterAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the list madunix and some reassurance that there are happy drupal users "out there".

Have you got a minute to address my 2nd Drupal quesiton

Cheers, Neil
Am a Drupal user most of the time for web development (with Ubercart), however you can also find other CMS such as Joomla, Concrete5, else more specific to ecommerce: Magento, Zen-Cart, osCommerce
Boyd (HiTechCoach) Trimmell, Microsoft Access MVPCommented:
Curious, If you have been a programmer (VB) and database developer (Access, SQL) for many years then why not leverage that knowledge with go with something  in ASP/ASP.NET?

Have you seen DotNetNuke?

offshorewindinwinterAuthor Commented:
junipllc thank you for your opinion.

I am sure my newbie drupal problem will only take you 5 mins to solve.

Cheers Neil
offshorewindinwinterAuthor Commented:
Thanks you responders ... you help is always appreciated.

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