Good, relatively-cheap CMS options?
May 27, 2014 9:03 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a CMS that is highly-customizable and relatively cheap.

Ideally, the CMS can yield results similar to The Great Discontent website, (particularly the well-designed grid and overall design sensibility).

It would be great if you can help me find something that can produce a one-page (optimally responsive) website, where today's photograph or wide image is displayed prominently at the top, below which are the (First | Previous | Random | Next | Last) arrows as well as a short description about the post above. Scrolling down, there is an expandable (or infinitely scrolling) archive of all the previous posts displayed as thumbnails-only and sorted by month/year.
posted by omar.a to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
There are a lot of WordPress themes that will do what you want. Most are $50-$100. I like the ones by Designer Themes. The "Adapt" one looks like it would do what you want.
posted by dawkins_7 at 9:08 AM on May 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

i have been getting marketing emails from these guys:

it looks interesting, but honestly, I try to stick to Wordpress, Concrete 5 and Expression Engine because they are what I know and don't have to think about too much.
posted by bobdow at 9:42 AM on May 27, 2014

It's unclear from your question whether you have programming skills, and if so, how advanced. If you don't have programming skills, you might find even Wordpress hard to use and instead need to look at themes on website building sites for non-programmers like Weebly, SquareSpace, Virb, or Strikingly. I'd be surprised if at this point in time any of them are not responsive (mobile-friendly).
posted by Dansaman at 10:30 AM on May 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

I am ok at handling Wordpress and working with basic html/css, and can enlist the help of developers if things get sticky but I'd prefer them to stay simple.
posted by omar.a at 11:55 AM on May 27, 2014

Not to be nitpicky, but a CMS and a website design are separate things.

There are plenty of free, open source CMSs. Drupal, Joomla, Yii, ProcessWire, Wordpress. Basically, all the big ones are free. A CMS is like a filing drawer. You put content in, you know where to find it.

Virtually every CMS in existence will have default content type that will satisfy your specifications (photo, author, title, article, date, publish state, publish date). This is a folder that lives in that filing drawer. You will also need a view that will print all of that content type. This is like asking someone to pull all of the files on a topic. This is also pretty basic, every CMS will do this easily.

However, the features you mention, responsive, grid, design aesthetic, have very little to do with the "filing drawer". You need a template that takes those files, out of the folders, and puts them into a container, often taking little snips of content from various places, mixing them with other bits (like the navigation on your photos).

You need to first install that filing drawer/CMS in your web hosting. Lots of web hosts have one-click WordPress installs, but you'll be best served if you have some base knowledge. Then, you need to find a template that works with your CMS, and install that into your CMS. Installation instructions should come with your template, and better templates come with install support.

From there, you can begin to populate your CMS, and they will be formed into your website.
posted by fontophilic at 11:56 AM on May 27, 2014

Thanks for the info. I guess if there are open source CMSs, or even CMS with built-in templates like Squarespace for example that you think might be easily customized to fit my requirement then please let me know about them. Also, if there are specific templates you've come across that can work for my type of thing, then I'd appreciate your suggestions in that as well.
posted by omar.a at 12:05 PM on May 27, 2014

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