CMS suggestions for a restaurant's web site
July 23, 2007 6:32 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for CMS suggestions for managing a restaurant's web site. It needs to be simple enough for my very non-technical client to use and understand.

I have tons of experience with Movable Type, and I've looked into Wordpress, Textpattern and Joomla. I've worked with TeamSite on a corporate level.

Thing is, most CMS'es seem to be focused on managing the addition of more and more content to a website, and are therefore a little more complicated and potentially confusing than they might need to be for this application. I'm designing a small site for a restaurant, and all my client will really need to do is replace the content on existing pages (menus, reviews, news/events) rather than adding and archiving lots of content. My dream solution would also have a pretty simple, easy admin interface.

Any suggestions or experiences to share? Thanks in advance.
posted by redshifter to Technology (16 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
How about CMSimple?
posted by MsMolly at 6:35 PM on July 23, 2007

I usually flog Drupal, but this seems like a good fit with Wordpress. Simplistic user interface, no need for complicated multi-user roles.

Def. Wordpress.
posted by unixrat at 6:36 PM on July 23, 2007

I used wordpress to design a library website like this. Basically I ditched most of the blogging stuff and most of the rest of it and designed one set of templates and about five pages and explained to the staff how to use the editor to change the text of the pages.

I made most of the css and template stuff not writeable by WordPress and made a list of pages that were editable and put big links to them on the dashboard area and removed the other crap that was there. So, when they logged into WP, they'd see a list of five pages and clicking on any link would bring them to an edit page where they could do the standard "type in a box" stuff to change the main text, but not see any other HTML. That sort of interface works pretty well even if there's a blog or something tucked in there. You can keep anyone but you out of most of the rest of the admin interface pretty easily just by setting user levels.
posted by jessamyn at 6:40 PM on July 23, 2007

If you've looked at MT before, you might want to take a look again at MT4 -- there's a lot more functionality around standalone pages like those menus or events pages, and the UI is much simpler for beginners to understand.

I work with the MT team, and this is one of the explicit goals of the new version, to make it easy to do small business sites like that, and feel free to drop me a line if we can help you with that.
posted by anildash at 7:19 PM on July 23, 2007

I'm going to go against the grain and recommend going with the simplest possible. There's only about 5 pages (front, about, where, wine, menu, menu...) necessary for a restaurant. Any CMS will allow these things to be updated easily.
posted by rhizome at 7:50 PM on July 23, 2007

I think Textpattern would be a whole lot less work than WordPress if you know your way around it. It's also a bit simpler in many ways.

Silverstripe is complex, but it's more logical for page-based sites than TXP, WP, and most other blog-oriented tools.
posted by tmcw at 7:58 PM on July 23, 2007

what about a wiki?
posted by wuwei at 8:02 PM on July 23, 2007

I can tell you without a doubt that Wordpress is too difficult for non-techies. I try scheduling an hour or so to train new users and they come back for friggin' MONTHS with questions about the most simple things.

I'm following this thread with great interest, because I spend almost as much time answering questions as I do designing.
posted by letitrain at 9:12 PM on July 23, 2007 [2 favorites]

I'm with letitrain. Seriously.
posted by SpecialK at 10:55 PM on July 23, 2007

all my client will really need to do is replace the content on existing pages (menus, reviews, news/events)

Will the client be doing just straight typing? Or will they be adding in a few B or I tags for formatting?

Are they comfortable using Microsoft Word? If so, it might be better to use something close to that interface.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:05 AM on July 24, 2007

Oh, in that case... Contribute.
posted by tmcw at 4:12 AM on July 24, 2007

Surprised Anil didn't suggest Typepad. It's got this new feature called Pages which would work great for your needs, and it's super easy to set up. It's basically MT hosted by sixapart, with a few other minor changes.

Have to admit I haven't looked into MT4 yet.
posted by miss tea at 4:47 AM on July 24, 2007

I have to second Contribute. I have never used it myself, but from what I've heard it fits the bill. No complicated server-side CMS and database set-up required too.
posted by mkn at 7:08 AM on July 24, 2007

posted by kirkaracha at 7:38 AM on July 24, 2007

I highly recommend MODx. Fabulous for simple sites (and complex if you like.)

You create the CSS and the template(s) that point to the CSS. Place a couple of very simple custom tags in your divs, i.e. [*#content*] for the content, {{Footer}} for footer (a chunk of HTML that contains the HTML that makes up the footer), and use the built in Wayfinder menu system to handle the menu (it generates unordered lists as a default which you can style in any which way you please.)

You give your client web user access and they just have to go in and edit the existing pages. The default editor is TinyMCE but you can easily install FCKeditor as well.
posted by juiceCake at 8:35 AM on July 24, 2007 [1 favorite]

If it's that simple, maybe it doesn't even need a CMS. Perhaps you could just make a simple, static site and let your customer edit it with Nvu. That's how I set up this little school site, and it works very well.
posted by flabdablet at 11:52 PM on July 24, 2007

« Older It's all in the details   |   Looking for worlds simplest time tracker windows... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.