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Anyone recommend the easiest free CMS out there?

moonson
Dabbler
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎14-11-2009

Anyone recommend the easiest free CMS out there?

Having got bored with my poor standard at raw html & dreamweaver, thought I'd go another way for the next website(s) i need to make, and construct CMS-driven sites, preferably on a system where someone's already written some nice CSS templates so they'll look dead professional for minimum effort. This is all on the basis that I'm going to have to learn to use something new, so it might as well be something I can use for everything I want to do. But there are so many free & open source CMSs out there, i'm already confused. I want an easy one, don't need it to do anything difficult, but i guess i'd like it if it could be extended to do more difficult things, in the remote possibility i got good at using it.
I'm not utterly computer illiterate, i use photoshop/illustrator/indesign/dreamweaver at a pretty basic level but it's not too hard to get my head round the concepts involved; ditto very basic database & office apps; i do understand html but nothing much more complicated; i switch off when something starts off with stuff i've not met before (so Joomla and the like are way over my head). If it's relevant, i'm running a mac here where i'll be writing it.
OK, that's the explanation, the upshot is:
I'd like an easy-to-use FREE programme to create a CMS-based website (so other people can contribute); preferably one with a nice range of templates or skins or whatever you want to call them. I want the sites to look clean and pro, nothing pretending to be clever (cos i'm not). I don't want anything that needs to come with hosting or anything, i'm quite happy with the hosting i have (a mate's company) and the domains are there already. Anyone recommend anything?

Undecided
4 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,100
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Anyone recommend the easiest free CMS out there?

I had a similar problem and after trying different packages ended up using Wordpress. All though it does not have the flexibility of the dedicated CMS packages, for me it gave me some of the benefits without the hassle of getting my head round the full package to achieve what I wanted to do. If you want to have a look at what I have managed to achieve so far then have a look at www.wightwizardsagility.co.uk which I have been designing to support a friends business. It still is in the early stages and currently comments are not allowed, but it does give an idea of some of the things that can be achieved. The featured album however is done through JAlbum rather than Wordpress. The main reason for this is that I had created the gallery before getting to grips with Wordpress.
David_W
Rising Star
Posts: 2,300
Thanks: 31
Registered: ‎19-07-2007

Re: Anyone recommend the easiest free CMS out there?

Joomla is one of the easiest CMS's to get your head around really, everything is just there and they give you default content for you to play with.  As you have a Mac you should already have Apache installed.  Go to /etc/apache2 and edit httpd.conf and scroll down and delete the ; from the line that prevents it loading up PHP, it should come with MySQL already installed but you'll want an interface to go with it (from MySQL so you can add databases and such).  With that you can play with the myriad of CMS's out there running from localhost (your Mac) and figure it out before sticking it up on the internet.
A pretty easy one (other than Joomla) is e107, avoid PHPNuke, you could always have a look at http://php.opensourcecms.com/ which demos a few CMS's, all are open source and free, the ones you like the look of you can download and play around with on your Mac.
moonson
Dabbler
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎14-11-2009

Re: Anyone recommend the easiest free CMS out there?

Smiley thanks for your help, guys
your advice had me looking back at both Joomla and Wordpress; just a couple more to try out (thanks for that hint) but i'll probably go with one of the big ones, (there's more help out there for one thing), J if i can work it (it'll be more worth the learning) and W if not
blackrat999
Grafter
Posts: 38
Registered: ‎08-06-2007

Re: Anyone recommend the easiest free CMS out there?

Joomla get my recommend every time, been using it for a year or so now and you can bash out a simple site in a day that looks like its taken hours. My reason for finding this thread is just to check that Plusnet are still Windows based and i assume wont run a Joomla installation is that right ? I host on my own server but done a website for someone who hosts their site on their Plusnet free web space and would like to contiinue, can someone tell me if this is possible please?
thanks