I am working on a personal site that will have a blog as a component, but not the focus. For now, the blog content will only appear in the blog section, not the home page or other pages. I know I can still use WP and set up Pages, but I like using Dreamweaver to work in. Can I use WP to power an entire site so that the includes and styles and whatnot remain consistent throughout, but still use a desktop web editor like DW to edit static pages? I’m looking for best practice recommendations since I’ve never set up a blog before and want to set up my site in a robust, sensible manner.
Well, I don’t know what a “robust, sensible manner” is… but you can have WP to be the engine behind a whole site, not only a blog.
If you have an exsting site with its own characteristic design – you will need to create/design a WP theme that looks like your site in order to create the impression of “smooth transition” from the site to the blog.
Do not try, however, to edit WP (.php) files in DW – unless in code mode. If you open the WP files in a wysiwyg ediotr, you’ll be very sorry.
I guess you can use any combination of html files and WP files – if you have the right tool for everything and if you know what are you doing.
HandySolo — I know about Themes, and I’ve skimmed through those articles, but I don’t see how they answer my question.
moshu — I know I *can* use WP to power my site; I’m asking if I *should*. Never having worked with a blog before, I’m asking what the best way to set up my site would be from web professionals who can tell me the pros and cons of keeping everything in WP. I also want to know if I can use DW if my whole site is in WP.
I agree with moshu about Dreamweaver – when using WordPress, manage without it if you can. If I were you I would ask yourself if the functionality of WordPress beats the alternative for your non-blog pages. Personally I wouldn’t hesitate to use WP for a whole non-blog site, as I like what it can do and I’ve become reasonably familiar with it.
I’ve looked at other systems and some would be just fine as well, but I’ve found that time is best spent not trying to get on top of too many different systems all at once.
IMHO using WP as more then just a blog is doable but depending on what you need its requires much more effort. Most of my sites require a forum, event calendar, etc… While there are some plugins and solutions for WP they work in varying degrees. I found it much easier to just use e107 or Drupal for those sites then to try to hack things into WP.
Nobody can really tell you if you should use WP for your whole site; all they can give you is their opinions, and that might not be the best thing for you. Only you can determine that.
I use WP for my entire site, currently, although I do have some separate files I incorporate into my site. For instance, I have a file of global terms, links, etc., that I include. If I wanted to use pages separate from WP on my site, I’d do so, using them in separate directories from my WP files, just to keep things easy.
Just a short after-thought.
The content and, more importantly, the structure of your site should determine what is the best solution for you. More often than not I find that the most difficult task for people building a website is – coming up with a workable structure for their site.
What I always say: use a piece of paper and a pencil and draw up the hierarchy, folder structure, sections etc. of the planned site. Then find the ideal tool for it. Compare your structure with the features of the script… and so on. I hope you got the idea 🙂
I use WP for my entire site. Of course it is a personal site, but I have figured out how to integrate photos and RSS feeds from other websites into my site.
As for a professional site you would have to know what you are doing, be really good at using WordPress and be able to customize it. I have seen several small business sites that have done a really good job at making wordpress not look so much like a blog. For instance something like this is pretty easy to setup.
If you want to do more than that than perhaps a different completely custom CMS with PHP smarty templates would be better.
I’m a web designer, been doing it for years, and I’ve come up with ways to set up sites, name files, links files, etc, that I feel are more efficient, easier to maintain, etc. Although lots of it is personal opinion, lots of it is agreed upon in the web community as best practice and could be taught to newbies. For instance, I wouldn’t tell a newbie to just dump all their images for a site into the root folder with the HTML files. I’d tell them to make a folder named “images” and stick them there.
So I guess that’s what I’m asking for. I know it ultimately comes down to personal opinion, but you guys have been working with blogs and know the pitfalls of different setups, so I’m looking for your expert advice. It appears most of you would advise I just keep everything in WordPress?
Nnyan, I’m interested in e107 and Drupal. Are these as easy to use and customizable as WordPress? I’m not a programmer at all, so it needs to be something easy to work with. Thanks.
I would use wordpress over drupal. WP is better because it is easier to learn and customize.
Drupal is more involved to learn how to customize into something new and also harder to install and configure than WP.
IMO, WP can do everything Drupal can, but better because it is easier to integrate things into a custom design. Like for instance a forum section.
For wordpress you can choose from a number of different forum packages and drupal you are stuck with the default forum package that comes with it.
Wp site w/ forums
Drupal site w/ forums (all sites look like this)
To each their own and I do think that WP may have an edge in some areas. What may be easy for some people to do is difficult for others. I have had a GREAT deal more hassle getting WP ‘customized’ then some other scripts like Drupal and e107. If you have a pretty simple theme “skinning” punBB is pretty straight forward. But I’ve tried this on over 20 themes and most of the times it doesn’t work well and is a major pain.
While rockworship has a nicely integrated punBB install I don’t think thats a fair comparison. You’re comparing a basic install vs one that is not even available to WP unless you use another product (punBB) and then do your research and hack it to look integrated.
Plenty of nice looking Drupal sites out there (www.spreadfirefox.com, creativebits.org, http://urlgreyhot.com/personal, etc… take a look at http://top.drupalsites.net/) and no they do not all look like that. Thats like saying that all K2 base installs look like each other.
Now I don’t mean to rile anyone up, WP is great and awesome if you want a blog but if you need more features like a CMS then there are other scripts out there that you should be considering. I’m not a programmer or designer so I look for solutions that are relatively simple, if I want a forum then I want it built in.
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