I can’t believe it’s over. If I were a client I would’ve fired myself the third, maybe fourth, time I changed my mind.
Here is where I detail the painful process.
I started out with Cargo. What I love about Cargo is that the way it handles the uploading and presentation of images is perfect. The automatic thumbnail sizing and cropping is amazing. Why would I try to recreate that in another CMS if it already exists in Cargo? Well, it didn’t have exactly what I needed for my front page. And while I could’ve hacked and tweaked until I was blue in the face I started to feel icky about how unclean my code was. I need to have clean code.
MODx had been recommended to me so I thought I’d give it a try. I finally managed to get it up and running – an ordeal in itself – took a look at the admin side and got frightened. Every day I would go back and take a look at it, and every day I would get a fright. Mind you, I was running MODx Revolution – maybe I should’ve started out with Evolution. I think it has a lot of potential and I will definitely go back to it, but I don’t think it was right for this particular task. So then I went back to WordPress.
WordPress is what I was considering at the start of this redesign, but I quickly dismissed it. There were (and still are) a lot of things about WP as a CMS that I just don’t like. Don’t get me wrong – it’s great for blogging. But trying to make other kinds of functionality work within its existing structure is clunky. You can get it to do what you want, but it ain’t pretty under the hood. Not to mention the need for backing up, and upgrading and plugin madness. Anyway, it was when I started to design a theme from scratch that I really felt how futile it was. So, I abandoned WP for a while and went back to Cargo.
Pros and Cons: Cargo vs MODx vs WordPress
And then I went back to WordPress.
This time I tried customizing some existing themes. And that’s where the honeymoon ended. There are some great looking themes out there, but when you finally get to see the admin side, or look at the markup it can make you want to cry. It’s like looking at someone else’s filing system. Or cutlery drawer.
Fortunately, there is a happy ending. I did find a nice, clean theme (Classica by Orman Clark) that I could base my site on. And, when I saw the admin and markup it was well documented and well-organized. Then the crying stopped. Until I had to write my “about me” section.
Thanks to Nicole, Ruthann and anyone else I may have pestered during the making of this website. I promise not to do it again – at least not in the next year.