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What Cms Are You Using And Why? Looking for the top CMS

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Xarex

So it took me a while to find a CMS that suited my needs. I was into website design many years ago, in my teens, and left it, as I really had no good ideas for a website then. I am now older and had an amazing idea for a website and decided to just go with it.

 

My website is a psychedelic music blog. Everyone can come and read the articles, blog about their new or existing favorite artists, post on the forums, chat, submit, and watch videos and participate in the occasional site contest/game.

 

So a friend helped me make this idea a reality by showing me the world of PHP & CMS, which I had no idea existed. I'm now 3 months into it and have learned quite a bit. Though I have only tried out a few before stumbling upon a CMS that really fit my needs.

 

He started me off with PHP Fusion. It was great. I could easily customize it, found just about every plugin I needed, and had everything set up and working great. Problem was... too many bugs. Many of my visitors had trouble registering, logging in, and the "infusions" (plugins) themselves were also quite buggy. I had learned PHP quite easily and made many changes to the existing code to make it work for my site. Everything was great, but I really wasn't satisfied. PHP Fusion also seemed to display errors to my visitors without really saying why.. such as a blank, white, or black page that wouldn't do anything. So I left PHP Fusion.

 

I won't knock PHP Fusion.. it got me started, it has its uses but I think once you want your site to have much more advanced features, PHP Fusion can only go so far.

 

I moved on to WordPress. But WordPress is really just a blogger with a lot of plugins to enhance it, and I was looking for more than just a blogger and more than just people being able to view videos, register, and comment. So I won't knock WordPress for its most basic use. However, I attempted to customize WordPress, I added BuddyPress and a few other plugins hoping to make a kind of Social Network, but soon after adding the Addons, the pages got corrupt and I couldn't even load it. I attempted to do it again -- this time installing one plugin at a time, only to run into the same problem again. So while there are literally hundreds to probably thousands of plugins, many are quite buggy and probably should have never been made, or at least been coded to work better with WordPress.

 

After WordPress, I was looking for another one. I came across a site similar to what I wanted. So I emailed the designer of the site and asked him how much it would cost to make a site like his. He told me he used Joomla and the exact plugin.

 

So I installed Joomla and since Joomla is out with a new version, there are not as many newer plugins for the new version - or at least at the time, there wasn't, but I read about a plugin that makes old plugins work. I attempted to install it but I couldn't find it for some reason. That kind of cut out a lot of the plugins that I was hoping to use for my site. So I logged on to the plugin site he sent me, and the only difference in the site was that the theme was changed, but everything else was just that same plugin -- so it seemed very commercial to me. I also noticed that, although his site was definitely very beautiful in design and does attract a member base, there just seemed to be something that put me off about it.

 

So again, I won't knock Joomla. But it just didn't seem to be cut out for my needs, or at least, it seemed like it was going to take too much time to try and get everything to work.

 

I haven't tried Drupal out yet but have read the pros and cons.

 

So I won't knock any CMS but there are some that work for people and some that don't. It all depends on what you want your site to do and how you want to interact with your guests.

 

I ended up redesigining my site completely after going with a CMS called ocPortal. This CMS was like a dream come true.. it offered everything I was looking for - chat, built-in forums, blog, photo and video gallery, shoutbox, easy-to-use & setup navigation/menu bar, and even games.

 

So the features I'm using and needed:

Forums

Chat

Instant Messenging

News/Blogs

Video/Photo Gallery

Random Quote

Random Video

Poll

Picture of the Day

Points/Reward System

Facebook / Social Network System login capabilities

Link Exchange

RSS feeds

Displaying Active Forum Topics/Latest News/Blogs

Tag Cloud

Search Engine

Site Statistics

Archives Feature

There are tons more features that you can read here including e-Commerce and Ticket Support:

http://ocportal.com/site/features.htm

 

It was quite overwhelming at first to learn and it certainly has scared away quite a few people, but once you get past the little learning curve, it truly is an amazing CMS that works pretty much right out of the box and comes with everything you need. Other than the addons that are already offered, there really doesn't seem to be a need for much more than that.

 

I've read pros and cons.. pros being that it works out of the box, it's small, fast, etc. And the cons being that there aren't many themes and that the support community is small. But themeing is fairly easy after reading through "Jean's Tutorial." And also, despite there being a small community, you get individualized attention and support from the programmers themselves, among with many others who have remained loyal to the ocPortal CMS.

 

Of course, I have become quite loyal to this CMS as well, because I was able to get a fully functioning website up that I wanted to display to my visitors. But I am always looking for just-as-good or better, to always improve my own site design and code to make the least buggy most efficient systems to my visitors.

 

I am still working on little side projects such as a video section that is more like YouTube -- you can view that here: http://www.youtrippy.com/ (not currently being used for the public)

 

You can view my website at: http://www.youtrippy.com/

 

So if you've come across a CMS that has really worked for you.

 

Please list the following information:

 

Your website and what its about or what you wanted it to do.

History of CMS use: good and bad.

Current CMS or the CMS you are loyal with and its features and why you became loyal.


Ahsaniqbalkmc

So it took me a while to find a CMS that suited my needs. I was into website design many years ago, in my teens, and left it, as I really had no good ideas for a website then. I am now older and had an amazing idea for a website and decided to just go with it.

 

My website is a psychedelic music blog. Everyone can come and read the articles, blog about their new or existing favorite artists, post on the forums, chat, submit, and watch videos and participate in the occasional site contest/game.

 

So a friend helped me make this idea a reality by showing me the world of PHP & CMS, which I had no idea existed. I'm now 3 months into it and have learned quite a bit. Though I have only tried out a few before stumbling upon a CMS that really fit my needs.

The idea behing your website seems to be wonderful. It would be great to have such a website where every one can share their views about music and artists. You said that you want every user of your site to have the capability to blog about their new or existing favourite artists. What do you exactly mean by this. Are you going to let them create blogs (as subdomains of your main domain)? Or you want them to guest post to your main blog. Both of them have thier own pros and cons. The major problem with letting users create their own blogs as subdomains of your main domain is that they will have to spend a lot of time designing their blog, which most likely they won't like and you might loose your users. On the other hand if you allow them to guest post to your main blog, you will find it difficult to arrange things in order once you get a good user base. The idea seems to be wonderful but the bottom line is that you have to really work hard on that.

He started me off with PHP Fusion. It was great. I could easily customize it, found just about every plugin I needed, and had everything set up and working great. Problem was... too many bugs. Many of my visitors had trouble registering, logging in, and the "infusions" (plugins) themselves were also quite buggy. I had learned PHP quite easily and made many changes to the existing code to make it work for my site. Everything was great, but I really wasn't satisfied. PHP Fusion also seemed to display errors to my visitors without really saying why.. such as a blank, white, or black page that wouldn't do anything. So I left PHP Fusion.

 

I won't knock PHP Fusion.. it got me started, it has its uses but I think once you want your site to have much more advanced features, PHP Fusion can only go so far.

I don't have much knowledge about php fusion. I have never used it. In fact I have never used any other CMS besides Wordpress. You said that the script that php fusion provides is quite buggy. If it is so, I will recommend you to not use it. Bugs will waste a lot of your precious time. The time that you can invest in something more useful and fruitful. So my advice is that you just let go of php fusion and invest your time in something which would provide better results.

I moved on to WordPress. But WordPress is really just a blogger with a lot of plugins to enhance it, and I was looking for more than just a blogger and more than just people being able to view videos, register, and comment. So I won't knock WordPress for its most basic use. However, I attempted to customize WordPress, I added BuddyPress and a few other plugins hoping to make a kind of Social Network, but soon after adding the Addons, the pages got corrupt and I couldn't even load it. I attempted to do it again -- this time installing one plugin at a time, only to run into the same problem again. So while there are literally hundreds to probably thousands of plugins, many are quite buggy and probably should have never been made, or at least been coded to work better with WordPress.

I have used wordpress as the CMS for my website (Human Anatomy) and it has been very successful for me. Actually, at first I didn't know about the existence of Content Management Systems. I had my website designed in dreamweaver where I have to manually create the layout for every page. It was a terrible job and I had to spend more time designing my website than actually creating content for it. I was heading no where with my website but then a member of this forum (@starscream) suggested me to use a CMS instead of manually creating my website in dreamweaver. I took his advice and made major changes to my website. I shifted to Wordpress. Ever since, I have more time to create actual content and I don't need to design every page of my website. I just designed my website once, and it took about a week to finalize all the design details. After that I make minor changes whenever necessary, and the website is performing well.

You talked about buddypress that it made your website problematic. I did and experiment on buddy press to check its functionalities. It was good and I had no problems with it whatsoever. So may be you are not installing it correctly or the plugins you are using have bugs in them. You should use only established plugins that are recognized and recommended by other users. Don't just use every one out there because a lot of them are buggy.

After WordPress, I was looking for another one. I came across a site similar to what I wanted. So I emailed the designer of the site and asked him how much it would cost to make a site like his. He told me he used Joomla and the exact plugin.

 

So I installed Joomla and since Joomla is out with a new version, there are not as many newer plugins for the new version - or at least at the time, there wasn't, but I read about a plugin that makes old plugins work. I attempted to install it but I couldn't find it for some reason. That kind of cut out a lot of the plugins that I was hoping to use for my site. So I logged on to the plugin site he sent me, and the only difference in the site was that the theme was changed, but everything else was just that same plugin -- so it seemed very commercial to me. I also noticed that, although his site was definitely very beautiful in design and does attract a member base, there just seemed to be something that put me off about it.

 

So again, I won't knock Joomla. But it just didn't seem to be cut out for my needs, or at least, it seemed like it was going to take too much time to try and get everything to work.

 

I haven't tried Drupal out yet but have read the pros and cons.

 

So I won't knock any CMS but there are some that work for people and some that don't. It all depends on what you want your site to do and how you want to interact with your guests.

Joomla and Drupal have nearly the same functionalities as wordpress. Though I have never used any of them, I did perform a lot of research when I was transfering my website to a CMS. In my research on "The Best Open Source Content Management System", I found that wordpress is by far better than Joomla and Drupal. The major reason for this is that the wordpress interface is so user friendly that even your Grand MA can create a blog with it. On the other hand, Joomla and Drupal are not so easy to learn and that is why most people don't use them. Yes, there might be some specialities of Drupal that wordpress don't have and there might be some feature of Joomla that are exclusive to it, but if you are looking to create an orthodox blog or website, your first choice should be wordpress.

I ended up redesigining my site completely after going with a CMS called ocPortal. This CMS was like a dream come true.. it offered everything I was looking for - chat, built-in forums, blog, photo and video gallery, shoutbox, easy-to-use & setup navigation/menu bar, and even games.

 

So the features I'm using and needed:

Forums

Chat

Instant Messenging

News/Blogs

Video/Photo Gallery

Random Quote

Random Video

Poll

Picture of the Day

Points/Reward System

Facebook / Social Network System login capabilities

Link Exchange

RSS feeds

Displaying Active Forum Topics/Latest News/Blogs

Tag Cloud

Search Engine

Site Statistics

Archives Feature

There are tons more features that you can read here including e-Commerce and Ticket Support:

http://ocportal.com/site/features.htm

 

It was quite overwhelming at first to learn and it certainly has scared away quite a few people, but once you get past the little learning curve, it truly is an amazing CMS that works pretty much right out of the box and comes with everything you need. Other than the addons that are already offered, there really doesn't seem to be a need for much more than that.

 

I've read pros and cons.. pros being that it works out of the box, it's small, fast, etc. And the cons being that there aren't many themes and that the support community is small. But themeing is fairly easy after reading through "Jean's Tutorial." And also, despite there being a small community, you get individualized attention and support from the programmers themselves, among with many others who have remained loyal to the ocPortal CMS.

 

Of course, I have become quite loyal to this CMS as well, because I was able to get a fully functioning website up that I wanted to display to my visitors. But I am always looking for just-as-good or better, to always improve my own site design and code to make the least buggy most efficient systems to my visitors.

 

I am still working on little side projects such as a video section that is more like YouTube -- you can view that here: http://www.youtrippy.com/ (not currently being used for the public)

 

You can view my website at: http://www.youtrippy.com/

Now that's good news. I am glad to hear that you finally sorted it out for yourself. Although I have never heard about ocportal, after reading your post, I can definitely say that it is a good CMS for forum type social websites. As per the list given by you, it has all the features necessary to create such websites. I would like to know more about quality of their scirpt. Does it run well? Does it have any bugs or other issues?

So if you've come across a CMS that has really worked for you.

 

Please list the following information:

 

Your website and what its about or what you wanted it to do.

History of CMS use: good and bad.

Current CMS or the CMS you are loyal with and its features and why you became loyal.

As I stated about, I have a short but good history with CMS. It is wordpress that really worked for me. My website is http://www.mananatomy.com/.

Xarex

The idea behing your website seems to be wonderful. It would be great to have such a website where every one can share their views about music and artists. You said that you want every user of your site to have the capability to blog about their new or existing favourite artists. What do you exactly mean by this. Are you going to let them create blogs (as subdomains of your main domain)? Or you want them to guest post to your main blog. Both of them have thier own pros and cons. The major problem with letting users create their own blogs as subdomains of your main domain is that they will have to spend a lot of time designing their blog, which most likely they won't like and you might loose your users. On the other hand if you allow them to guest post to your main blog, you will find it difficult to arrange things in order once you get a good user base. The idea seems to be wonderful but the bottom line is that you have to really work hard on that.

Hey Ahsaniqbal, the website is free to view for guests. But every user who wishes to get more involved and post a blog must register. Every account comes with blogging abilities. Each person can have their own personal blog and choose to display it publicly or not. If they choose to make it public, the blog is posted to the main section [front page] of the website (either through a required validation process [my approval] or I can grant access for auto-submissions - more trusted users have this privilege. Once the blog is posted to the main page, their name is also added on the side.. "By .... "

 

While my primary focus is on psychedelic music and artists, blogging about everyday topics can also be posted, but I've made the forums an extension of blogging. So people can post articles in there and it will also be shown on the first page.

 

RSS also feeds the blog and specific topics in the forums which function as blogs.

 

 

ocPortal also has a Point System, and I've pre-set the amount of points I want my members to receive:

So just some things about the point system:

 

blog post = 40 pts

forum post = 5 pts

video submission = 10 pts

vote in poll = 5 pts

submit a poll = 40 pts

submit image of the day = 30 pts

upload wallpaper to the gallery = 5 pts

participating in games can earn 5-100 pts.

 

You can also gamble points and you set the success rate as well. For example, setting it to 100% wins all the time.

 

Also logging in every day earns 10 pts.

 

And so on and so forth. And I can use the default prize system, or I can set up custom prizes. For example, a member who earns 1500 pts can use those points to buy an @youtrippy.com email address.

 

I also have a top prize which is a lot more points and probably for the most dedicated and loyal member who earns 15000 pts (I know this is a lot, but the prize is worth it), and that is an Invitation to the Demonoid torrent website. Other prizes include 100 pts = name change, 500 pts = name highlighting, 150 pts = topic pinning for a week in the forums, and so on and so forth. These are either options that come with ocPortal or I've got to actually manually set them -- such as the name change.

 

I also have a VIP section with hidden forums -- such as an Adult links section and forums. Although my site is not an adult site by any means nor do I list it as such, it does have links to adult sites, but these are hidden to regular members and guests. If a member chooses to purchase this VIP access through the point system, they can gain access to it. I also require each member fill out their birthdate so I can keep an eye on whether they are allowed to have access to these areas or not.

 

I don't have much knowledge about php fusion. I have never used it. In fact I have never used any other CMS besides Wordpress. You said that the script that php fusion provides is quite buggy. If it is so, I will recommend you to not use it. Bugs will waste a lot of your precious time. The time that you can invest in something more useful and fruitful. So my advice is that you just let go of php fusion and invest your time in something which would provide better results.

 

That is why I switched to something I became more comfortable with :lol:.

 

I have used wordpress as the CMS for my website (Human Anatomy) and it has been very successful for me. Actually, at first I didn't know about the existence of Content Management Systems. I had my website designed in dreamweaver where I have to manually create the layout for every page. It was a terrible job and I had to spend more time designing my website than actually creating content for it. I was heading no where with my website but then a member of this forum (@starscream) suggested me to use a CMS instead of manually creating my website in dreamweaver. I took his advice and made major changes to my website. I shifted to Wordpress. Ever since, I have more time to create actual content and I don't need to design every page of my website. I just designed my website once, and it took about a week to finalize all the design details. After that I make minor changes whenever necessary, and the website is performing well.

You talked about buddypress that it made your website problematic. I did and experiment on buddy press to check its functionalities. It was good and I had no problems with it whatsoever. So may be you are not installing it correctly or the plugins you are using have bugs in them. You should use only established plugins that are recognized and recommended by other users. Don't just use every one out there because a lot of them are buggy.

 

Thank you for your insight into WordPress and BuddyPress. I would never just stop using them. Especially for business and job purposes -- a professional is more willing to hire you and pay you for your time and development if you are familiar with WordPress. I probably did install a few plugins that just didn't mesh well together and that may have caused BuddyPress and WordPress to malfunction.

 

 

Joomla and Drupal have nearly the same functionalities as wordpress. Though I have never used any of them, I did perform a lot of research when I was transfering my website to a CMS. In my research on "The Best Open Source Content Management System", I found that wordpress is by far better than Joomla and Drupal. The major reason for this is that the wordpress interface is so user friendly that even your Grand MA can create a blog with it. On the other hand, Joomla and Drupal are not so easy to learn and that is why most people don't use them. Yes, there might be some specialities of Drupal that wordpress don't have and there might be some feature of Joomla that are exclusive to it, but if you are looking to create an orthodox blog or website, your first choice should be wordpress.

I will keep this in mind, and if I was just focused on blogging, my choice would have surely been WordPress.

 

Now that's good news. I am glad to hear that you finally sorted it out for yourself. Although I have never heard about ocportal, after reading your post, I can definitely say that it is a good CMS for forum type social websites. As per the list given by you, it has all the features necessary to create such websites. I would like to know more about quality of their scirpt. Does it run well? Does it have any bugs or other issues?

 

As I stated about, I have a short but good history with CMS. It is wordpress that really worked for me. My website is http://www.mananatomy.com/.

ocPortal runs on PHP and a mixture of their own personal developed code called Comcode which works exactly like BBcode. Brackets [ ] around a (reversed) ] b [ ... ] url="Hello World" [ https://www.helloworld.com/ ] / url [

 

While ocPortal does have some bugs, the programmers are very active in ensuring the code is bug-free. I have run into only minor problems - and every time I've always run to the forums and was helped immediately. I am glad I looked past those minor problems and developed a fully functioning website that I wanted.

 

I doubt a bug-free system exists and the ones that do probably don't do much. But of the list of problems I've run into with others ... I've run into far less with ocPortal.

 

 

 

...

 

Where was your site when I took Anatomy a few years ago in college? Your site looks great and definitely serves a great purpose. Very easy to navigate and very informative. I've actually bookmarked it as I found it useful.

 

 

....

 

And I also thank you for your input and your sharing of your experience with WordPress ;).


Ahsaniqbalkmc

Hey Ahsaniqbal, the website is free to view for guests. But every user who wishes to get more involved and post a blog must register. Every account comes with blogging abilities. Each person can have their own personal blog and choose to display it publicly or not. If they choose to make it public, the blog is posted to the main section [front page] of the website (either through a required validation process [my approval] or I can grant access for auto-submissions - more trusted users have this privilege. Once the blog is posted to the main page, their name is also added on the side.. "By .... "
While my primary focus is on psychedelic music and artists, blogging about everyday topics can also be posted, but I've made the forums an extension of blogging. So people can post articles in there and it will also be shown on the first page.

From your conversation, you seem to be very enthusiastic towards your website, which is a very good thing. I have created a lot of blogs on a lot of different services. Most of them, I use for marketing of my primary website so that it gains more exposure. There are also a lot of SEO benefits I am recieving. Yes, it is very hard to keep all the blogs updated with new original content but I do get the reward for my hard work. My primary website does rank well for a lot of important keywords because of my efforts with these blogs.
You mentioned that your forum is for music lovers. Although I don't have any interest in music or writing about music, I do have an interest in gaining blogs from a number of different domains. As you mentioned that you do allow your blog users to post about anything they would like, I you can allow me to post about anatomy stuff, I would surely like to create a blog on your website. Please give me your response on this.

ocPortal also has a Point System, and I've pre-set the amount of points I want my members to receive: So just some things about the point system:

blog post = 40 pts
forum post = 5 pts
video submission = 10 pts
vote in poll = 5 pts
submit a poll = 40 pts
submit image of the day = 30 pts
upload wallpaper to the gallery = 5 pts
participating in games can earn 5-100 pts.

You can also gamble points and you set the success rate as well. For example, setting it to 100% wins all the time.

Also logging in every day earns 10 pts.

And so on and so forth. And I can use the default prize system, or I can set up custom prizes. For example, a member who earns 1500 pts can use those points to buy an @youtrippy.com email address.

I also have a top prize which is a lot more points and probably for the most dedicated and loyal member who earns 15000 pts (I know this is a lot, but the prize is worth it), and that is an Invitation to the Demonoid torrent website. Other prizes include 100 pts = name change, 500 pts = name highlighting, 150 pts = topic pinning for a week in the forums, and so on and so forth. These are either options that come with ocPortal or I've got to actually manually set them -- such as the name change.

Well, that's really engaging. I am really impressed with your creativity. Especially the prizes that you have decided for the points. I would really like to become a member of your website but again, the porblem is that neither do I like music nor writing about it. The only way I can become a member is that you allow me to create a blog about human anatomy. I would get my benefits as well as the enjoy the prizes you have decided for your users.

I also have a VIP section with hidden forums -- such as an Adult links section and forums. Although my site is not an adult site by any means nor do I list it as such, it does have links to adult sites, but these are hidden to regular members and guests. If a member chooses to purchase this VIP access through the point system, they can gain access to it. I also require each member fill out their birthdate so I can keep an eye on whether they are allowed to have access to these areas or not.

What do you exactly mean by a VIP section. Do you charge your users to view this section? If yes, then it must satisfy your customers. I don't think Adult links is a good idea on a website for music lovers. Why not consider placing some special music or history of music or other related stuff. I think your website is new, and if I am right, I must tell you that according to my experience, you should start small. Don't just let your efforts spread too dilute. Keep them concentrated on one topic and when you feel you have established yourself as a reliable source in that particular niche, advance to the next. This is the easiest and the best way to become successful online.

Thank you for your insight into WordPress and BuddyPress. I would never just stop using them. Especially for business and job purposes -- a professional is more willing to hire you and pay you for your time and development if you are familiar with WordPress. I probably did install a few plugins that just didn't mesh well together and that may have caused BuddyPress and WordPress to malfunction.
I will keep this in mind, and if I was just focused on blogging, my choice would have surely been WordPress.

Wordpress is a great platform for people like you and me who don't have huge money to invest. The best part of it is that it's open source. Which means that we don't have to pay anything to get involved. The other reason, why I like wordpress is that they have a good community. They make developments quickly and new updated versions are published every now and then, Thus the websites which use wordpress are safe from attacks by different types of malware.

Where was your site when I took Anatomy a few years ago in college? Your site looks great and definitely serves a great purpose. Very easy to navigate and very informative. I've actually bookmarked it as I found it useful.

Lol ;) My website has been live for about one year. It wasn't there when your were in college.

manuleka

i use WORDPRESS :lol: it's simple and easy to work with, it also has alot of plugins available online freely ;) i've tried joomla/drupal and they just seem so complicated, wordpress is simple and easy and meets the simple site designs and layouts i'm after...


mahesh2k

I checked you site youtrippy. The issue with your site is that you added index.html page that makes it very odd and weird looking site. I mean it looks awaful with enter here type of site. I think these days it's better to jump directly to the content instead of intro thingy. So if i have to suggest you anything then it is get rid of that intro-click to enter page. Once that is gone we can easily see you site and the associated community. Design of the page is good. I'm not into dark backgrounds or designs because they hardly look any different. But anyway its your site and your decision on the looks of it. By the way thanks for mentioning the name of the CMS. I found it very good CMS and as alternative to buddypress which is kinda buggy these days with so many users around making broken plugins and fixes. So definitely going to try the CMS suggestion that you made in this thread. As for me, i use variety of CMS depending on my project needs. For blogs and niche site, i use wordpress. For media sites, i use movable type and similar site software. There are some other CMS which i use for commercial reasons and are paid because of the features they offer. It's all just about personal preference and ease of use makes choice for most of us.


manuleka

I checked you site youtrippy. The issue with your site is that you added index.html page that makes it very odd and weird looking site. I mean it looks awaful with enter here type of site. I think these days it's better to jump directly to the content instead of intro thingy. So if i have to suggest you anything then it is get rid of that intro-click to enter page. Once that is gone we can easily see you site and the associated community.
Design of the page is good. I'm not into dark backgrounds or designs because they hardly look any different. But anyway its your site and your decision on the looks of it. By the way thanks for mentioning the name of the CMS. I found it very good CMS and as alternative to buddypress which is kinda buggy these days with so many users around making broken plugins and fixes. So definitely going to try the CMS suggestion that you made in this thread.

As for me, i use variety of CMS depending on my project needs. For blogs and niche site, i use wordpress. For media sites, i use movable type and similar site software. There are some other CMS which i use for commercial reasons and are paid because of the features they offer. It's all just about personal preference and ease of use makes choice for most of us.


images need abit more optimization i guess... especially for your banner image (top) which seems quite huge if it's not the lightest you can do for it

great site though ;)

Ahsaniqbalkmc

I checked your website today. It is good but I have two objections with the site design. The first is that the background is black. In my opinion, this doesn't seem very professional. If you want to make a mark in your industry, you should be careful about every aspect of your website's design. I will recommend you to work with light backgrounds. I think white is the best for any type of website.The second objection I have with your website is that the pages are displaying errors, near the footer. Any new potential user who comes to your site, after seeing these errors is very unlikely to register. No one likes to register on a buggy non-professional website. So you should spend a good amount of time taking care of your website. The bugs should be fixed as soon as you see them. There is no second opinion in that.But after all, the site is your property and you know your niche better than I. You control the looks and feels of your website and it is you who has to decide what is good for it. Best of luck.


manuleka

if you leave the dark background to the outside blank area and maybe gray on the content area would be fine... having the main content (middle column) are lighter backgrounded color than the outsides (left and right blank columns) makes your content standout a bit more for users/customers

 

good example would be this site: http://www.gimp.org/


Xamire

Hello there!I'm brand new here, but I have some heavy experience with a few different CMS's (content management systems), but only one really makes me feel at home. Joomla! The open source CMS, and to be honest the absolute best. Not only will you be able to do anything to your hearts desire (due to the insane amount of free, and commercial plugins /modules/components), but it also will not cost you a dime. You will, however, need to learn the system. Joomla, can integrate every single thing in yourlist, and then some. The possibilities are endless. I would suggest you download it (joomla.org), and just play around with it, while doing some reading, and forum searching on their website. You will be flat out amazed, and will understand why Joomla (formerly mambo) is the best there is, when you need something more than what wordpress has to offer. Download the highest 1.6 version(which, at the time of this writing, is 1.6.3). I have an article written on my website, on how to download and install Joomla (with pictures!) Sorry if the article is sloppy. I was in the middle of changing my template /modules around last night, and my current hostlocked my ip out for 24 hours (normal for them) due to too many connections while changing options, and reloading to see what it looks like. That's why I came to Xisto! Hopefully get a better server, and for posting, and joining this community - sounds awesomeMy website address xamire.com (use the top menu, and click the "articles & News" then click "how to guides" then choose "how to install Joomla")If posting any web address is a problem, then I'm sorry, and please remove.


Xamire

If you're looking for something more than what wordpress has to offer, I would recommend going with Joomla. It secure, sturdy, has an absurd amount of plugins, and - can do pretty much whatever you want it to. A large portion of the extensions are completely free. If you're more interested in playing with your website, and actually putting content in, while having some advanced features that wordpress doesn't have , then go for Joomla. I'd say the top 3 are Joomla, Wordpress, and Drupal. Drupal requires a bit more... hands on than Joomla does. Wordpress doesn't do enough, when you're seeking advanced functionality, but Joomla is perfect. It looks good, runs good, is secured good, free, lots and lots of money (millions per year) behind the project, and tons of developers. It has depth, and design, and great functionality. LikeI said earlier, you can do basically everything with it. I haven't run into one limitation that I couldn't overcome easily. Joomlamay sound like a fruity word, but it's anything but fruit!But you might want to try Drupal too, I just feel it's an advanced version of phpxxx software, and is too much work for littlereward. I might be wrong though, but considering I'm happy with Joomla, I'll stay with this. They have funding for the next decade I'm sure.Edit: sorry I didn't look before posting, and posted again several days apart though =)


manuleka

...I'd say the top 3 are Joomla, Wordpress, and Drupal.
...


they certainly are one of the most popular CMS on the planet... the great thing about them is that they are easily implemented into (in most cases they are readily available with) Linux Hosting Services...

makes me wonder what FREE CMS usually comes with Windows Hostings?

mahesh2k

makes me wonder what FREE CMS usually comes with Windows Hostings?

What PHP has to do with windows hosting ? PHP can be run on both windows, mac os and linux hosting. It has nothing to do with linux. All php apps that run on linux are likely to run on servers which allows php stack on their layer. So that means 99% of all operating system except some odd or which is ignored for php. Windows hosting and PHP apps are perfectly compatible and has nothing to do with windows vs linux debate. It's about server software that supports it. Almost every windows hosting supports PHP so i don't get your point. What doyou mean by what free cms ? all the free CMS that runs on linux are capable of running under windows. For example, we do run localhost wordpress installation on windows. In case of linux hosting there is cpanel which installs app via fantastico, softaculous for end users and in case of windows there is helm or similar control panel that uses quick app install for installation of wordpress and other softwares.
If you mean by .NET which runs only on windows hosting with some exception of few linux based apps then i think there are plenty of cms out there for .NET. In fact large number of windows server users are using .NET apps over php apps because they prefer .NET based apps for obvious reasons. There are some free forums, blogs and some other softwares written in ironpython, asp.net and ruby. So at the end my point is you can run ruby on rails, php, asp.net, ironpython and some other languages without any issues on windows host.

manuleka

What PHP has to do with windows hosting ? PHP can be run on both windows, mac os and linux hosting. It has nothing to do with linux. All php apps that run on linux are likely to run on servers which allows php stack on their layer. So that means 99% of all operating system except some odd or which is ignored for php. Windows hosting and PHP apps are perfectly compatible and has nothing to do with windows vs linux debate. It's about server software that supports it. Almost every windows hosting supports PHP so i don't get your point. What doyou mean by what free cms ? all the free CMS that runs on linux are capable of running under windows. For example, we do run localhost wordpress installation on windows. In case of linux hosting there is cpanel which installs app via fantastico, softaculous for end users and in case of windows there is helm or similar control panel that uses quick app install for installation of wordpress and other softwares.
If you mean by .NET which runs only on windows hosting with some exception of few linux based apps then i think there are plenty of cms out there for .NET. In fact large number of windows server users are using .NET apps over php apps because they prefer .NET based apps for obvious reasons. There are some free forums, blogs and some other softwares written in ironpython, asp.net and ruby. So at the end my point is you can run ruby on rails, php, asp.net, ironpython and some other languages without any issues on windows host.


sorry, you read my mind lol .NET

i use to do PC technician work for this place that uses EPISERVER for it's products

Xarex

From your conversation, you seem to be very enthusiastic towards your website, which is a very good thing. I have created a lot of blogs on a lot of different services. Most of them, I use for marketing of my primary website so that it gains more exposure. There are also a lot of SEO benefits I am recieving. Yes, it is very hard to keep all the blogs updated with new original content but I do get the reward for my hard work. My primary website does rank well for a lot of important keywords because of my efforts with these blogs.You mentioned that your forum is for music lovers. Although I don't have any interest in music or writing about music, I do have an interest in gaining blogs from a number of different domains. As you mentioned that you do allow your blog users to post about anything they would like, I you can allow me to post about anatomy stuff, I would surely like to create a blog on your website. Please give me your response on this.


Well, that's really engaging. I am really impressed with your creativity. Especially the prizes that you have decided for the points. I would really like to become a member of your website but again, the porblem is that neither do I like music nor writing about it. The only way I can become a member is that you allow me to create a blog about human anatomy. I would get my benefits as well as the enjoy the prizes you have decided for your users.

What do you exactly mean by a VIP section. Do you charge your users to view this section? If yes, then it must satisfy your customers. I don't think Adult links is a good idea on a website for music lovers. Why not consider placing some special music or history of music or other related stuff.
I think your website is new, and if I am right, I must tell you that according to my experience, you should start small. Don't just let your efforts spread too dilute. Keep them concentrated on one topic and when you feel you have established yourself as a reliable source in that particular niche, advance to the next. This is the easiest and the best way to become successful online.

Wordpress is a great platform for people like you and me who don't have huge money to invest. The best part of it is that it's open source. Which means that we don't have to pay anything to get involved. The other reason, why I like wordpress is that they have a good community. They make developments quickly and new updated versions are published every now and then, Thus the websites which use wordpress are safe from attacks by different types of malware.


Lol ;)
My website has been live for about one year. It wasn't there when your were in college.



Hey Ahsaniqbal111, sorry it took me a while to get back to you. Real life and the site.


I did away with the adult section. The VIP section is for people who make a certain amount of posts -- it encourages users to be more interactive with the site. To participate more and earn enough points to "buy" VIP with the point system.

You could easily sign up and post blogs and have them on my site. That wouldn't be a problem.

There was more to do on the site than just music. It was philosophy, psychology, and other types of discussion on the forums.

I must admit, it has been several weeks since I've posted this and I remain very enthusiastic towards my site. But I decided to go back with my original idea and stick with something a bit more simple. ocPortal is an amazing CMS with a lot of built-in features. Comes with nearly everything. And I noticed more people were sticking on my site longer -- around 10 minutes rather than what i have now - a video site, where people stick around for about half that time. However, it was getting to be just too much for me and my heart lied more on what i currently have at my website right now. I still highly recommend ocPortal to anyone looking for a CMS with a lot of built-in features as it comes with nearly everything. But again -- each CMS has its own great features and sometimes, we find more of those features more advanced or pertaining to our needs more in one CMS than another.

And now I'm just using a simple Video CMS. I originally wanted a site like YouTube or Break.com. My site isn't as perfect as those two. As I want to attract more visitors and get a general flow of people coming. Then I'd definitely consider buying a more advanced Video CMS.


I am very open to taking your advice, and your absolutely right. I was thinking too big all at once and it was getting to be too much and more than I could handle. I was also pulled between a blog & video site among other things within that site and just having a video CMS. I decided to try my original idea only -- the video site. I think if things go well, I'll add a blog section or go back to using ocPortal again.

Everything is new to me. I am still learning greatly. About what works and what doesn't. I'm using Google Analytics heavily to determine the underlying logistics.


Starscream - thank you for your suggestion, some others had mentioned that too, and in fact, one person went as far to say: "Introduction pages are for porn sites..not regular ones." I loved that video and it was the only way I could show it. I've since done away with an intro page and now go directly to the content.


Also, I had tried a lighter theme - and had a few comments that it was too boring and bland. It's very hard to figure out a lighter background. The darkness represents more of what the site is about -- it's psychedelic. The site is for anyone, but more directed at audiences who love music and also the world of psychedelia. And sometimes -- its easier to look at and watch these videos when the surroundings are dark -- I made it that way so there is not as much distraction around.

The site is also more personal than professional. I completely understand the idea behind having a lighter website. Nearly every professional website has lighter background. But again, I'm not running a personal business and selling products. It's more of my personal website and just attempting to gain visitors and members with similar interests.

I have since made a website that is much lighter -- using WordPress that looks very professional and clean.

I've looked at gimp.com and the colors go together - for that site. It doesn't seem to mesh well with mine.

I am probably obsessed with the header -- and that determines my entire site. And it's dark, therefore I need colors that mesh with that.


I had given WordPress another chance and learned that when you install the most essential plugins that you need and good ones -- everything is fine.

I will probably play around with Joomla again soon sometime.


Thanks for your input everyone. Your suggestions for my site are always considered. I don't know everything! I'm always learning! So I do take your feedback as constructive and use it to help me make better choices for my site.

And in discovering other CMS as well!

manuleka

Also, I had tried a lighter theme - and had a few comments that it was too boring and bland. It's very hard to figure out a lighter background. The darkness represents more of what the site is about -- it's psychedelic. The site is for anyone, but more directed at audiences who love music and also the world of psychedelia. And sometimes -- its easier to look at and watch these videos when the surroundings are dark -- I made it that way so there is not as much distraction around.
The site is also more personal than professional. I completely understand the idea behind having a lighter website. Nearly every professional website has lighter background. But again, I'm not running a personal business and selling products. It's more of my personal website and just attempting to gain visitors and members with similar interests.


users can be a real pain to satisfy, but theming does play a big role in ensuring customers enjoy their stay on a site...

just a thought, ever tried a plugin that will enable color theme options? so users can at least have a variety of color choices... everyone has their own preference of color scheme

Xarex

users can be a real pain to satisfy, but theming does play a big role in ensuring customers enjoy their stay on a site...
just a thought, ever tried a plugin that will enable color theme options? so users can at least have a variety of color choices... everyone has their own preference of color scheme



When I was with PHP Fusion, I gave that option to have like 5 themes to choose from. With the default theme being lighter -- and that's actually when reviews were being directed as the site was too bland. I am going based on past experience. When I had a default MySpace profile -- it was crap, it wasn't attracting people or anything. I then decided to make my MySpace profile a fan page -- dedicated to my favorite band, Pink Floyd. I spiced it up with a lot of my personality -- designed with the way I felt was comfortable. I really made it for myself, to express my love for Pink Floyd.

BUT .. it happened to attract a lot of people. I get thousands of visitors a week and even at one time, I asked what I should change about it, and told people I was thinking of changing it, only to receive some critical emails telling me to leave it as is. I haven't changed it in over 5 years. MySpace has since updated their whole system and I can't even edit my profile anymore because it will force me to update it. So I just leave it. And still, it attracts so many people.

So my point is.. I think when I stick to what I feel is more my personality, I am more successful with it. When I listen to others -- and believe me, I do my best to receive, listen to, and change based on visitor feedback -- because it is you who are visiting and can tell me the truth of my site -- so your feedback is certainly never ever ignored. But I also feel like when I change it too much, I lose interest in it myself, because it's no longer my personality, but someone else's design that I am catering to.

The only thing I can think of is to try a slightly lighter black color, and I will try this and see if it works. I am just wanting to generally make it work with that top image. It is the theme of the site -- perhaps there is a story behind it that I just haven't revealed yet, but maybe someday I can figure out how to incorporate the story in with it.

I am using the Google Analytics tool to determine bounce rate. If it was so horrible, I'd have people leaving immediately.

I also put my site on Linkreferral and another forum that I've been posting at for like 10 years. I get a lot of general advice about user experience from those.

One of the hardest things with using black is finding a font color that is easy on the eyes. White is the easiest to read abut reading large amounts of texts with white on black hurts. I established a light blue color that seemed to be much easier on the eyes.




It is interesting to discuss this -- when does personal become professional and when does professional become personal?

Years ago, I might make a website with tables, some graphics, and writing, and that was my personal website. Hardly professional. A professional website would be typing in AOL.com or CNN.com and getting news and other stories.

What is the personal now considered, with so many advanced websites and tools to make those websites? Is every website professional now?

I want my site to look professional -- more YouTube style but with my own hint of personality within the mix. So that it remains personal yet still looks slightly professional. However, my goal is not to really attract businessmen or someone at work. My goal is to attract these people when they are at home, winding down, looking to relax, watch a few videos and listen to some great music. This way, they are more inclined to stay on the site longer when they are relaxed and not at work.

Okay, so perhaps I could attract that audience as well, but as Ahsaniqbal111 put it: start small.

But my expectations that they will stay on the site longer is even less -- because I observe my own behavior on YouTube. Once in a while, I might be more inclined to spend a lot of time on YouTube, listening to songs one after the other, while others -- I watch a video and leave.


I would love to just attract a daily fan base who want to contribute music to the site.


My site is now -- for now -- a YouTube / Dailymotion portal. I could add others but for now, that's where the majority of everything comes from. I know it's small. This is my first site and I'm just doing a lot of experimenting. I consider my site more of a categorization site -- of music. Something YouTube does not do. And probably a good thing because it keeps it so general, and has given me a reason for making such a site.


I'm actually liking the CMS I'm using because I can create categories and subcategories of music. The only thing the user has to do is submit the link to the specific category. If they don't see their specific category, than they can just upload it to the general category and I'd move it to a specific category.

What is lacking -- and the CMS isn't extremely advanced -- is the ability for users to create their own subcategories. But that could also become chaotic, if a user comes along, thinks he doesn't see a specific artist (subcategory), and creates one on his own, while it really does exist.

I guess a more advanced system would determine what the user is submitting and actually automatically create or insert it into the existing category. Definitely a project I'm not up to messing with right now.

I guess that's what makes it slightly more personal. So for starting small, I think it's good the way it is. And I will experiment with a few lighter colors.

manuleka

What is lacking -- and the CMS isn't extremely advanced -- is the ability for users to create their own subcategories. But that could also become chaotic, if a user comes along, thinks he doesn't see a specific artist (subcategory), and creates one on his own, while it really does exist.
I guess a more advanced system would determine what the user is submitting and actually automatically create or insert it into the existing category. Definitely a project I'm not up to messing with right now.

I guess that's what makes it slightly more personal. So for starting small, I think it's good the way it is. And I will experiment with a few lighter colors.


definitely theming takes a lot of research and user feedback... i think it's also important that you are also implementing your personal emotions into it

having users create anything other than making posts has high tendency to result in mayhem. i think your site has a lot more potential and great future yet to come...

Xarex

definitely theming takes a lot of research and user feedback... i think it's also important that you are also implementing your personal emotions into it
having users create anything other than making posts has high tendency to result in mayhem. i think your site has a lot more potential and great future yet to come...



Thank you manuleka. I am discovering this too. A whole lot of potential.

I realized this when I was always searching for videos and reading the comments to see the reactions of the videos. There is a huge subculture that is just so spread out. So eventually, I'd like to make it more social-community based -- as in -- making friends with these people who have very similar interests.

Even just the domain name itself is a very good domain name. I am always creating subsections and experimenting with new ideas, different CMS, even posting on Twitter or Facebook to have people visit those areas for a week, and see if its working.. see the general reactions, how long people are spending on the site, and if they are involved or interacting at all -- through Google Analytics. Very awesome tool. But it can't determine everything, and a week isn't always enough time to really say anything. But it seems, no matter what kind of site I'm designing.. I'm attracting a certain amount of visitors, and always getting a few people registering.

I'm sure it's frustrating for some of my returning visitors who have signed up more than once and seen multiple websites, but I was trying to find something that worked for me, that was easy to manage and maintain. And what I've come to is the video site. It was a video blog .. but that just happened to be too much work right now -- to deliver music and write about it. And maintain a forum sections (which was an extension of my blog -- for various different topics & articles such as psychology, philosophy, tutorials, etc.) -- a lot of work. And this is just a part time job (well, not paid actually) and a learning experience for me. But I'm taking a lot of what I'm learning and applying it to my professional resume -- such as the marketing and design of the site -- learning what attracts people, using specific keywords.


Anyways, I appreciate your positive feedback. Always work to be done and when you think it's done... there's still always more. Probably for the best -- to improve the experience and attract daily visitors who hopefully "convert" (register).

manuleka

you're just starting... and it takes effort and determination to drive something and expose it's potentials... all the best and i hope you're site will be successful (which it will)