[thelist] The quagmire of CMS - Contribute

Bob Meetin ontheroad at frii.com
Wed Apr 25 12:55:06 CDT 2007

I've been avoiding Contribute for years. It's been lurking/looming in 
the background, however with one of my new clients I now have to come to 
grips with it.  I used dreamweaver some a couple years back, but now I 
no longer use it for design/development, just as an FTP tool.

Current situation - I have to set up a site such that the client can 
update it through Contribute.  I rather expected some problem, but 
really it totally breaks up in contribute, similar in dreamweaver.  I 
made sure that the stylesheets, etc are referenced correctly, but 
suspect that it is simply a problem with perhaps floats/columns or other 
not rendering correctly with a tableless design.  I'm shooting in the 
dark here.

I can convert to tables and undoubtedly make it work.  With Contribute 
being the requirement, does anyone have alternative suggestions?  Is 
Contribute designed to work on CSS/tableless layouts but perhaps 
something skewed in the design?

They don't want an alternative solution such as updating sections with 
PHP forms.  There is no database.


Ben Glassman wrote:
> Up until recently the company I work for was using Contribute as a solution
> for clients to edit their static web pages. We recently made the switch to a
> full CMS (we are using a modified version of MODx[1], which I highly
> recommend).
> Contribute was fine if you want to have the user simply edit the content
> area of pages using a WYSIWYG application with an integrated FTP client.
> However, it has limitations in terms of adding navigation, as others have
> mentioned.
> My primary complaint against Contribute was that it was another browser that
> you had to support, and one with very little in the way of documentation for
> CSS rendering issues. Therefore it could be time consuming to get pages to
> render correctly. Pages would also render correctly in browsing mode, but
> once Contribute switched to Edit mode they would break, sometimes in ways
> that made the content invisible (and hence unable to be edited). It also
> (perhaps they have fixed this now) does not parse PHP/ASP includes (but
> seemed to work with SSI), which meant that I had to structure my code
> differently, leaving the main divs in each page rather than in the include,
> or the framework would always break in edit mode.
> In my eyes, Contribute is a simplfied version of a program like Dreamweaver
> which is fine for small static sites but if you are building larger sites
> with more dynamic content (calendars, photo galleries, databases, forums,
> etc.) a full featured CMS can be much more flexible.
> Ben
> [1] http://www.modxcms.com

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