I’m currently working on a clients site that appears to have been started out in WP and finished outside of the db framework. I’ve always been reluctant toward using WP in my experience it has always been difficult to even design templates, it has been less than intuitive… to me. I’ve come from the old school of web design learning on notepad and wishing for a WYSIWYG GUI to help facilitate my designs. Running for dead in software when it first arrived like FrontPage simply because it gave me a facsimile of what I needed for design. I could see it, I could make it work. I remember when Future Splash, the predecessor to Flash came out in all of its…proprietary bulk. Then came Dreamweaver which was my long-time mainstay even though it became for the most part unrecognizable in the last iterations. 

Now I don’t mind a little developer work, strafing through little odds and ends to get something to function correctly but as a designer primarily I don’t particularly care to write my own apps from scratch unless I can figure it out in a matter of hours…or less. When the frameworks began making an appearance, of course, I was attracted. Plug in a module here and a widget there that would do “most” of what I needed and sufficed as a solution. I was a big fan of Joomla, I still am in concept. I spent the time to see what it takes to custom build sites and templates in Joomla and sold the whole concept down the line proudly as a solution to the worlds website problem. I largely ignored WordPress as a “blog” which it is, but at the time I did so with disdain. After trying my hand at customizing a WordPress site back then I recoiled with the horror of how -different- read difficult, it was to work in as a designer. 

Joomla was no less convoluted to design for, I guess it was just a matter of what I decided to start with first as far as frameworks are concerned. Joomla allowed me to do what I desired more than WP because of how I worked. Then my first Joomla site got hacked, then the second, then the third. I really emphasized to my clients that the update patches where not just an option if they wanted to keep their sites from being hacked and waking me up at 3 a.m. imploring me to “do something”. Joomla fell out of favor in my sales arsenal fairly quickly.

To make a long story short, I went through the gamut of software solutions only to have to open them in BBEdit, or now Atom or Coda to fix the things post publishing and it appears I’m back where I started with these advanced versions of… well, notepad. Now I see a veritable cornucopia of software solutions for design made even more evident with the demise of Muse. More and more I see and more and more will become all-in-one solutions to your web design problems, you can design it here and host it here for a mere cost of 3 rupees, minus the upsell to make your site even remotely workable. Nevermind that you can’t move your site from our server to another. I tried and still have an account with an online design solution called Webflow. I love it for design, effects and almost everything else it does in its own peculiar way. However, the cost is on the high end and migration though clean and workable regards only the design elements, any database connectors are lost and data must be exported out separately. They are putting out features piecemeal, I suppose as we all do. but that feature you’ve been waiting for you need to upgrade to the next level to get.

Well, that kind of harshed my mellow, and I began to look into a solution I walked away from when Muse and Adobe BC stole my attention with false hopes. I joined a reseller program once again and am in the progress of migrating all of my sites back into a traditional server situation with cpanel and whm. Now I can use a different framework for each client if I need to, but that also means I need to at least have a good understanding how each works, enter…WordPress

I Like It – I Like it A lot.

Now I’m back in the Joomla, Drupal, WordPress game and I have to shore up my skills for what I’ve ignored all of this time. There are NEW tools however to make it a little easier, so many in fact that the difficulty is in choosing the one that I will be able to work with most effectively. Do one youtube search for a tutorial and you are inundated with software ads ad nausem. And then there’s Gutenburg, which threatens to make them all obsolete. So right now I’m parsing through Gutenburg and Elementor, since I’ve seen somewhere that the other solutions tend to dump your work if you decide to deactivate them.