May 17, 2012
Working with Frog CMS
My personal website was something I had a lot of pride in, because I wrote every bit of code from the HTML to the CSS entries. The problem is, it was a beast to maintain. For my blog I use Wordpress.org’s download that I’ve had to lock down significantly to keep it clean (after two reinstalls, I’m wavering on using Wordpress). And while I have some experience with Wordpress in the past, I’m not sure I want to use them to serve up my personal website. So I started looking at Content Management Systems (CMS).In searching for a good content management system, I looked for something well known and highly customizable. I started with Joomla!, which has had a lot of recommendations and is apparently a very powerful CMS used in the web industry. I downloaded and installed it on my test domain to get a feel for it, and didn’t like it. It was way too cumbersome to manage for a little website like mine, and very difficult to work my way around in it. It took me two days to figure out each part of my website, and that’s a huge learning curve.So, burned on that (and glad I didn’t replace my original website yet), I started shopping around. I came across a website that recommended a lot of different management systems, and mentioned Frog CMS. They said it was a small, simple CMS system that was pretty flexible for most things (easy to set up a blog with it, for example), and it was simple to use.So, I visited their website http://www.madebyfrog.com/, to see what it could do for me. About five minutes reading through the extensions did it for me: I was ready to do my install. The download was simple, but the setup wasn’t that simple, though after a few tries and getting the right password for my MySQL server (very critical there!), it was up and running on my test domain. Within an hour, I had a great template with which to work, and another hour had the CSS styled exactly as I wanted it (minus a few little tweaks).Migrating the initial web content from my old website took a little doing, but after another hour I had my website the way I wanted it, with all my images set correctly, Header and Footer built up and exactly the way I wanted it, and all without having to look too hard for each component.The strength of Frog CMS, from what I can see, is that it doesn’t deviate too far from the standard web page setup. It keeps it simple for web developers who feel comfortable with HTML and CSS, and it’s really easy to create a nice HTML5 friendly website using any of the existing templates. All the templates are easy to reconfigure with a little CSS or HTML knowledge, making it a great platform for any website.So that was my experience using Frog CMS. I’d recommend it to anyone starting a new website that just wants something simple and easy to configure without a lot of hassle. Granted, it’s not what your big office will be using to build their site, but for anyone just looking for great content management without the bells and whistles, this one definitely takes the cake.