fractalflux

Is Processwire a good fit for me?

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Hi Everyone

Today i have been looking into using Processwire and i am impressed with what i have been reading about it.

I create my own sites for fun and have been using Joomla for some years but i have decided to change CMS for quite a few reasons including the fact that i would like a lot more flexibilty from a CMS which is why Processwire has caught my attention.

I am more a designer than developer at the moment and i can code in HTML, CSS and a little PHP. I would like to learn more about the dev side of things so am happy to invest the time in learning this CMS.

My questions is:

Do you think that it would be a reasonable idea to learn to use processwire for creating and running my own few sites or would it be overkill?

 

Thanks for your time

Fractalflux

 

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Hi Fractalflux, I'm also a designer with a lot of HTML/CSS experience but very minimal PHP. It can be challenging, but once you wrap your head around where to place the processwire/php tags, you can do quite a bit. I was really struggling when I got started, but with some help from the forums I'm wrapping up a website that has a lot of functionality. I chose this route because as someone who is more confident just writing my HTML and CSS by hand, I was looking for a CMS that would let me do as much by hand as possible, and I didn't want to get into WP etc. and something where all my options were pre-cooked modules that I had to code AROUND. I've had enough of coding around pre-made systems.

I think once you know the basics of how to create your templates, and how to make sure your links/images show up correctly, it's basically back to HTML/CSS mode.

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Thanks for your reply ryanC, that sounds good. I know exactly what you mean regarding the pre-cooked modules etc. It can get frustrating and time consuming which is why the philosophies of processwire appeal to me.

Ok, cool i will make the jump and start by reading lots of posts and documentation to become familiar with things.

 

Thanks again 

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1 hour ago, fractalflux said:

Do you think that it would be a reasonable idea to learn to use processwire for creating and running my own few sites or would it be overkill?

That reminds me of when I first came to ProcessWire. My impression was that PW was really powerful so I expected it to be difficult to use and so I thought "I'll only use PW for really complex sites that need it". But as soon as I had built my first site I knew I was never going to use anything but PW from that point on, even for basic brochure sites.

Once you have understood the basics then development with PW is super fast. For developing custom sites (i.e. excluding off-the-shelf themes tied to a specific CMS, and who wants to work on those anyway?) I think PW is the fastest, most intuitive and most elegant framework out there.

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Thanks Robin S, you have assured me that PW will more than suit my needs. The site i am working on at the moment will be a content rich site so lots of pages and it sounds like PW will be easily up to the task.

I am looking forward to having control over the whole process and not limited like i am at the moment.

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When someone first introduced me to Processwire, I spent about 20 minutes reading the documentation and I knew enough to start building things with it. In contrast, I spent about two hours reading Wordpress documentation, and I still didn't find it incredibly clear if I wanted to build a site from scratch as opposed to just grabbing an existing theme and plugins.

If you come from a CMS where you can just install ready-made themes and plugins, Processwire can seem a bit minimalistic, but once you work out how fields and templates work, you realise you can do what other systems can require multiple plugins for out of the box, built into the core CMS.

There are modules (in place of plugins) that can speed up development. I found the SITE PROFILE EXPORTER module very handy, as once I'd built a few sites, I could duplicate much of the setup quickly and easily from an existing site if I really wanted to copy anything.

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11 hours ago, fractalflux said:

Hi Everyone

Today i have been looking into using Processwire and i am impressed with what i have been reading about it.

I create my own sites for fun and have been using Joomla for some years but i have decided to change CMS for quite a few reasons including the fact that i would like a lot more flexibilty from a CMS which is why Processwire has caught my attention.

I am more a designer than developer at the moment and i can code in HTML, CSS and a little PHP. I would like to learn more about the dev side of things so am happy to invest the time in learning this CMS.

My questions is:

Do you think that it would be a reasonable idea to learn to use processwire for creating and running my own few sites or would it be overkill?

 

Thanks for your time

Fractalflux

 

I can guarantee you you will find PW easier than Joomla, I used to code in Joomla 

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I absolutely understand the position you are in. In my 20 years I saw a lot of CMS, switched because they took a wrong turn in development, or were overcomplicated.

With PW I finally feel at home.

Let me give you some advice in the steps you should take:

  1. Install PW locally with the intermediate profile
  2. Look at the templates, especially _main.php, _func.php and what's going on in there
  3. Then take a look at Selectors. Read for a while and play with them in your template
  4. Create new fields, add them to templates and use your new knowledge with selectors!
  5. Look at imagefields, text and textarea
  6. It won't take long untill your first Aha-experience!
  7. Play with the structure of your pages and adapt your selectors(select parents, parent->parent and children)
  8. Bookmark the Cheatsheet and look at it often

It won't take long - believe me. And a whole new world of possibilities will open up to you!

I have been there.

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I've been mostly a designer too. Up until the end of 2015 I was creative director and my coding days were more than 10 years behind me.

I wouldn't suggest anything else. It's super flexible and the API is so straightforward that you'll need little more than to learn how to use a foreach loop in PHP to get on with it.

You also have a great community willing to help in this forum, something that frankly I haven't seen anywhere else, coding related or not.

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Wow, i am blown away by all the nice and helpful replies on this thread.

I spent last night reading the tutorials and it all makes a lot of sense, in fact to be honest it sounds amazing. It already feels like i have been stumbling around in the dark with using other CMS'es.

I have got a local version on my lamp stack which i am playing around with and the logic behind everything makes a lot of sense already.

I haven't been this excited about using new software in a long time.

Thanks for all your replies and i would like to say what a friendly and welcoming community this is! 

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@fractalflux welcome to the forum. I was a designer with plenty of css/html experience. 16 months later after starting with PW, built 5 sites and have improved JS and PHP skills. Go for it! Was well worth it for me, plus the forum has amazing members.

You can also check out my tutorials site which is aimed at beginners/designers just starting out.

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30 minutes ago, SamC said:

You can also check out my tutorials site which is aimed at beginners/designers just starting out.

Thanks SamC, i will have a look at your site now.

It is impressive how much functionality is built into the core and i have only just scratched the surface. 

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19 minutes ago, fractalflux said:

It is impressive how much functionality is built into the core and i have only just scratched the surface. 

I think you'll really enjoy PW. I came from Umbraco CMS, then Drupal 7, with Wordpress/Craft CMS in-between. PW is by a long way my favourite to use (I did like Craft though, but not the price tag per site for multiple users/granular permissions). Having complete control over the output is really important to me.

In fact, a bunch of the stuff I've done easily with PW, I don't even know how to do in the other CMSs.

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1 hour ago, SamC said:

I think you'll really enjoy PW. I came from Umbraco CMS, then Drupal 7, with Wordpress/Craft CMS in-between. PW is by a long way my favourite to use (I did like Craft though, but not the price tag per site for multiple users/granular permissions). Having complete control over the output is really important to me.

In fact, a bunch of the stuff I've done easily with PW, I don't even know how to do in the other CMSs.

I have to admit I like Umbraco as an ASP.Net CMS as it has a similar philosophy to Processwire where everything is customisable, and you can create templates with whatever fields you like out of the box. ASP.Net is both its strength and weakness though in that if you need an ASP.Net based solution, Umbraco is good, but most of the time a PHP based solution is fine. I think Processwire is easier for beginners without a lot of coding experience. I like Umbraco's permissions system better, and the separation between document types and templates is handy if you need multiple templates for the same data, but just creates extra work if you don't. I'd say Processwire's documentation is outstanding, and quite apart from the CMS itself is part of what sets it apart.

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1 hour ago, Kiwi Chris said:

I have to admit I like Umbraco as an ASP.Net CMS as it has a similar philosophy to Processwire where everything is customisable, and you can create templates with whatever fields you like out of the box.

Yeah, I liked that, and one of the reasons I like PW too. The templating reminded me of twig, which was one of the reasons I liked Craft. The tree looks somewhat familiar too: https://our.umbraco.org/documentation/Getting-Started/Backoffice/#tree

Not going back though :) 

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