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Awesome Web Development With Webpop

I'm proud to be part of the team founders of Webpop, so this thought is kind of biased, but try Webpop first and you'll see.

Next thought

Previous thought

We started Webpop with clear goals in mind. Webpop was started from scratch but we all had plenty of experience with several CMS's. I'm not talking here of having used Wordpress for a bunch of projects, but having tweaked, hacked and stretched Wordpress, ExpressionEngine, Textpattern, Drupal, and several others. We also know and love the web, with passion, and this is something you can breath at Webpop.

Use your existing skills as a designer

One of the main goals we had was that the designer would not need to learn a new toy. Some CMS forces you to learn skills like using a convoluted control panel, having to add some "html blocks" here and there, or injecting a fixed HTML from some theme that you can't control, etc. Instead, we give you a file tree of public files, template files and extensions. The public file tree is plain simple, like an FTP to the root of your site, so if you create a robots.txt file in there, it becomes the /robots.txt file. That is, nothing more, nothing less. This is where you'll put your assets like the CSS files, images for the design and some JavaScript libraries.

The templates file tree is where all your templates go. Initially, a template file ending with a .tpl extension is nothing more than an HTML file on steroids. They are not directly referenced by the public URL, but they get "called" or brought to life by the content. For example, the root section (Home page, if you like), calls the index.tpl by default. Sounds like an index.html, isn't it?

The extensions file tree is another beast. It's intended to hold JavaScript files that execute on the server. That is, JavaScript on the server, you're not supposed to run jQuery there, my friend. :-) We follow the CommonJS specification for extensions, having severals modules to "require" and you can "export" functions which will be available as a tag in your templates. I will be talking about extensions in a later thought.

Easy as pie for your clients

Another goal we took seriously is that to be attractive for agencies and freelancers, we need a system for an end client to update site contents without much hassle. And we made it. We ended up with a system that is easy as pie for your client to edit the content they are supposed to change. And this is cornerstone, the content they are supposed to change.

You, as the designer, have the power to decide what is editable and what not. For instance, all text you manually write in the templates HTML is not editable, so your client will never touch the HTML or break the design in a weird way. But on the other hand, all fields you use for the content are fully editable, so your client is free to change a tittle, a description for some product or the images of some galleries (provided that the images are part of a content, not statically written in the HTML).