The claims sound great: "Create your stunning website. It's free." "Create a Free Website, Online Store, or Blog." "A simple & elegant website builder (and it's free)." And given that this is a blog about web design and development, and these sorts of companies are in direct competition with us, you might be thinking that all I'm trying to do is run down the competition to make us look better.
Recently I was asked to build a multi-lingual site that involved each language having its own domain, rather than separate subdomains or subfolders as is often the case. I knew that I would be using ExpressionEngine, I just needed to then decide which multi-lingual add-on would fit the bill.
Any visitors to our Facebook page would realise that we've been following the development of the mobile Internet closely with the take-home message being that more and more, people are using their smart phones and tablets to visit websites. Some of those articles quote different statistics to illustrate this movement, but recently we decided to take a look at the stats for some of the websites that we've developed ourselves.
Here at Tyssen Design, we're big fans of ExpressionEngine and use it for a lot of our work, but it's not always the right fit for every project, so over the last year or so we've been testing out a few alternative content management systems, some of which we've reviewed before.
Today, we're going to look at Processwire, which has been on our radar for a while. It touts its main features as
all custom fields, an easy-to-use jQuery-inspired API, and a powerful selector engine. It was chosen as CMS Critic's best free CMS for 2012, and we know a few people who use it and swear by it, and it's also come up occasionally in comparisons with ExpressionEngine, all reasons which made us want to try it out.
Mobile Internet is massive in Australia; we have nearly 9 million smart phone users, approximately 37% of the population, making us the second most smart phone-friendly nation in the world. More than 2 million Australians use their mobile phone to access the Internet each month (Roy Morgan Research), with more than half doing product searches. In fact, research from Google indicates more than 40% of shopping-related enquiries come from mobile devices, but less than one third of small businesses have a mobile-friendly site.
As you may have noticed, this site has been redesigned recently, and I mentioned in the announcement that I'd talk about some of the work that went into the process. So in this first instalment of what might be a two or three-part series, I'm going to talk about some of what's going on under the hood in (the) ExpressionEngine. In the other parts, I'll cover topics relating to design in general, and aspects of the front-end development. In terms of how sites normally get built, that's a bit backwards, as integrating your design and content into the CMS usually comes last, but most of what I'm going to discuss here relates to Stash, which seems to be a bit of a hot topic at the moment.
To celebrate the relaunch of the site, we're running a special during September. Anyone who books any type of work, whether it be some site maintenance or updates, a redesign, or a completely new site (feel free to pass the message on to people you know as well) before the end of September will receive a 20% discount (up to a maximum of $500).*
Why yes we have, thanks for noticing. After about six years, several attempts including a couple of false starts, and some that only got part of the job done, this site has finally been redesigned. Tyssen Design is now in its third incarnation since having first launched in 2005 (you can see screenshots of the previous two versions below), and the biggest changes are making the site mobile friendly (which has come to be known as Responsive Web Design), completely overhauling and enhacing the portfolio, pushing the boundaries of what can be done with CSS instead of images, and finally making the whole thing run on ExpressionEngine (EE).
Hero Framework is billed as
a white label, open source PHP website content management system (CMS) and development platform which shares the same CodeIgniter framework as ExpressionEngine. It is developed by Electric Function who also created Membrr, the only add-on for EE that (currently) handles subscriptions.