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What's the best solution for setting up editable templates for client?

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Jason Connolly
What's the best solution for setting up editable templates for client?
on Feb 28, 2002 at 4:18:28 pm

Hello the COW!

I have a client that wants me to design their site with editable pages that they can modify from any computer, both pics and text. Essentially, they want to swap information week to week. Simple, right? Maybe. The client doesn't want to learn HTML, nor do they have the budget to outsource to a professional web host to set up Cold Fusion templates, etc.

I use Dreamweaver, Flash, Fireworks, PhotoShop, Illustrator and Cleaner to design sites. Does anybody have a suggestion on accomplishing this? I've already warned the client that it may involve some expense for software, etc. Any advice is appreciated!


Thanks, Jason

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curtis thompson
Re: What's the best solution for setting up editable templates for client?
on Feb 28, 2002 at 4:50:57 pm


there is indeed software out there that can do this, but you can also consider doing a simple version in any sort of scripting language that can parse file uploads (for images) and write to text files (for the html). depending on what their server setup is, they might not have access to some of these languages, but the more comon ones these days are perl, php, java, c/c++, cold fusion, etc...

this said (and i can go into more details about writing one if you'd like), you basically have the following options:

1. buy the expensive software

2. write your own simple system to allow for uploads and updates

3. contract someone out to do a system

4. talk them out of it and set up a deal where you agree to promptly update their site for them (within a reasonable time window) for $[X] per updated page (or whatever - an hourly rate, etc.)

each one of these has their merits, obviously, but i would tend to try to talk them into #4, just because it avoids the headache of someone who has no real idea what they're doing messing up the site and calling you anyway. if there is an update system, you can give them a preview page and insert other safety buffers, but the reality is that there's a good chance that something could go wrong. you can also bet that if it does, they're not going to have the old copy or images and you're going to have to go in and manually attempt to undo what they've again, a fancy system can archive first, etc. but it is sort of a loaded gun, imho. obviously this solution has to be presented not as you trying to make a ton of money off of them, but as you trying to help stave off a rather unpleasant scenario down the road where they really mess something up because they're not sure what they're doing...

if you're interested in seeing what it would take to do it, though (#2 or #3) and you think your client is competent enough to take on maintaining their own site, then let us know (if you're interested in a bid to write such a system, you can contact me off list and i can look into it for you)...

hope that helps!


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