Trying SilverStripe for the first time

By Stuart Shum, Posted on 14/02/2015

I have created a new blog! But... This time I decided to try something new. In the past I have preferred to create sites from scratch or use a minimal framework that allowed me as much control as possible. This of course had major positives, however the drawbacks included creating sites were very time consuming, having to setting up databases, checking security, etc.

I've used CodeIgniter, which is amazing, many times for various projects, but I wanted something that could really manage my content so I didn't have to spend too much time adding articles to my website (such as this one).

So I took to Google and started research. The standard blogging tools popped up, Wordpress, Joomla etc. I wanted to stay clear of these. Wordpress because I wanted a website with a blog attached, not just a blog (Yes I know many people have used Wordpress for websites). I have never used Joomla, but it did seem overkill for that I wanted. 

SilverStripe

This is when I found SilverStripe, an OpenSource CMS and Framework which looked perfect for what I wanted. I downloaded and installed it from SilverStripe.com. The whole process was very straight forward. I also found some addons such as Disqus and also extended my basic site to be able to include customised pages.

The first main thing I wanted to do is change the template. I have used Twitter's Bootstrap before so I decided to give that another go. It was a fairly straight forward process to implement a theme in SilverStripe.

The next step was to extend the site, I used their tutorials (http://www.silverstripe.org/learn/lessons/) which was useful and clearly took me through the steps.

I added some pages with ease and my new site was ready!

How could it be improved?

I found the WYSIWYG editor a bit too basic, it would be great if that could be improved. I found it a little tricky to add images and javascript widgets were a no. To get around the widgets I added a new 'page' template and hard coded in my widget, not a huge problem but would have been nice if I could directly enter it in the CMS.

Overall

Overall I am very happy with SilverStripe. I think I will try extending it and sharing any addons I create.

 

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