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View Poll Results: Which method is best for web app?

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  • Rails

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  • Django

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  • Wordpress

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  • Drag and Drop (Wix, Squarespace, Weebly)

    1 100.00%
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Thread: Best Method to Develop Web APPLICATION (Rails, Django, Wordpress, Squarespace, Wix)

  1. #1
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    Best Method to Develop Web APPLICATION (Rails, Django, Wordpress, Squarespace, Wix)

    PLEASE HELP!

    I've done a fair bit of research, however am pretty overwhelmed with the number of different options for developing a web application and how to decide on one.

    The apps primary function is to streamline/automate business operations and serve as the main database with the following capabilities:
    • Secured login system for different user accounts (admin, owner, general, etc.)
    • Upload, edit, delete, and share documents
    • Share calendar events and store, categorize, filter and view data/information
    • Support mobile, tablet, and desktop views
    • Ability to charge users/businesses a monthly subscription fee
    I know some HTML, CSS and Python, however have never done anything like this before.

    I've come across the following options, however am still a bit confused on the differences between them and which one will best suit my needs.
    1. Content Management System (CMS) - Wordpress, Drupal, Joomla
    2. WYSIWYG Drag and Drop - Squarespace, Wix, Weebly
    3. Coding - Ruby Rails, Django Python
    I don't have much coding experience, however haven't found a lot of info on using a CMS or Drag and Drop editor to create a web APP, rather just a website.

    Any help/suggestions on which method to choose, how to get started, helpful resources/examples, or any other useful information is much appreciated!

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    If you are not an experienced web developer, then my first suggestion would be to see if there is an existing CMS out there that will fulfill (most) of your needs. I don't see option 2 being of use for a site with the level of complexity you are discussing, though admittedly I've never used those, so could be wrong.

    You still may need some version of option 3 to handle anything the best-fitting CMS does not handle, or creating your own plug-in to the CMS to do those things -- which means learning something about that CMS's internals, most likely.
    "Well done....Consciousness to sarcasm in five seconds!" ~ Terry Pratchett, Night Watch

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  3. #3
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    PS: You could start here to get a view of the many open-source CMS options: http://www.opensourcecms.com/
    "Well done....Consciousness to sarcasm in five seconds!" ~ Terry Pratchett, Night Watch

    How to Ask Questions the Smart Way (not affiliated with this site, but well worth reading)

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  4. #4
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    after all, a website is nothing else than an app itself, so that might make the line of thought a bit easier.
    An easily usable CMS would be a perfect fit for this purpose. Or, to be more precise, a CMS-based website.

  5. #5
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    PS. as for the many differences between Wordpresss, Drupal and Joomla, it really doesn't matter that much as far as the functionality is concerned. All 3 allow for a perfect realisation of the above app. The difference could be made by details such as the degree of app usage and internal capacities of your business as far as future updates are concerned.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the replies so far. It seems a WYSIWYG editor is out given the complexity of what I'm looking for. As for a CMS editor like Wordpress, is it worth it to try and learn if I will end up having to implement some Python or other programming on top of it anyway?

  7. #7
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    You would be using php on top of Wordpress, as that is the language that powers its plugins and the system itself. And yes, I would estimate it is worth trying as Wordpress could still be the easiest of all CMS, yet powerful enough for what you need (considering all the free plugins available).

  8. #8
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    But is it worth it over something like Django with Python? Is one significantly easier to learn over the other?

  9. #9
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    With WordPress, you just (just?) install the application, install any plug-ins you want to add, choose and install (and modify?) a theme, and configure some settings via the admin panel.

    With Python/Django (or Ruby/Rails or PHP/Laravel or C#/.NET...), you pull down and configure the framework code, and then you start programming. While the framework takes care of many of the down-in-the-weeds things so that you do not have to program them, you still need to design and implement the database, write the models to interact with that data, write the controllers to accept user requests and interact with the data via the models, and then hand off data to the views where you format the output to be sent to the browser. This rather obviously gives you a lot more direct control over what the application does, but then means you have to tell it how to do it.

    Which is "better" depends on whether WP or some other CMS can do what you need without a lot of tweaking, or if you need to build something new that is not easily done with a CMS, or if you need tight control over what it is doing (maybe security and financial concerns?) where you don't want to trust 3rd-party code.
    "Well done....Consciousness to sarcasm in five seconds!" ~ Terry Pratchett, Night Watch

    How to Ask Questions the Smart Way (not affiliated with this site, but well worth reading)

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  10. #10
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    That is an exact explanation.

  11. #11
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    Great, that helps. How likely do you think it is that WordPress will be able to do everything I'm looking for? I haven't heard of many app-style websites made through WP (or any other CMS editor for that matter) and would like to avoid going down the rabbit hole and leaning something only to realize half way through it will not fulfill my needs.
    Thanks!

  12. #12
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    I suspect it's all do-able with WordPress (or Joomla, Drupal, etc.), once you locate the appropriate plug-ins. However, I've never tried it, and personally spend my coding time further down in the weeds of database and server-side code, so I'm the wrong guy to ask for specifics of CMS usage.
    "Well done....Consciousness to sarcasm in five seconds!" ~ Terry Pratchett, Night Watch

    How to Ask Questions the Smart Way (not affiliated with this site, but well worth reading)

    My Blog
    cwrBlog: simple, no-database PHP blogging framework

  13. #13
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    Also, another question about WordPress: do I have to purchase web space form a dedicated hosting service first? This is the only method I've heard of so far, but I'd rather not pay a monthly fee for some web space while I'm developing the site. Seems a bit backwards to me.

  14. #14
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    You can set up your own Apache/PHP/MySQL stack on your local PC to develop and test. For Windows I recommend wampserver. For other OS's, XAMPP can be used. (It can also be used on Windows, but I like the Wampserver interface better.)

    You could also use a Docker image, I suppose, but I wouldn't mess with that unless you've already worked with Docker, as there's a learning curve to deal with.
    "Well done....Consciousness to sarcasm in five seconds!" ~ Terry Pratchett, Night Watch

    How to Ask Questions the Smart Way (not affiliated with this site, but well worth reading)

    My Blog
    cwrBlog: simple, no-database PHP blogging framework

  15. #15
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    Sweet. So I've downloaded Wordpress and am playing around with it on a local server. I will continue doing research, but after looking through several of the plugins I think will be necessary for my web app, it seems they all cost money.
    Out of curiosity and for those of you familiar with both Wordpress and Django, is there something similar in Django to Wordpress' wpdatatables plugin? I need an interactive data table in which the user can add, edit, delete, export to excel/pdf, etc.

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