The prior site was in Drupal...now I'm a Drupal fan, but I do have to admit that it was difficult to theme and even more difficult to work outside of the framework..I know you need to 'drink the cool-aid' when working with a given CMS framework (Drupal, Joomla, Sharepoint, etc.)...but I was getting tired of the cool-aid. The current site is in CodeIgniter, PHP/MySQL and jQuery. I did look into ExpressionEngine..but decided I wanted as much flexibility as possible...
2 days of not so intense coding.......using a free css theme as a base and building the final theme and code in a quick/iterative process.
- It's not so difficult developing a site QUICKLY without a CMS
- The look is important (that's what the web is - more look then functional complexity)
- Php within a MVC framework (CodeIgniter) is the way to go, keeps the code clean/maintainable and provides a base to work from
- iterative steps reduce time to completion
- jQuery makes web interactive functionality a breeze
- Don't forget any links into the site from external sources (don't use any standard 404 page)
- Don't forget Google Analytics
- build out the admin section
- wait, review metrics, adjust