A few months back, I wanted to create an online presence for my band, Daisy’s Gone.
In the past, I would have started from scratch. But I remembered all the domains I’ve
accumulated over the years that are now nothing more than parking pages at my registrar.
It’s generally not hard to throw together a few simple brochure-ware pages. I
certainly could have done just that for my band’s site. However, even simple sites often
have content and behavior that needs to be dynamic.
The obvious solution is to use a content management system (CMS). CMS platforms
such as WordPress and Drupal offer users prebuilt functionality for everything from
creating pages to managing site registration. A full-blown CMS will allow non-technical
users to create and manage content and will allow programmers and designers to extend
the out-of-the-box functionality by creating themes and modules, respectively.
With Daisy’s Gone, I was once again presented with the dilemma of whether to build
a site from scratch or to use a CMS. Fortunately, I remembered how I had seen a then
just-released Orchard CMS used at the NYC Give Camp a few months earlier. Give
Camps match developers and designers with charities who have some unmet technical
need, often a web presence. One of the developer groups built its charity a new website
I remember being quite impressed by how much this team accomplished in one weekend
using this new CMS. So when it came time to start building the website for my
band, I made the choice to use Orchard.
The original Daisy’s Gone website was not much more than a home page. It was primarily
a sandbox for me to learn Orchard. As I write this book, I’m going to create a
new online presence for the band. I’ll walk through the steps of creating a custom look
and feel (themes) and extending Orchard with new functionality (modules).
Whether you are building a new corporate site for your company or a site for the local
youth soccer league, you are likely to have many of the same needs of your CMS.
Building a site for a band is no different. You may need to schedule events, manage
user comments, support OAuth, or have a site map. The content will vary by your
domain, the features much less so.