Ask DN: Dynamic website for musician, any solution without CMS?

over 7 years ago from , Media & Interaction design student @ Hogeschool Utrecht

Hey DN,

A friend of mine asked me to try and create a website for them. Basically the main features would consist of a portfolio page with all the songs he wrote, and a blogging feature.

Now this should be quite doable with Wordpress or any of the other well known CMSs' for that matter. But I really do not yet have the developing skills to either build a theme myself or edit one enough to craft it to my needs design wise.

I was wondering if any of you had some pointers for good technique or framework to use. I know of some solutions like Jekyll. That one might be too simple for the needs again.

I might be asking for a unicorn here so please tell me if it is impossible what im trying to do.

Thanks DN.


  • Pramesh AttwalaPramesh Attwala, over 7 years ago

    Why not try Squarespace?

    10 points
  • Nick HileyNick Hiley, over 7 years ago

    Give Ghost.org a go. For theming it uses templating system called handlebars, basically making development a breeze

    4 points
  • Moma VujisicMoma Vujisic, over 7 years ago (edited over 7 years ago )

    Your two best options are Kirby or Squarespace.

    Depending on how much work you want to do.

    1 point
  • Jonathan YapJonathan Yap, over 7 years ago

    There is also Cloud Cannon that lets you run things off dropbox.

    0 points
  • Alice PhieuAlice Phieu, over 7 years ago (edited over 7 years ago )

    What happens after the website is created? Will you be responsible for managing the website and making sure everything is up-to-date? If not, do you know if anyone in the band knows how to code? If not, I would avoid Jekyll and go with a CMS. I know a lot of bands who use WordPress.com for their websites. It's free, easy to maintain.. it does the job for what your friend needs. Further down the road, you should look into SquareSpace and Bandzoogle if the band wants to have an online store, set up digital downloads, and other features.

    0 points
  • Matthew BlodeMatthew Blode, over 7 years ago

    I have been using Jekyll whilst creating my blog and it's fairly easy to use. If you don't have programming skills, that shouldn't be too much of any issue as it is largely based in CSS HTML. I got my personal website almost desgined, coded and styled in a week (on and off): Note that it is still incomplete: http://mblode.github.io

    0 points
  • Razvan HRazvan H, over 7 years ago

    To be honest, I wouldn't use Jekyll. Jekyll is fun but writing an article takes a lot more time. I only know of one blogger that blogs a lot and uses Jekyll.

    It would be hard for your friend to blog using it. Just go with wordpress. Try to find a developer to help you build the theme.

    0 points
    • Thibault MaekelberghThibault Maekelbergh, over 7 years ago

      Jekyll is tons easier to write a blog article + it has Markdown support out of the box which makes it far more extensible than Wordpress' Rich Text Editor.

      I'd try to avoid getting on board of Wordpress these days, because there are so many better, easier and more adaptive solutions like Node CMS's, static site generators (like Jekyll) or real CMS's like Kirby and Craft.

      0 points
      • Razvan HRazvan H, over 7 years ago

        So you think that a non technical person would find it easier to blog using Jekyll than Wordpress?

        I would bet a lot of money that this is not the case.

        1 point
        • Thibault MaekelberghThibault Maekelbergh, over 7 years ago

          Well if you look at the way how Stackexchange has a visual editor that basically just writes Markdown, I think it's easier for both clients & developers. Something like that must certainly be possible for Jekyll.

          0 points
  • Steve EdsonSteve Edson, over 7 years ago

    I'd say Jekyll would be ideal for this. Blogging comes naturally, and the portfolio items could be used in collections.

    0 points