Is it best to install a CMS before you design a website?


Feb 28, 2008
Hello people,

Any advice on this will be appreciated:

can a CMS be used on a website that has already been made with html/css, and a bit of java and php? I have installed Joomla to a seperate directory on my site and I don't seem to be able to access my html files which are on the public_html dir.

A seperate question, but relevant to the last, I feel, is: is it easier and a better idea to install a CMS before designing a website, and then designing it with said CMS? Can you upload your own html template to a CMS to use?

Thanks for any advice.



Well-Known Member
Oct 4, 2007
Hi Dynamis,

Not sure what's happening with the first part of your question. You've installed Joomla on your account but don't have access to the files for Joomla?

When it comes to design (and this is completely a personal preference) - I design all my CMS sites as firstly as a single static page - and then change the dynamic parts (menus, banner image locations, content and boxed content) to be loaded through my own CMS systems.

I feel that when designing "around" a CMS systems (like Joomla for example) - I am limited to changing only the boxes and menu items that Joomla give me access to - and then I end up with a site looking like the majority of the internet.

However, you'll probably find it easier to "theme" a joomla site, rather than "design" - by first installing Joomla and then editing the template html files and CSS.

Another thing which most people do with Joomla is find a free open-source theme on the internet, and then customise that theme to suit your needs.

Just my 2 cents for the morning. :)

Hope it helps.