Menu icon Foundation
CMS JOOMLA / WP Theory of Workflow and Custom HTML Pages...

Ok I am asking this because I want to wrap my head around how one would develop outside of a CMS framework like Joomla, Wordpress or Drupal.

When I come to your world (Foundation, Sass, Skeleton, HTML BoilderPlate, etc), and I like it, you are coding with things like Sublime and http://emmet.io/ Emmet...

You command line projects and built project folders and then go about coding your work. Making beautiful sites.

My world is I am Loading in a Joomla template, creating my custom css sheet and hacking away at the template and bootstrap tie ins to get a site that I want. I yearn to build from scratch.

But I am gathering that one needs to do use and or make a Joomla template to get something that needs to look and feel like what they want. But isn't there a better way?

First question >>> When you make a multiple page website... Do you not code the basic css / sass framework and then go about manually coding in the pages you are going to use? Putting the Nav Bar in the header sections ect???

Why can't I do the same thing in Joomla??? why can't I use the articles to drop in pure HTML and assign the menu item to that article page... Thus giving me the control that you have right now with using the set up you do without a CMS?

I have been doing just that... albeit without Foundation... for my past two projects. I love the design and the way they look. They are exactly how I envision my design and it was pretty easy to do...

I used Jet Menu from CodeCanyon and just custom codded everything.

I feel I am alone in this setup?

but am I wrong? Has anyone else tried this?

Everything in Joomla still works the same. Except when I want to use a module from Joomla or a component I loadposition that module to where I want it. That works so much better for me. I like doing it that way. Again, it is not conventional but isn't creating custom design work without the need of a template what a great web-designer should be doing. coding?

what are your thoughts and have you found your self in a similar thought or situation like the ones I have described. If I got anything wrong about how people without using CMS systems do workflow please correct me and let me know how your process works.

Thanks.

joomlacmsFoundationworkflow

Ok I am asking this because I want to wrap my head around how one would develop outside of a CMS framework like Joomla, Wordpress or Drupal.

When I come to your world (Foundation, Sass, Skeleton, HTML BoilderPlate, etc), and I like it, you are coding with things like Sublime and http://emmet.io/ Emmet...

You command line projects and built project folders and then go about coding your work. Making beautiful sites.

My world is I am Loading in a Joomla template, creating my custom css sheet and hacking away at the template and bootstrap tie ins to get a site that I want. I yearn to build from scratch.

But I am gathering that one needs to do use and or make a Joomla template to get something that needs to look and feel like what they want. But isn't there a better way?

First question >>> When you make a multiple page website... Do you not code the basic css / sass framework and then go about manually coding in the pages you are going to use? Putting the Nav Bar in the header sections ect???

Why can't I do the same thing in Joomla??? why can't I use the articles to drop in pure HTML and assign the menu item to that article page... Thus giving me the control that you have right now with using the set up you do without a CMS?

I have been doing just that... albeit without Foundation... for my past two projects. I love the design and the way they look. They are exactly how I envision my design and it was pretty easy to do...

I used Jet Menu from CodeCanyon and just custom codded everything.

I feel I am alone in this setup?

but am I wrong? Has anyone else tried this?

Everything in Joomla still works the same. Except when I want to use a module from Joomla or a component I loadposition that module to where I want it. That works so much better for me. I like doing it that way. Again, it is not conventional but isn't creating custom design work without the need of a template what a great web-designer should be doing. coding?

what are your thoughts and have you found your self in a similar thought or situation like the ones I have described. If I got anything wrong about how people without using CMS systems do workflow please correct me and let me know how your process works.

Thanks.

nazim zmirli over 1 year ago

No matter what editor you're using, when trying to insert a javascript code you need to switch the editor into the HTML mode first – look for HTML button or tab somewhere around the editor area. With that mode the codes that you enter into editor are treated as exactly the codes and should work.

Christian Matthias over 5 years ago

@Rafi this is just a non-starter... this whole not a coder thing is for the birds. sorry just not my thing and I feel it is a horrible way to learn.

Rafi Benkual over 5 years ago

Hey everyone! Vincent is working on an interesting project with Joomla and Foundation. What do you think about it?

http://foundation.zurb.com/forum/posts/3028-bootstrap-outter-frame-and-wrap-foundationzurb-as-a-inner-frame-on-joomla-yeeditor

Christian Matthias over 5 years ago

Does anyone have any insight on this?

Christian Matthias over 5 years ago

@Jeremy can you outline a few plugins (not sliders) that are in Wordpress that are top class.... for example Joomla has RSForms Pro Acymailing RSEvents Pro Easy Blog Easy Discuss Easy Social Jomsocial Kunena roksprocket just to name a few.... Can you give high quality equivalents like these?

I would love to check them out.

As well, you said comment WP is a content management system... "It shouldn't affect how your website looks."

Does Word Press automatically tie into Boostrap? because Joomla does and it takes a lot to override and adjust the site because of it. Especially when components and extensions are using it too.

Jeremy Englert over 5 years ago

@Christian, I tend to disagree with that. I use Joomla and WordPress both on a daily basis and find WordPress to offer much better plugins and a better user interface. My other issue with Joomla is the upgrade process is much clunkier, causing many themes to need a lot of customization between major updates.

The amount of WordPress plugins is incredible, so sifting through and finding the quality ones can be a challenge, but it is well worth it.

I also tend to disagree with your Toyota/Lamborghini analogy. I view it more like this:

HTML Site = Toyota
WordPress Site = Toyota with Lambo Engine

WordPress is simply a content management system. It shouldn't affect how your website looks. Take control of your CMS, don't let it control you.

Christian Matthias over 5 years ago

@Jeremy, I wouldn't go so far as to say, "just like you can build an HTML" website from scratch. Ultimately you are correct. but that is like saying an 85 Toyota trecel can be faster than a Lamborghini. Yes it is possible but the work around's and hacks to get it to that point would become more and more ridiculous.

The whole point of our discussion and this thread really is to prep Joomla in such a way that we can "build from scratch" like building an HTML website from scratch.

IMHO Wordpress is not as "capable' of doing the what Joomla can do nor do I feel WP has the quality of extensions that Joomla ultimately has. Yes, WP has many but they are so rinky dink I can't find the best quality ones that compare to the best quality Joomla extensions. I would like to know if I am wrong in this aspect.

Robert Stark over 5 years ago

Yes - Jeremy you are right.

You can build a Joomla theme from scratch as well - Joomla already has several foundation themes freely available.

You can also override the components (WP plugins) using template overrides to take advantage of foundation.

I was just outlining my way of de-bootstrapping Joomla and optimizing Joomla for foundation.

Jeremy Englert over 5 years ago

WordPress and Joomla are just content management systems and shouldn't hinder design in anyway. You can build a WordPress theme from scratch just like you can build a HTML website from scratch.

Robert Stark over 5 years ago

HI Christian,

Swimming against bootstrap is not something easy. It means that every component that you want to use for your client you have to overwrite. Rewriting Mijoshop to use foundation took probably 100 hours. Truthfully - I don't think my client would mind/care if I used bootstrap. I just felt like the challenge - but now I have a base for the next e-commerce site I build.

For RSform - I just rewrote their css to work similar to foundation.

when you use a page ID isn't that from overriding css?

Yes - you can overwrite css - you can overwrite froundation as well. Clients look at a psd, approve it and I then code it - that's my way. Its long, frustrating sometimes - but I like to work this way. The more you do it - the faster you get.

JS Plant

Each of my site is customized and has different extensions - so I don't see the use in keeping a common repository. Here are some class examples:

BernScott.com:

mootools.js
mootools-core.js

tg-bases.com - I used the plugin quick2cart - so it put a whole lot of jquery code that I didn't need:

jquery.js
tmpl-common.js
order.js
mootools-core.js
mootools-more.js
modal.js
validate.js
fcvote.js
fcfav.js
jquery.min.js
jquery-noconflict.js
jquery-migrate.min.js
bootstrap.min.js
core.js
namespace.js

I also rewrote quick2cart to offer a catalog checkout linked to RSForm.

As - I use FLEXIcontent for every Joomla component - I also comment bootstrap out in the helper files sometimes.

There isn't anyway to simplify this process as every site I build in Joomla is custom. I customize the administrator for the client, the administrator menus, the dashboard, the template and the fields for the client.

Combine Javascripts
https://developers.google.com/speed/docs/best-practices/rtt#CombineExternalJS

I remove jquery - so I can load it from a CDN such as google as it will increase my page speed score.

Some extensions also like to load multiple instances of jquery as well.

The rest of my js files - I also like to merge all the js files together into a template.js.php.

http://perishablepress.com/compressed-javascript-compression/comment-page-1/

I use this plugin to compress my site:
http://extensions.joomla.org/extensions/core-enhancements/performance/site-performance/12088
- but if I minimize the jquery - it inserts the js files that I remove from my template - so kind of defeats the purpose.

unset css
Google recommends:
https://developers.google.com/speed/docs/best-practices/rtt#CombineExternalCSS

So I unset the css files that extensions put in, and add the ones I require:

https://github.com/Bloggerschmidt/Blank-Template/blob/master/css/template.css.php

Removing Bootstrap from Template
Everything that requires bootstrap will break or cause a js error if you remove it.

I have been doing it since J2.5 - so you need to test and check and test and check.

I don't know what git really is - truthfully I know I should learn it - put it on my to-do list. However, I am a designer/owner who lives in Taiwan (not Thailand nor a province of China) who likes building Joomla sites using Foundation. Now that I have built enough sites - I find it easy enough to change.

Cheers,

Robert

Christian Matthias over 5 years ago

when you use a page ID isn't that from overriding css? that means you would have to really plan around your sass foundation and css stylesheet to do that?

As an idea: do you have a list of components/plugins/modules and the associated code that was removed and or quenched out by JS Plant? Would keeping a repository list like this be worth it to share with everyone? I notice you have a couple up that I would use already like rsforms. That Face CSS... YUP get it out.

Also, you made mentioning of removing js files... Why would you do that? I mean if the extension uses Jquery I dont' mind that as I will have a jquery.min.js file on site. I am only worried about the class call to the bootstrap CSS really.

Again, for the core files exing out the bootstap css will be excluded if we simply don't call it in the template correct?

What do you mean by this? "I also unset all css files and put into one template.css.php file for speed purposes You can get the code from blank.vc template." Can you give an example?

Also, have you ever seen anything severely break?

And what do you think about this?

https://gist.github.com/anonymous/4320768 <<< instead of doing it individually.

Thanks.

Robert Stark over 5 years ago

Hi Christian,

I don't know your target market - so how you run your business is your decision.

With us we don't sell Joomla - we try to solve clients business problems through design. People rarely ask us for a Joomla or WP site - they ask us to solve a problem. If you can find out what that problem is - then you can command a higher price - regardless of the framework/CMS you use.


Point 1

  1. I haven't used K2 - so I can't comment.

  2. We don't enable Front-end Editing for the client, and my guess is they need bootstrap to make changes to the pages - but I haven't tested it.

  3. If you are selling products - clients will need backend access and I really feel that re-branding the Joomla Administrator to the clients needs will enable you to sell a site at a higher cost.

are you in danger of breaking the extensions or components?

Absolutely - you need to overwrite everything in MVC - and remove the code that calls for bootstrap and the extra js that is inserted. We test this by going through the code and also validating each page for errors. We also need to go through each site and test it.
"+ Does the contact form work once the site is live? Can I place an order?"

If you feel you can just paste html then that's fine. Typically - clients want the fastest/easiest/simplest route possible - so that is what we do. I like building new sites rather than fixing broken sites or doing maintenance.

There isn't a right/wrong answer - as you work/sell to clients and structure what you want your business to be - you'll work out your approach.


2nd. HTML pages for clients.

I use 1 template for the whole entire site.

If I want a different look - you can call the page id in your body tag based on the menu. Many of the templates do this.

I also use:

Advanced Module Manager
http://www.nonumber.nl/extensions/advancedmodulemanager

  • so I can assign modules to certain pages or children pages or types.

3rd. Modules + Positioning

I don't know what rocketsproket is, but you could overwrite it so it uses Foundation:

http://www.ostraining.com/blog/joomla/overrides/

We define our pages first - so I know all the fields and all the modules that need to go on the page.

I then create the fields in FLEXIcontent - so the client can insert the modules on the item page and not need to go into the module manager. They can add a slider etc.

Your module positions can be whatever you want them to be - I typically have less than 10 in a site.


4th Menu

You would still need to rewrite mod_menu to how you want it to display. For instance the QBK site will pull product-photos from the bike pages and add it to the menu. My clients don't want to add/re-size a photo every-time they want to add a new bike - so we set it up for them.

Keep exploring Joomla - keep looking at templates. Really get to understand MVC.

Cheers,

Robert

Christian Matthias over 5 years ago

Dude @Robert Stark <<< You made my day. I see all it now a lot clearer. Thank you so much.

Couple more questions and responses.

1st - I think k2 does their own thing with templating as far as css and html is concerned... I will have to see what they're js file is and see if I can stop that. and perhaps their css too.

So what you're saying is just comment out what I am using and that should fine. As well, if my template doesn't use / call in bootstrap stuff then it won't be called? I think I got it. If you uncouple the JS with everything, for styling who cares, are you in danger of breaking the extensions or components? How would you know?

2nd. HTML pages for clients. I get your point but let me ask you this... In my favorable corner, aren't I creating a MUCH easier workflow and quicker design to completion time by doing this? Plus if I need to make a change to a page I can without worrying about making site wide template changes?

Even the way joomla works now with templates... If I want a different look or style on a page I have to copy that template and then adjust it. With my method I would just create a page and drop in the content.

But the client editing their own content. "I have been in sales for years and I am going to side with devs that don't use CMS systems." I don't want client in backend. If my CCK which is extremely front end friendly complete with a wysiwyg editor isn't enough... Even with extra personalized fieldsets. --- too bad. I rather charge my client 20 / 30 / 100 bucks a month and be at their beck and call then have them trying to worry about bothering with their own site.

The firm I work for now, and they do such a hack job, charges between 100 - 500 bucks for "do it for me" marketing and site management. I shit you not. People just don't want to bother with it. Yea it can be cool to upload or change a picture but how often does one have to do that? Even a blog for example which is a lot of content addition and editing is handled with the component via the front end submissions...

To me the back-end is for me and the front end is for the client. And they should be thankful there is that. I have seen amazing front end for certain things like jom social / K2 / easy discuss / doc box / event ohanah / appointment booking pro... etc. I even installed a flicker feed for a client. Where do they upload pics? Flickr. lol they love it.

Going into the backend is like... well, going into the back-end... nobody really wants to go there. lol jokes .

2nd - I love modules and components... this is why I am going to fight so hard for this project to wield to my demands. I won't leave Joomla because of them. I don't think Wordpress people understand the power and capabilities of Joomla extensions.

what I do NOT like about modules is their positioning. Positions... ughhghgh it makes me cringe. I rather code the gird system in. I just rather. so what do I do? {loadposition module-pos-name} and I am done. However, it usually comes with wacky styling. tied to BOOTSTRAP. lol. So thanks I think I can get this to work. Template overrides aren't horrible especially if I can cut them down a bit.

My one question for you is this... When I use a component, lets say roksprocket that is usually in showcase position... - Lets say I create a template with JUST showcase position and a footer. That's it. I want to "grid" my own system based on Foundation. I don't think those two systems would mix - would they?

Well perhaps I guess they might if I defined what row the showcase was in i.e. like the top portion of the site. hmmmmm - So below that could be my custom html grid system from foundation.

does that make sense? so I can define showcase and make a div row system to encase the showcase and then make a module slider and place it there. Can that work? if so that makes sense. However, I could see side navigation or side bar's being a headache with this type of setup - perhaps.

3rd - the menu. Ok this looks the coolest. So I can drop in that php menu encasement and it will be on every site? How does the site know which menu item is the page it is on so that it has an "active" state on the menu page it is on? Is that PHP I have to develop or is it natively in Joomla?

4th - the website links you gave are amazing.

That's it for now.

Again, Thanks.

Robert Stark over 5 years ago

Hi Christian,

I get what you are trying to achieve - and as you build more sites using Foundation/Joomla - you will work out your own way to do it. Joomla templating can be complex - and as you do it - and you work and teach clients to use Joomla! - you will work out your own way of doing it.

Zurb were able to build a Foundation site with Joomla in under 24 hours:
http://zurb.com/wired/rcs

So - keep trying.


Removing JS & CSS from Joomla

Do you mean that the Bootstrap will be removed but some of the components and or extensions are > "baked in with it" so you will still have to override them?

You can use a template to remove css or js:

//css
unset($this->_styleSheets[JURI::root(true).'/components/com_rsform/assets/css/front.css']);

//js
unset($this->_scripts[JURI::root(true).'/components/com_quick2cart/js/order.js']);

It's in siegengine and I think internet-inspired.

However - I find some components still insert it (eg FLEXIcontent,) and the template way doesn't remove it - so I use js Plant - plus I can then put my js code at the bottom. You could also comment out the code in each component that inserts it - however if the client does their own updates its overwritten and gets inserted again.

I also unset all css files and put into one template.css.php file for speed purposes You can get the code from blank.vc template.


Is there anything wrong with using straight HTML?

I wouldn't do it in the article manager as most clients aren't sophisticated enough to edit/know html. The whole goal is making it as simple as possible for the client. Plus if they remove a div - its you who gets the phone call late at night when there site comes crashing down.

I would really recommend reading about simplifying the Admin Process for clients:
http://magazine.joomla.org/issues/issue-nov-2013/itemlist/user/479-randycarey

Its why we use FLEXIcontent CCK. We build sites so that the client can do everything on one page.

If we look at this page the client can do everything on the page:
http://www.qbkmotors.com/scooter/50cc/fact-50

  • insert a sliding banner in a module position at the top
  • add a photogallery
  • put a document for download in the right module position
  • add tabs etc.
  • creating a table

By creating fields - the client will be able to easier edit the information provided. When - I first started Joomla - I thought everyone wanted to be a Super Administrator - but I have come realize that giving clients less choice - makes it easier for them to use.

Every site I build I learn something - and at the moment my biggest goal is to make Joomla even simpler to administrate. Work out with your clients what fields you need - get some sample content and then you know the fields.


Custom Template

If you are building a custom template - its your choice if you want to include a module for certain sections or not. For instance - if the footer contains an address - you could:

  • just write it in the template index.php file - its not going to change
  • have a module position and have everything else styled except for the address which client can change
  • Also with FLEXIcontent Universal Content Module - I call pull any of my content and style it how I like.

Again - there is no right or wrong way to do Joomla! - as long as your client is happy.

Your main menu could look like:

<?php if ($this->countModules('main-menu')) : ?>
       <!--NAV STARTS-->
      <nav class="top-bar">
        <ul>
          <!-- Title Area -->
          <li class="name"><a href="#">Menu</a></li>
          <li class="toggle-topbar"><a href="#"></a></li>
        </ul>
        <section> 
          <!-- Left Nav Section -->
          <jdoc:include type="modules" name="main-menu" style="none" />
          <!-- Left Nav Section --> 

        </section>
        <!--NAV ENDS-->
    <?php endif; ?>

With MVC - you can rewrite how the menus displays. We pulled pictures of bikes for qbk- so that they don't need to insert the picture into the menu.

Which if what I am saying will work then isn't siegeengine and or blank.VC unnecessary?

The templates are opensource with GPL - so you can add or remove any components you like - you can use it as a springboard. I have found all the templates very helpful - as they taught me alot.

Ask yourself "Does the client need to enable or disable bootstrap or change colors?
Does the client need to be able to change the module position of the menu?"

It depends on what you sell them. For my clients no - as the design I do in photoshop and they approve is what they get.

I use many different ones but I will use Kunenea and or Stack Ideas software such as easy discuss or > easy social extensions. Won't I have to have a template position for them some way or some how?

One of my favorite things about Joomla is its MVC structure. With your template it has MVC overrides for components. For instance Mijoshop doesn't use Foundation - but we overwrote it using template overrides to handle it. You can do the same with the components above and their modules - but it is time consuming.

Saying you don't like modules - doesn't really make sense to me as its part of Joomla.


Workflow

My workflow is about getting paid - as clients pay me (30%/40%/30%) for Contract/Design Approval/Final Site.

I like to do a hard code after design phase - so the client has one last look at the site - I visualize that better than using php. However - for more complex sites I am starting to prototype.

I really like these articles by New Fangled:
+ http://www.newfangled.com/the_way_you_design_web_content_is_about_to_change
+ http://www.newfangled.com/the_web_development_process_from_start_to_finish

Joomla can be simple or complex - its up to you.

Cheers,

Robert

Christian Matthias over 5 years ago

@Robert Stark...

THANK YOU... You get me. You get what the heck I am saying.

Let me clear some things up because you have obviously spent time figuring out similar things I have and found a method to get around them.

Before I get started I wanted to ask a question. When you say "Joomla is coupled with Bootstrap so you will have a lot of overrides... And then say "6. I use JSPlant plugin to ensure that bootstrap/jquery etc are removed:
http://extensions.joomla.org/extensions/core-enhancements/performance/scripts-optimization/19634
as some components force bootstrap inside" <<< Do you mean that the Bootstrap will be removed but some of the components and or extensions are "baked in with it" so you will still have to override them?

THANK YOUUUUU!!!! As well, is there just a manual way to remove them? I would rather not install an extension if I can just manually remove them.

To the html part... I use http://www.rockettheme.com/joomla/extensions/rokpad it is free and is class act in my opinion. Code goes in and never changes... There is no wysiwyg. I attach Js and css sheets too... seems to do everything. I have put in straight as well.

My question for you is... and this was a debate among another dev... Is there anything wrong with using straight HTML? Yes the client won't be able to change content via the backend... could still do it in the front end. But What are your general thoughts on building sites like pure html inside of joomla articles or a cck item (I do this now)? I have heard my arguments for (pure content creation) and against (people won't be able to edit in the backend).

Which brings me to my next point... You say in #8 use a cck for the client to make content edit to the site. Totally agree and I believe they should only do anything through the front end.

Here is a great article comparing the CCK's for joomla.

http://y-designs.com/blog/joomla-cck-comparison.html#.UwQGnvldWSo

**Which now brings me to the beggining of your response 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Why go through the trouble of making a Joomla "template?" Just to assign module positions? Doesn't this rip away some of the beauty of Foundation and its awesome grid system that is so fluid and responsive?

This is the part that has me pondering my workflow the most. I can add any module I want where I want by using loadposition. My question becomes... If I do a mix... pure html drop in and certain positions with Joomla and then assign a module wont' the positioning and everything get screwed up and mixed? Just wanted to know your opinion on this. i just feel the "module position from Joomla is not a good system." I dislike it a lot actually.

Now, here is where it for sure will get a little tricky. Say I use a menu item extension. I use many different ones but I will use Kunenea and or Stack Ideas software such as easy discuss or easy social extensions. Won't I have to have a template position for them some way or some how? When their styling comes in will bootstrap take over or will it be the pure styling from their extension? I know appointmentbooking pro has a blank CSS sheet that I style on my own all of the time. I don't mind doing overides for components like that. But I just wanted to know if some type of template will be needed for them to position their content in some way.

Which if what I am saying will work then isn't siegeengine and or blank.VC unnecessary? Or in fact maybe they are just perfect for what it is I am trying to do. Meaning, can I go even lighter than what they offer and or can I do more to make it more streamlined like remove bootstrap and jquery from all instances...

Thus, dropping in my html from and assign foundation files and direct's and keep it moving?

What do you think?

Lastly, when you say you create your custom HTML... for the home page eg... How much of a pain is it to then make into a template or would it just be better to use that custom HTML and drop it in and use it.

I make sites like this with K2 cck and love doing it. I just HATE HATE HATE fighting with Bootstrap to get out of the way.

Hope I made sense but I am really trying to merge a pretty cool workflow here.

your time and response is appreciated.

Robert Stark over 5 years ago

Why can't I do the same thing in Joomla??? why can't I use the articles to drop in pure HTML and assign > the menu item to that article page

You could disable the html article editor in Joomla if you so desire:
+ https://www.gavick.com/documentation/general-questions/how-to-disable-html-filters-in-joomla-and-editors/
+ http://docs.joomla.org/Entering_raw_HTML_in_editors

Then you can drop in all the code you like. You could also use nonumber sorcerer:
http://www.nonumber.nl/extensions/sourcerer

which enables you to insert unedited code.

Robert Stark over 5 years ago

Hi,

I have created a few sites using Foundation & Joomla:

  • bernscott.com (Joomla CMS 3.2/Mijoshop E-Commerce/FLEXIcontent)
  • tgs-bases.com (Joomla CMS 3.2 + FLEXIcontent)
  • rite2water.com (Joomla CMS 2.5 + FLEXIcontent)
  • qbkmotors.com (Joomla CMS 2.5 + FLEXIcontent)

I created custom templates for each of these projects. Joomla 3.2 is coupled with bootstrap - so you will have a lot of custom overrides to swap.

My process is:
1. design homepage in photoshop
2. build a custom static html site using foundation (eg homepage) - I use dreamweaver but you could you what you are most comfortable with
3. then start to build my joomla template - I have studied or used as a base:
+ http://blank.vc/
+ http://www.siegeengine.org/
to work out what I want - but end up modifying it
4. Work out the module positions that you want in your template:
http://docs.joomla.org/Module_positions - you could have module position for example:
+ header
+ left
+ right
5. Put the module positions in your .xml template file
6. I use JSPlant plugin to ensure that bootstrap/jquery etc are removed:
http://extensions.joomla.org/extensions/core-enhancements/performance/scripts-optimization/19634
as some components force bootstrap inside
7. Use Joomla overrides for components/modules in your template:
http://docs.joomla.org/How_to_override_the_output_from_the_Joomla!_core
8. Use a CCK - so the client doesn't have to worry about code. I like FLEXIcontent.org.
9. I then redesign/rebrand the Joomla Administrator to make it easier for the client.

The point of a CMS is to give your clients a tool so that they can update their site themselves. If you are able to sell a static site to your client - go for it.

Joomla has a learning curve. There is a Joomla way of doing things - and I think it takes people time to adapt - I spent a week pulling my hair out - but now I get it and can build any site I want to in Joomla. I was also recently inspired by:

http://brian.teeman.net/joomla/815-is-joomla-really-easy