While I often do WordPress websites, yesterday evening I was helping the organisers of the Beyond Architecture exhibition to setup a website that was hosted on Cargo, displaying 24 exhibitors projects. It’s my first time trying out cargo, a cms simplified for display of projects in a portfolio manner, featuring a project grid view, automatic image resize on upload, and a fairly simple to use css tool called inspector.
We bought their upgraded version at USD 66 per year, allow us to point our own domain and remove the limit of 15 projects in free mode. Storage is 6gb which is plenty, however since server does not keep high resolution image, all uploaded image are resampled, it’s hard to use up much space anyways.
I learnt how to use the tool in thirty minutes, it is definitely not the most intuitive system to pick up. However documentation are well written and controls are fine down to switches to enable or disable auto links, navigation, comments especially the ugly text navigation.
There are down side of the system if you are comparing it to a WordPress, not to mention that there is no plugin to install. Most disturbing is the image upload that is slow and buggy, restricting file size not more then 6mb. Since the system resize my image anyways, this restriction creates an unnecessary step for me to preprocess the photos uploaded by exhibitors. While the system resize my image to the template (design) setting, and it does not keep my original copy. Modifying the template setting will not initiate a image resize. This means that if you restyle your template after you have uploaded some image, you will need to reupload the inserted image and thumbnail.
There is however a nice feature worth mentioning, the template systems was installed with a tool called inspector, which displays an on screen window, showing the related css style of the element that you clicked. You can quickly edit the css rules in the window and get immediate update. This tool simplifies the process of finding and spoting which line of cold in the CSS style sheet to make changes when editing. It also visualize the mistakes of cascading the wrong code into the elements that you did not want to change.
It is also substantially simple for almost all users to be able to upload a portfolio without surfing through a forest of buttons and switches such as WordPress. Tony Yip, another exhibitor helped upload most of the projects while I try to style the pages properly.