A CMS separates interface from functionality. I have browsed your site (which you're not allowed to post here) and there is no automated solution that is going to achieve what you're looking for.
The closest you could get to automation is automating the page creation (not content) within the CMS based on a list of predefined pages from the existing site. Then you would have to visit each CMS page and insert the respective content. Even this route would be difficult and time consuming.
A CMS is the right way to go in your case, however you are up against an expensive task... especially since your existing site/pages do not follow a standard layout.
I've had to do something similar in the past for about 400 pages... there are some tricks to saving time however there are many factors that must be considered.
Sorry about the URL...I saw the rule after I posted and tried to take it off but there was too much of a time lage and it wouldn't let me edit.
How would I automate the page creation? I will have to redo content to make it standards compliant at any rate. I installed xampp so I can work off line and was hoping to get a system and slowly start moving things over
You mentioned factors to consider? I am getting about 30,000 page views a month. When I staarted on this in June we had 170 so I would like to keep the mommentum but really am an amateur and the ORG is heavy on the non profit..LOL
Not having a standard format for existing pages does indeed make things more difficult and 1300 pages is a lot to enter by hand by one person.
If you have a standard format, you can usually use regular expressions to grab pieces of the pages and put them into a format that could be imported into a CMS. If you can figure out a handfull of regular expressions that would strip off the navigation, headers and footers, that could be a big help.
Do you have any budget at all? I wonder if you might consider hiring someone, not necessarily skilled, who could cut and paste for you. Otherwise, you'll likely just have to plug away. If you have an active community, you might even see if any of your visitors might contribute some help. If you have 13,000 visitors per month and you could get 1% to each do five pages, you would be done in 2 months. It would be a bit of an act of faith, like the old days of the Wikipedia, but you could set it up so they can create pages, but can't publish, and then you could do the fix up.
Do you need to switch to a CMS for the existing pages or can you just use the CMS for new content?
Generally there is no easy way to convert regular static pages into a CMS. If you need to convert the existing pages, do a 301 redirect from each page to the new location if you're not able to keep the same URL. This has been discussed many times, do some searches on that if you're not familiar.
great idea about the volunteers! Also hiring someone to cut and paste...It would be infinitely easier fixing up than doing it all myself.I could use the CMS for new content and keep the existing pages. I am not allowed to do 301 redirects because I have a Google grant in place. I guess I could brand the CMS with the template and then it would be fairly seamless
urgh.. Tom mentioned the volunteers which is a great idea and aligns to the whole non-profit thing.
The trouble is non-skilled labourers (yes i'm in Canada) have to topple a learning curve. While a CMS and standards based html and css is pretty simple it still requires a fairly decent working knowledge of the CMS interface and concept behind it. I have tried to use senior high school students for a similar task and ended up having to make slight modifications to a number of pages. In your case, with 1300 pages, a "slight modification" to each page will take almost the same time as just doing it right from the get go.
If you are serious about this, you are going to need a combination of skilled-labour at an affordable price. Outsourcing to offshore agencies is probably your best bet. My best source rate for techies in India who know what they are doing is $7.27 / hour. Most of these folks have one or more degrees and are very eager to work. The other side of that coin is having the internal technical and marketing resources to manage, validate and approve the offshore work.
PM me if you wish to discuss.
Mmmm... perhaps I underestimate the skill needed. You're probably right. If the pages are at all complex, you'll end up with strange issues I suspect and it may not save that much effort.
Given that the pages were created in Dreamweaver and FrontPage, I doubt there's a strict adherence to standards and would be surprised if many pages validated unless Amy was paying close attention to that.
It's true, though, that free services can be the most costly ones you get. On the other hand, I got into this by volunteering for a non-profit bookstore who was trying to get on the web. I was going to just stuff envelopes, but in the end I built them a full database driven site that brought in an extra 10K in the best months. So sometimes you'll get a volunteer with a desire and aptitude for learning, but I guess I'm atypical.
I also started out doing a newsletter...I can always give the volunteers a few pages and if they wreck them back it up and start over..I will work on this. The bookstore was lucky to have you. There is nothing to lose.. The pages are complex and not code compliant. The offshore route could be an option so I may see what I have got and find some funding and then PM
I am new to this forum and very excited with all the contents and useful info here.
I am more tech savy but not those hacker type.
probably you may want to try below suggestion:
1. use a simple PHP script (curl will do the job) to store all your content in local mysql database (use xampp for hassle free)
2. you mentioned you created the content with different tools. so you need to analyze the content to extract just the right body of your article into another field of your table. write few scripts to do that.
make use of strpos, substr, str_replace commands
3. go through your extracted content to ensure everything is in good condition.
4. export your table content into a csv file that your CMS can upload. if you are using mambo or joomla try Jix importer.
half a day, you should be able to complete your job.
hope the above helps.
half a day?