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Content Management Forum

changing site from proprietary code to off-the-shelf cms

 7:36 am on Apr 18, 2012 (gmt 0)


i've coded pretty much everything in our site from scratch. which is great and gives us complete flexibility in terms of layout and add-ons. however i have become the bottleneck in the company.

i have tried many times to give my code structure and understandable comments, but it's still v. difficult for someone coming in to understand how the site is put together. (and heaven forbid something should happen to me)

i am thinking of moving everything into one of the established open source CMS. concrete5 looks good. this will make it far easier for an outsider to help with the coding.

has anyone been in a similar situation or has positive things to say about running a large site from an off-the-shelf CMS (not necessarily c5).




 3:04 am on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

I've done things both ways, but I've never converted a large site. Depending on how granular the data is, it would be hard or easy (or you could hire someone to cut and paste if it's only a couple hundred pages or less).

Personally, I will never go back to custom-coded unless it's a truly custom application. You just get so much leverage from community-contributed add-ons and you get a nice headstart and can spend more time on creating and curating content.

Can't really be much help with respect to your specfics though.


 6:37 am on Apr 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

thanks for the comments ergophobe, i especially like

"Personally, I will never go back to custom-coded unless it's a truly custom application"

my head spins thinking about the conversion though!


 6:44 am on Apr 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

out of interest, which cms do you prefer?


 7:54 pm on Apr 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

For a simple blog, I use Wordpress like everyone else.

For a more complex site, something with structured data and varied presentation, Drupal.


 1:55 am on May 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

I've done things like this several times.

Choose a CMS where you can import content from spreadsheets (e.g. Feeds module for Drupal).

Use a script to either extract content from the DB or scrape it from the site, whichever is easiest.

Format this for import (ie aggregate it into a .tsv spreadsheet)

Import the content into the new CMS.

I've also imported content manually via SQL statements (with an early version of Drupal 7) but it's a massive headache.


 5:01 am on Jun 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'll second what milosevic said and just clarify that it tends to be a massive headache because you're bypassing any API the system has, so it's easy to get something slightly wrong - fail to update a particular table or something like that. It can be rough and usually takes some trial and error to get the SQL right.

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