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Can someone please help me with some suggestions of what CMS would be best and what plug-ins/add-ons or components I will need to add to build this site?
Any comments would be very appreciated.
Joomla and Drupal will be fine for a standard architecture. If you're looking for something more complex or something personalized, they will hit their limits. So for example, the question is what you mean by "search for records from a list of 1000 to 5000 items"
What's more, you could then add features such as enable a visitor to create an account where they record their search criteria, request to receive automatic emails when there is new data matching their search, etc.
I really like your thoughts on making the searching faster and the displaying of the results faster. Thats my goal since the bulk of the site will be the abilty to search my list (and to add comments/reviews to any of the records in my list).
I think that what I'd do is:
a) look to see if there are open-source site applications that can do what you're talking about. For example, you can find open-source applications to run a blog or a forum or a CMS. Maybe there are applications that can run a site that presents products or items for review/etc and that has a search function. See if there's something that has the features you need.
b) if that's not available, or if your needs are too specific, then build it or get it built. To do that, though, you need programming knowledge (or find a friend who does) - you won't be able to create it using an "automatic" system.
I stopped looking at Drupal as its work flow management isn't good and it isn't good for publishing from development to staging to beta to production. You cannot just copy content from a database and insert it in an other. Basically because all database items are incremental numbered and therefore not inter-changeable.
ps. Alfresco uses Apache lucene/Solr as its search engine
1. Find a site that does what you want yours to do.
2. Look at the code and see if it is obvious what script they are using to create the site. Then if it is free or available for a fee snag that and use it to make your site or if you can't see what they are using or it is not available to you go over to get a freelancer dot com and post the job to get quotes for making a clone.