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May Want To Pull A Lot Of Things Together With A CMS - But Which One ?

     
8:30 am on Nov 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



My site started out as just a few pages. I became obsessed and now its quite a few thousand pages. Its getting to be a bit of a problem to easily add new content and set up links from home page and landing pages.

Currently my site covers 2 domains and 1 sub domain. On the main domain I have a lot of html articles. Then in sub folders I run several installations of wordpress in subfolder that act as mini sub sites which are basically sub categories of my main niche.

As you can see, even describing the situation is quite complex.

I am contemplating the task of putting a lot of it onto 1 main cms. My main requirements are an easy managable homepage which showcases content from right across the site. I would like an excerpt from each category and perhaps links to the best topics in each category.

I would also require category landing pages which again showcase excerpts from articles in the category. Also the landing pages would have links to each article in the category.

My question is, which CMS would you recommend. I currently use wordpress for some of the site and am aware it is being developed as a cms moreso these days. I do like wordpress and find it easy to use and I can tweak it a bit. The only problem I see at the moment with that option is the abilty to present a lot of excerpts on the home and landing pages. But I wonder if it has its limitations and if it can deliver what I really want ?

[edited by: ergophobe at 4:58 pm (utc) on Nov. 18, 2009]
[edit reason] No personal URLs please as per TOS [/edit]

5:04 pm on Nov 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator ergophobe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Whew! That seems unnecessarily complex, but I understand that it's an organic outgrowth. It sounds like you're right about it being time for some consolidation and reorganization.

Without knowing the details, a few possibilities come to mind, but it seems to me like you might want to just stick with Wordpress, but instead of multiple installations running on a single domain, just use different page templates for different sections of the site. That way site search and functions like that will all work for you for all content on the domain.

If you want to run multiple domains from one codebase, you can do that with WordpressMU. With the next version of Wordpress, there will be no difference between the two and version 2.9 is already in beta. So you might go straight to WP2.9 and bring everything under one fold.

The first step seems to be thinking through what will go where, which domain/URLs will get expired if necessary and how the whole thing will be organized conceptually. Then see how which CMS fits the site.

6:16 pm on Nov 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Thankyou ergophobe. I have been giving it more thought and I will likely go with wordpress unless someone can give me good reason not to and recommend something awesome I should use instead.

You are right of course. My current site is complex but I guess this is just how it evolved and now its time to pull it all together into one database to manage the content in a somewhat less complex manner and to allow me to add future content with ease.

One question I have is, If I go with wordpress. How easy is it to set up the new site software whilst leaving the other site in place until the new on is ready to go live. Any tips on how to do this would be really appreciated.

Thanks - Glenn

[edited by: ergophobe at 6:50 pm (utc) on Nov. 19, 2009]
[edit reason] deleted commercial URL [/edit]

6:51 pm on Nov 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator ergophobe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Glenn,

Is this site getting changed a lot? If not, I would lock the site down for a period and get it all wrapped together on a testbed server and then upload to the live site.

If the site is changing rapidly with lots of comments being added daily and so on, that will be a harder task.

7:56 pm on Nov 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Hi There,

No I could easily lock the site down as it is and set up the new one on a test site. I have a spare domain I could use to set up the test site. My concern is transferring it over to MY DOMAIN. Will it be easy to change the settings to get it functioning on my real domain when I am ready to go.

Im not really too concerned about 301's as I think I can manage that.

9:10 pm on Nov 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator ergophobe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Glenn,

The way I usually do it is this

1. Set up a test server on my local machine that uses a virtual host so the domain is actually identical to the remote domain (you can create a batch script to change in and out the windows hosts file so the live domain only resolves to your local machine during active development).

Use Wamp or Xamp to get a server running on Windows. I've never comes across anything in Wordpress that doesn't work identically in Windows and *nix (assuming Apache server).

2. Do all your work locally until the site is running the way you like.

3. Put your new site in a new database.

4. If the current site is on the server at www, put the new one at www1.

5. change the directory names and your new site is live. Problem? Change the directory names back and the old site is live again and you can debug.

You could also put it on a subdomain or an unused domain and test that way. I like to test on the same domain as the target domain.

You should not necessarily have to 301 a lot. I would think in most cases you could use the same URLs.

Another alternative might be to bring the subsites under the new umbrella one at a time. In that case, you would probably have to copy and paste individual pages into the new site interface, and then expire the old page just before you make the new pages go live on the old URL. If you feel like plugging away at it over time, that might be the way to go, but with all those WP installations running here and there, that could get complex.

10:49 pm on Nov 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Many thanks,

You have been a great help. I will come back and let you know how I get on and what theme I decide on.

Best regards - Glenn

 

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