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Embedding blog into existing html site

9:07 am on Mar 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I had originally posted this in a different forum, but got no replies, so I'm trying it here. (apologies if that's bad practice)

I have a very old web site going back to 1995 in some parts, but also very popular (PR6). There's no CMS and the site has a lot of SSI 'virtual includes.' Since moving to a new server, we've been looking at converting the site to Drupal or some other CMS.

For a number of reasons, mostly to get some fresh content, before we convert to a CMS, I would like to embed a blog on the home page. I know I can add blog content from another site by using a RSS aggregator, but I'd rather not do that. If for no other reason, the blog providing the new content would need to exist as a separate domain.

I know I can also install Drupal and use the Frontpage module (I tried it before), but that leads to a lot of problems, especially with Drupal wanting to take over many URLs of the original site.

So I'm wondering if there's a CMS or blog that can easily be embedded in an existing domain without too much difficulty, something that would co-exist within the domain of the original site.

Since we are thinking of Drupal as the eventual solution, I'd prefer something where the blog data would be able to be imported into the new site when it comes online. That's not essential, but it would be nice.

Thanks for any thoughts on this.
4:26 pm on Mar 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I'm not clear how these two factors can fit together:

I would like to embed a blog on the home page.

something that would co-exist within the domain of the original site.

Please explain further... thanks.
5:10 pm on Mar 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thanks for the reply. I did not know how (or if) I could delete the original thread.

I have an old site, fairly popular, from the mid-1990's. Many of the pages are static html, although over the years we added headers, footers, rotating (cgi-based) ad banners and so on, primarily though SSI. The site is dry and unexciting content which is mostly unchanging (government reports and regulations). Nevertheless, because it deals with consumer issues, we get good traffic.

We moved to a new box late last year, now running Debian Squeeze. The hope is eventually to completely redo the site in Drupal. But that's down the road. So we're looking at potential strategies as how to get there. We might develop the new site on a different domain and transfer it when ready.

Another thought was to overlay a Drupal install on the existing site, but that really didn't work. I tried that as a test. Drupal wanted to take over and control many URLs, not allowing the existing html pages to get through.

So I think we'll go with our first idea (develop separately). But in the meantime, we want to add a news section to the existing site, liven things up a bit ... and help with the Google Adsense. Our traffic has had a consistent average for several years and we have PageRank 6.

So the question is how to add a news section to an existing static home page without overtaking the site.

I have added a few items from a RSS aggregator, but that content comes from a different domain (also one of ours, but still a separate site).

I want to add news items that would exist on our main site, not a separate domain. I'm open to Wordpress, Drupal or some other blog or CMS. But the news items would need to be embedded in the existing html home page, not through RSS aggregation, or by replacing the home page with a php file. Since we anticipate moving to Drupal down the road, that would be good, but I don't think that will do the job right now. I'm thinking the way to go is using SSI.

I hope that makes sense.
6:17 pm on Mar 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

How about creating the new set of pages on a subdomain - news.example.com for instance. Add links from the existing home page and possibly the van template for the existing site.
6:35 pm on Mar 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Add links from the existing home page

I don't know what you mean by this. Would news.example.com be the new home page of the site? Or did you mean that links TO news.example.com should be included in the existing home page? If the latter, that wouldn't embed the news items in the home page.

and possibly the van template for the existing site.

What's a "van template"?
11:59 pm on Mar 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I meant that you have two hostnames:

www.example.com - your current site
news.example.com - your new CMS playground

You would link from the www site's home page to the news site's homepage (and possibly vice versa)

and possibly the van template for the existing site

That was a really bad typo. I meant you might add a link in the MAIN template of the existing site, so that every page offered the crossover navigation.
1:06 am on Mar 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thanks for the suggestion. However, that doesn't do what I'm hoping to accomplish. I want to embed the news items on the original site (www.example.com), not just link to them. That means the fiorst paragraph (or two or three) would actually appear on www.example.com, up to the point where on a blog it goes to the "read more" link. Moreover, it would need to be automated, so the original site would reflect updates.

I know of one CMS that would do the job (APC-AA), but it's essentially abandonware and from what I can gather won't even work on PHP5. It embedded by way of virtual includes.
9:30 pm on Mar 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I bought a web site that had gobs of content, but was not dynamic. It had become impossible to manage and update.

I converted it to a dynamic site (using a CMS I wrote myself), but didn't want to lose the existing content. I wanted to ensure that all existing links would continue to work.

Since the original site was made up of pages with "server side includes" all of the original pages used .shtml extensions. So, I plopped my new site on top of the old one, but used the .html file type for the new pages so that none of the new URLs would clash with the old URLs. It's not really relevant, but in the server's .htaccess file I look for URLs ending in .html and rewrite the URL to run a PHP script.

I set up the server to look for index.html (actually index.php) before index.shtml as the default page in folders. So the old home page was replaced by the new home page (index.php).

I created a 404 error handler script which can look up "not found" URLs in a database table and, if an entry is there, perform a 301 redirect to a new URL.

So, now my new pages can link to the old pages just by using the old page URLs. The old URLs still work. If I want to replace an old page with a new page, I just delete the .shtml file and add a record to the database table with the new page's URL.

-- Roger
10:33 am on Jun 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

You could just use instant update from cubescripts. It just needs a sql database, its easy to setup and will bolt right on the side of you're existing website. Its $50 to buy but you can get a 30 day free trial to see if it meets your needs. Give it a try and if you need and help with set up let me know.

1:37 pm on Jun 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

Lappert, I had a similar situation. Here's what I did. I added a wordpress blog on the site. Made it unsearchable by web engines because I didn't want duplicate content penalties. I made a menu item linking to the blog, but that is completely unnecessary if your goal is just to add your news content to your home page.

The embed part? I just added the wordpress loop into the content of my home page. Told it the blog categories to include and the number of items. Somewhere I have the links to the articles that I used to accomplish it but it is very easy to do. I do not know if it would work if I tried to link to a blog not on the same server.

I too am updating the website, but meanwhile this allowed me an easy way to embed the "news" on my home page. Note, I had to save the home page as a php to accomplish this. Like you I had already used a number of includes.

Of course viewing source for the page won't show you the coding, but if this has appeal for you will post my code and meanwhile will look for the root article I used to do it. Don't laugh at my website, but here you can see.[weavehouston.org ] The yellow background section is my "featured" post and the "News" items are my update posts.

Let me know if this approach interests you and I will send you the coding for the loops. Remember you need to set up your wordpress blog on your server and then you just update with posts. Very easy.
1:57 pm on Jun 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

There are many articles about embedding the wordpress loop, but this is the one I used as my launchpad. [corvidworks.com ]

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