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Calling All Website Gurus - Need Some Advice

Just looking for advice and opinions - Comixpedia runs on Postnuke right now. Some stuff about it bugs me, but all and all the site has stayed up way more then it's fallen over. If any of you have played around with content management type stuff like Postnuke (or any Nuke - there are a lot of forks) or Drupal or Joomla or whatever - tell me what you think, plus and minuses and kind of important - how much evidence is there of their ability to hold up under high traffic.

I tried out Drupal this weekend to see what it can do (it powers The Onion so in some configuration it can handle A LOT of traffic) but Drupal + Dreamhost hosting seems slow and since it's a clean, empty install that's worrying. (That's up at altertainment.net if you want to see what Drupal looks like). If I could get Drupal to work well on a shared hosting plan that might be what Comixpedia migrates to this year but it takes me a long time to decide on big changes like that.

Re: Calling All Website Gurus - Need Some Advice

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

Have you had luck with higher traffic and how has it run? What kind of hosting are you using? You're exactly who I need to hear from - people who've used it :)

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Re: Calling All Website Gurus - Need Some Advice

Keith Quinn's picture

I've used and researched a handful of CMSs. The start of such a search should always be: What features are you looking to have in your "ultimate" content management system? Answering that question is the best place to start.

Things to consider are your budget, the number of authors you'll need, whether or not your server can handle the CMS, if you need user-friendly URLs, how expandable the system is (plugins, add-ons, and customizability), what sort of traffic you have, how standards-compliant is it, how accessable you want it to be, what sort of "modules" you will need, and more.

Speaking of modules, you've obviously spent a lot of time customizing your current system to get what you want out of it. If you switch to something else, you'll lose some functionality in your site/service. This could be as small as broken links to as large as nto having a reader registration system. Some of that may only be for a short time, as you learn how to make the same things happen in the new system, but some losses could be permanent.

Personally, I use Movable Type (http://www.sixapart.com/movabletype/) for blogging and publishing my online comic. It's a very user friendly CMS whose features can be extended. However, the free version only allows for up to 5 authors, and there is no user registration system. In the past, I have also dabbled with OpenWiki, NewsPro, Greymatter, and WordPress, along with some job-specific CMS tools.

I like Movable Type as a personal site tool. I haven't used Drupal much, but it's loosely within the same general "module based CMS" area as the Nuke systems and WordPress. I think Comixpedia needs a more robust system that handles news, forums, and community management. There are some sites out there that will let you explore the basics of a wide variety of open source CMSs, namely www.cmsmatrix.org and www.opensourcecms.com.

As luck would have it, the guys at boagworld.com were just discussing CMSs in their recent podcast (http://www.boagworld.com/archives/2006/02/selecting_a_content_management...). They take an hour to discuss CMSs and discuss (in general) some of the more popular pay CMSs. They mention the same two CMS demo sites I listed above. For a short time they discuss "eZ publish," an "enterprise level" CMS. I have not heard of eZ publish before, but most CMSs begin to strain when they exceed some vague size limit and that this is an "enterprise level" CMS sounds promising.

Back to the original question: Have you created a list of all the features you would like, both old ones to keep and new ones to add? Such a list would help us give you solid advice.

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Re: Calling All Website Gurus - Need Some Advice

I've heard excellent things about Joomla, if you can master it and do your own layouts. It handles multiple things pretty easily I hear.

Re: Calling All Website Gurus - Need Some Advice

I drank the Drupal Kool-aid a while back, and I've been very happy with the results. The theming engine is very flexible for extended tweaking and customization, and the mix of third-party addon modules for it is impressive.

It's worth checking out the latest development work going on for Drupal 4.7, as well. That version should be out the door in the next month or two, hopefully, and will offer a lot of additional flexibility for addons, etc.

So, in a nutshell, the core install you looked at was sparse, but it's a bit like a base Lego kit. Start clicking on the right combination of modules, and you'll have a very slick cleanly integrated site that's a lot easier to manage than any Nuke variant.

Re: Calling All Website Gurus - Need Some Advice

The sites I put together are mostly low-traffic personal tinkering (my RPG,, my sorely neglected webcomic, an online community, and a number of others) and I haven't put a lot of work into the theming and presentation for them. High-traffic sites that use Drupal include the onion, typopile OurMedia, and a number of others. I've heard some talk from people who have trouble with Drupal and some of Dreamhost's policies (I heard one of the plans has a cap on the number of SQL queries, instead of bandwidth?) but I ues Site5.com's $40-a-month plan to host a dozen or so drupal sites and haven't had problems.

I used to use Movable Type, but ran into a lot of frustration trying to manage a multi-user publication/community oriented system with it. It and WordPress just aren't meant for that, and it takes an awful lot of hacking just to get it in the same ballpark. Drupal is 'module based' as another poster mentioned, but that has slightly different implications than "modules" in Nuke/Xoops/Etc land. Drupal has a very clean API and data model under the hood, so plugin modules generally focus on adding new data types (images, audio, etc), new features (like user-rating of content, protection of premium members-only content with public teasers), and so on.

Because all content in the system -- even content types added by third-party modules -- share the same core infrastructure, there are no frustrating silos of information. That was one of my frustrations working with Xoops and Nuke.

Obviously I got te Drupal religion bigtime, so I'm less than unbiased. If you have any questions though, feel free to ask.