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WP site to CMS advice (8 posts)

  1. graemep
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    I have a site that that (because of what it has evolved into) I want to split into two. Half will revert to looking more like a normal WP blog. The other half (almost all the static pages) will be moved to a new domain.

    I could run the new domain on WordPress but this may not be optimal as I do not need the blogging features, just static pages, on the other hand the site will eventually have thousands of static pages so WP does not look like the best way to manage it. OK, I am asking about migrating from WP in WP support which may seem a little strange, but, firstly, WP is still an option (it has the advantage that I am using it already), and, secondly I want something that I can migrate to from WordPress and that has a similar appeal to WordPress, just for a slightly different job. I would be grateful for any suggestions.

    Ideally I need:

    1. Easy import of WP pages (but not)
    2. Easy to install/upgrade/administer (Like WP!)
    3. Something that runs on a platform that I can easily find shared hosting for (e.g. Apache + PHP/Perl/Python+MySQL
    4. I would like to be able to categorise pages and have them included in a dynamically generated index that looks like my manually maintained index. I do not mind having to modify code a little to achieve this but I am not really up to doing anything complex.
    5. A wiki may be a worthwhile experiment but it should be easy to roll back changes and to restrict editing rights if it does not work out.

    Thanks in advance

  2. kmtcn
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    This is a site I moved from static HTML, to WP 1.5 using pages, back in Feb. and I've been very pleased so far:

    http://dvd.kentidwell.com

    It's taken some tweaking, of course, as the normal search doesn't support pages, and you perhaps need a 'home' page, and then personal things, of course, but those are either layout mods or plug-in solved, so in the end, it was all worth it for me.

    I've clipped out categories and archives, but some 'pages' have comments enabled as a trial so far.

    It is trivial to maintain and easy to add content.

    Ken

  3. graemep
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    My apologies to everyone for the messed up link in the original question.

    One vote for staying with WP! That is a nice example of using WP for non-blog site as well.

    My main concerns with carrying on using WP are:

    1. The size of my site. Page management is already a bit cumbersome in WP with a few hundred static pages, and I plan to make the site much bigger
    2. I really do want to dynamically generate the index pages because I am making mistakes doing it manually

    I suppose both problems could be solved by modifying WP/writing a plug-in/putting some code in the template pages and using custom fields for the latter. I suppose I should start reading the docs and thinking seriously about this.

    Errr... help me and I will do off and use another product, do not and I will contribute (admittedly very little) to the WP community.... I think I might be taking the wrong approach somewhere.

  4. Lorelle
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    I recently converted more than 500 pages of static html into WordPress, and my site is more CMS than blog. The conversion from blog WordPress to CMS WordPress was helped by the amazing upgrade to v1.5 with the Pages feature and other improvements in template files, template tags, and plugins.

    I document much of the move (I'm still adding articles as it was seriously intense and lasted for months) in the Learn > WordPress section of my site, but I have to say that life got a LOT LOT LOT LOT (did I say a LOT yet?) easier with the release of the following plugins that completely changed how I administrated the site.

    Coldforged's Paged Comment Editing
    Coldforged's Enhanced Admin Manage Posts Views
    TextControl

    Warning: Because I am so in love with these plugins and totally worship their authors, the following will sound like a flaming endorsement and advertisement. Guess what - it is! And this is advertising for a FREE PRODUCT (donations welcome, I'm sure).

    The first one allows me to have an amazing form of control over viewing my comments, including the ability to see the spam that is caught so I can delete it from my database, saving space. And see what is coming in so I can even take steps to stop it before it comes in the door. Normally, version 1.5 grabs the spam and you never see it, but it still sits in your database as a reference. Try this and you will totally love it.

    The third one is TextControl and it allows me to set the formatting controls that WordPress automatically slams down on my content. Since all of my "old" articles were in static HTML, I wanted them to remain in the HTML tags since I had all the CSS and everything in them for a reason. TextControl allows me to set the formatting choices for every post (must click SAVE and CONTINUE EDITING to see it, though) so I can stop it from changing things in a way I don't like, or leave it to format itself the WordPress way for the new articles I write that barely have any HTML coding in them. It's brilliant once you understand the basics.

    The middle plugin is the one that I greatfully thank the stars, gods, mother earth, first fire builders, and all the rest of the powers-that-be for. The enhanced view of the Manage Posts screen is amazing. I can sort posts by category, author, or date. Being limited by only date before, and not working with dates in a CMS format, finding posts or categories was near impossible. HATED IT. Time consuming and ridiculous. Too limiting. The Enhanced View Plugin makes life so easy to manage all the articles, I adore it. I use it constantly to see what I've posted where, and when, and edit specific series (categories) of articles all together. Totally and completely brilliant. You can also break through the 15 post list barrier and tell it to list as many posts as you want to see. I often set it to 25 or 50 so I can see ALL of the posts within a category. Did I say I adore this plugin yet?

    The only other plugin (actually non-plugin but could be soon) that helps me to emulate the CMS functions that I need is called Batch Categories. Podz is supposed to be cleaning it up for re-release, last I heard, since it is rather challenging to install for 1.5 as it was written for 1.2. Batch Categories allows administrators to move posts between categories en mass rather than through the Post Edit screen. I can move 50 posts within a minute or two. Amazing. Very power hungry, but how often do you have to move a bunch of posts around from one category to another? When you farkle up your site by screwing with category IDs and Names....hey, it happens.

    I believe in the right tool for the right job, and there are a lot of decent CMS programs out there, but my research last year overwhelmed me. Many had horrid looking interfaces with little documentation, or were so feature heavy that I felt like my site weighed a ton of bricks. It's actually a very simple looking site, and I wanted to lighten my admin load. WordPress isn't easy to force into CMS but it is growing in that direction and these plugins are a tremendous step in the right direction.

    After that, you just have to deal with the chronological issue, but I think I've handled that well with Adhesive and stick plugins, and learning about how to control the WordPress Loop, the biggest challenge of all.

  5. graemep
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Thank you for taking the trouble to write such a detailed reply Lorelle. It is very helpful. I am now mostly convinced that staying with WP is the way to go (rather to my relief as I like WP). Your site is absolutely beautiful and really encourages me to stick with WP.

    I wish I had found text control earlier, it would have saved me a lot of work. Better late than never - a small site, currently static site that I am helping a tsunami relief charity with needs moving to a CMS at some point because 1) they keep adding stuff to it and 2) they are not really very good at maintaining static HTML.

    Batch categories is going to be hugely useful, thanks again.

    Apart from being useful in itself, Batch categories gave me another ideas. If I can convert pages into posts a lot of things can be done a lot more easily and elegantly - categorising and indexing <b>without changing URLs</b> for example. If anyone has done this or can advise on its practicability it would be very helpful.

    If you are wondering why it is in pages rather than posts, what happened was that section of the site grew much bigger than originally anticipated. I started off planning a few tens of pages, it has grown to hundreds and will become thousands.

    Now I know what I need to do: learn WordPress (the loop and the database tables in particular). Thanks again for the help.

  6. Lorelle
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Just to clear things up a little, you created WordPress Pages and you need to move that information into WordPress posts? Or are you talking about static HTML web pages that need to be imported into the WordPress database?

  7. graemep
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    I would like to convert WP pages to posts.

  8. graemep
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Just for completeness. I managed to convert the posts to pages,

    details here:

    http://wordpress.org/support/topic/33259 in case other newbies find it useful

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