Help Needed: Advice about New CMS/Blogger Software

Matt Barton's picture

Well, as you can plainly see, Armchair Arcade is back to constant "max connections errors" (we love you, Modhost!). Anyway, we've decided to get very serious about moving to another CMS or blog package, and I'd like to get your advice about which one would work better than Drupal, which, unfortunately, needs much better hosting than we can afford to work properly. In Drupal's defense, it seems to do everything we need fairly well (though not perfect), and I'd sure hate to end up with something worse.

Essentially, what we're looking for is something that utilizes very little mysql database resources, does good caching, and can let us easily work with text and images. You've seen the kind of posts we make here; what software would let us do this most effectively and efficiently? It'd also be nice if it really made commenting easy, and perhaps had good support for a forum.

So far, I've heard people mention a few different options, particularly WordPress, phpnuke, and something called Zune (I think that's right). Anyway, just let us know your thoughts, particularly if you have lots of experience working with one of these engines. PLEASE chime in with your thoughts and suggestions. Even if you don't know much about this topic, at least let us know what features you'd like to have as a user. If you're having problems getting your response posted, feel free to email it to using the "Contact Us" button on the menu.

(Bill, Mark, please paste your "wish lists" here as well. Might as well get all the help with this we can.)

Comments

Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
I agree. If there is

I agree. If there is anything that uses something other than mysql, that would be ideal. There's nothing wrong with our server's bandwidth or storage capacities, so we may as well beat those into the ground before we mess around with another heavy and destined to fail mysql-heavy hitter. However, if something used mysql in a passive capacity, that would probably be fine too. The issue with a non-mysql solution is that we then need to worry about maintaining an "unsupported" database, which may be beyond our technical capabilities (unless someone wanted to join the team and help!). It's a tough call (perhaps something with it's own built-in database? I don't know).

Here's my list:

Necessary:
- Something that minimally impacts mysql or eliminates it entirely either with another database engine or use of its own engine (it must be EASY to maintain for those with average technical skills)
- Easy HTML-based content posting
- Ability to easily tag a post (and preferably place it into a category)
- Easy image management console (add/delete/search) and insertion into posts (much like IMG ASSIST, but one that actually works and is easy to navigate/search/update)
- Ability to create any page that we desire (via HTML), such as "FAQ", "ABOUT US", "ISSUE x", etc.
- Easy menu/navigation creation
- Quoting when commenting on a post
- Ability to promote posts to the front page
- Robust administration interface, preferably with a high level of ease-of-use

Desirable:
- Robust forum engine, preferably a match for phpbb

Thanks guys! We realize that "Armchair Arcade 3.0" will be our last real chance to stay independent, so we truly hope we can figure out an ideal solution. After 3+ years of struggle with "almost there" technologies, let's FINALLY get this right and be able to concentrate on all the things we want to achieve content-wise.

======================================
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
(A PC Magazine Top 100 Website)
======================================

n/a
Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/16/2006
By the way, I turned off the

By the way, I turned off the images and tracking (or throttled them) until we can get this situation under control. As it was, I couldn't even get to the site due to the mysql max connection errors...Please excuse the "bare bones" look.

n/a
Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Matt Barton wrote:By the
Matt Barton wrote:

By the way, I turned off the images and tracking (or throttled them) until we can get this situation under control. As it was, I couldn't even get to the site due to the mysql max connection errors...Please excuse the "bare bones" look.

That's good, but we need a way to keep "Latest Posts" up there, or the site becomes all but unusable.

======================================
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
(A PC Magazine Top 100 Website)
======================================

n/a
Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/16/2006
Well, I've been at this for

Well, I've been at this for hours, and the best software I've seen so far is one called Joomla! It seems to have everything we could ask for--easy images and captions, good looking forum. The only thing I've been unable to figure out is if we'd really get much of a performance boost, but my guess is that we would since the image part is integrated (and not via poorly written plugins like Drupal). Although I haven't set up an install, I was very impressed with how fast the demo site ran. What do you guys think?

n/a
dragon57
dragon57's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/18/2006
I assume you know of this

I assume you know of this site: http://www.opensourcecms.com/

You can test drive all kinds of CMS and forum packages.

Mark Vergeer
Mark Vergeer's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/16/2006
I came across this

I came across this http://www.openserving.com/ created by the people behind Wikipaedia, they are offering tools for building your own community.
But what is it? According to the company Openserving extends the essence of the open source model — free software and content — to all aspects of web-based computing. You can set up your own collaborative blogging site. All articles are sorted democratically.
Sound good?
Here's a bonus: keep 100% of the ad revenue for yourself.

Sounds good maybe worth investigating. The software they use for their service is made by ArmchairGM (http://armchairgm.com/) now isn't that coincidental. ArmchairGM is a good looking sports website.

My wish list:
- easy access
- forum or discussion facilities
- easy formatting and picture / multimedia facilities
- searchable content

========================
Mark Vergeer - Editor / Pixelator
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
Xboxlive gametag
========================

n/a
Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/16/2006
Mark Vergeer wrote:I came
Mark Vergeer wrote:

I came across this http://www.openserving.com/ created by the people behind Wikipaedia, they are offering tools for building your own community.

That's a very interesting engine. From what I can see, the sites are hosted by the Wikia foundation. We'd have to get in touch with Buck to have him switch the DNS if we wanted to go this route. Still, it looks like a very promising setup. I really like the bottom-up administration, though I'm not sure it would work well for a small community like ours (you'd need a great many participants to make it really sing). I found an article on it here.

But hold the tacos...Check out DragonFly CMS. It's voted tops in performance on the CMS Matrix, plus listen to this:

Why Dragonfly CMS?
Unlike other content management systems on the net, we maintain a high level of security, so that you spend time managing your site, not patching it. Managing your site is easy with our powerful line of tools which include a debugging system, BBCode support in many areas, a built-in photo gallery, and a derivative of phpBB 2.0.x.

PhpBB! Yay. I also like the idea of being able to use bbcode, and the built-in support for images should help us tackle getting them into articles.

I'm salivating:

Uses 50% fewer database querys than most PHP-Nuke derivatives

50% fewer! I think if we're really looking for something that'll run fast and give us that phpbb feel, this is the one.

n/a
Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
The Dragonfly CMS also seems

The Dragonfly CMS also seems to meet one of my personal requirements of being free. We certainly can't afford some of the prices on the full versions of some of those other CMS'.

As for openserving, it's a nice idea, but that's more of a thing to do if our move to a version 3.0 on our own failed. We'd have to consider that and other opportunities where AA subordinates itself in the interest of being free from the hassles of administration.

======================================
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
(A PC Magazine Top 100 Website)
======================================

n/a
Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/16/2006
The only thing I'm unsure

The only thing I'm unsure about is the lack of any good sites actually running dragonfly. I looked at their list of links, but most of them were dead...! Also, I didn't see a way to upload/insert an image into a post and add a caption. I'm not sure if there IS no way, or if that's just crippled in the demo version I looked at online. Still, I don't want to give up on it yet.

n/a
Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/16/2006
gameCMS: A CMS Designed for

gameCMS: A CMS Designed for Gaming Sites.

This one looks pretty interesting. Apparently, the full commercial version with integrated forums is only $50, and the lite version is free. It looks like it's also integrated with phpbb2.

n/a

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.