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  • Some pre-sale questions about CMS

    I run a site that has been online for close to 8 years and has quite a few users and a large amount of content. I'm strongly considering migrating to vBulletin, as the site is currently running an ancient version of PHP-Nuke that I've been duct taping together with homebrew patches to keep it from being overrun with spammers (wrote my own reCaptcha implementation for it among other things).

    The new CMS to be released shortly seems like the perfect fit for our site, as it currently consists of two sections. The first is where users can submit stories that are reviewed by us and then posted to the main page. The second part is the forums, currently running phpBB integrated with the PHP-Nuke user database.

    Here are my questions:

    1) Does the new CMS support the ability for users to create stories (not forum posts), but have them not be displayed until a moderator/admin approves them? I'd like the approved posts to be attributed to the author's username along with showing which moderator approved/published the post (similar to how the PHP-Nuke articles section works). Is this possible with CMS? Also, can I prevent the user from being able to edit their post after it is approved (to prevent malicious changes to an approved story)?

    2) Can the CMS send e-mails to the admins when a new story is submitted for approval?

    3) How difficult is the site migration going to be? Do scripts exist for migrating a PHP-Nuke site, including stories to CMS and forums to forums, along with all relevant data such as poll results, etc.? If not, will I be able to do the conversion more or less manually in SQL without having to spend weeks on it? (I don't have a problem writing some queries to transform data, but I don't want to have to do any manual post-by-post work)

    4) Any other caveats about this migration that I should be aware of (such as having to make all of my users change their passwords, not really looking to do that)

    5) I've seen vBulletin sites that have a mobile version. Is this included with the software, or do I have to purchase something extra?

    Thanks in advance for the answers, and I'll post another message in this thread if I come up with more questions. If everything works out, I'm looking to purchase a license before the current sale ends and migrate as soon as V4 is available.

  • #2
    Yes, you can have users create content that has status unpublished until published by someone who has permission to do so.
    Can't comment on the migration, as I don't know your system. ATM, no converters exist, as the software is not yet ready. No point in develping a converter as long as the target is still under development.
    Those mobile versions are just styles streamlined for mobile use; not in the package, but easily acquired and installed.

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    • #3
      3) How difficult is the site migration going to be? Do scripts exist for migrating a PHP-Nuke site, including stories to CMS and forums to forums, along with all relevant data such as poll results, etc.? If not, will I be able to do the conversion more or less manually in SQL without having to spend weeks on it? (I don't have a problem writing some queries to transform data, but I don't want to have to do any manual post-by-post work)
      There is no automatic script to move from phpnuke to vBulletin, but you can first change your forum (phpBB included in your pphpnuke) to a normal phpBB. This is what I did 2 or three years ago. Just copy all tables concerning your forum and edit them to look like a phpBB forum.
      When you have your phpBB forum, you can use the Impex script to move to vBulletin.
      This is how it works until vBulletin 3.8.4
      I guess the new Suite will have impex included as well.
      Concerning old articles, stories and so on I think we will have to copy them manually to the new CMS (as I am still myself running a phpnuke CMS with a vBulletin forum). I hope we will be able to attribute articles to the right members, though I didn't see this option in the demo page (how to create an article).

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      • #4
        Originally posted by ercule View Post
        There is no automatic script to move from phpnuke to vBulletin, but you can first change your forum (phpBB included in your pphpnuke) to a normal phpBB. This is what I did 2 or three years ago. Just copy all tables concerning your forum and edit them to look like a phpBB forum.
        When you have your phpBB forum, you can use the Impex script to move to vBulletin.
        This is how it works until vBulletin 3.8.4
        I guess the new Suite will have impex included as well.
        Concerning old articles, stories and so on I think we will have to copy them manually to the new CMS (as I am still myself running a phpnuke CMS with a vBulletin forum). I hope we will be able to attribute articles to the right members, though I didn't see this option in the demo page (how to create an article).
        You would receive many SE penalties if your were to "Migrate" to VB... as the system structure would vary greatly... if i was in the same boat i would set up a new domain, and just setup a redirect from your old site to your new one, before you know it you would be a growing community under VB which would then grow even further, you would lose a lot of traffic if you were to replace your current PHP NUKE system.

        Good luck

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        • #5
          Originally posted by darren1981 View Post
          You would receive many SE penalties if your were to "Migrate" to VB... as the system structure would vary greatly... if i was in the same boat i would set up a new domain, and just setup a redirect from your old site to your new one, before you know it you would be a growing community under VB which would then grow even further, you would lose a lot of traffic if you were to replace your current PHP NUKE system.
          Yeah, that thought had crossed my mind. Some custom PHP scripts implementing some redirects could work, but I'll have to figure out a way to correlate the old content with the new content. But you're right, it might be easier to just switch domains. The site's been running on retail-sucks.com since we started because retailsucks.com wasn't available, but we were able to get that one a few years later when it expired. I could leave the old site on the old domain in read-only mode along with a big note at the top pointing at the new site on the new domain.

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          • #6
            One more question...Is it possible to allow Anonymous users (without logging in) to submit stories on the CMS? PHP-Nuke allows that, and the stories still go through the moderation queue. This is important, since a lot of people currently submit that way to our site, and they may be discouraged by having to register for an account.

            If not, I guess I could create a username called "Anonymous" with no password and find some way to lock down the record so that people can't edit the account, only post stories from it.

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            • #7
              Not tried, but looking at the permissions manager: yes, letting guests create content is possible.

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              • #8
                Your query almost asks a question that I've needed answering.... What kind of SEO functionality is going to be available in the CMS? I'm currently running vbDrupal and, Drupal has great SEO capabilities and I'm wondering if the vB CMS is going to give me the ability to import content from Drupal (I know there's no conversion in place now, but in the future) and also give me the ability to create redirects of my choice to the content.

                Also, as far as I can see, the CMS is limited to one type of content, a blog entry with accompanying comments. Will there be something similar to Drupal's CCK, where you can have custom content types?
                Webkinz

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by jawatkin View Post
                  Also, as far as I can see, the CMS is limited to one type of content, a blog entry with accompanying comments. Will there be something similar to Drupal's CCK, where you can have custom content types?
                  In the initial release, you can create custom content types with a little biut of PHP knowledge. I believe a developer has said that an easier way to create new types will be added in the future.

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                  • #10
                    I went ahead and bought my license. I played around some with ImpEx (into 3.8.4), and it appears to have imported my forum's data more-or-less successfully (I'll need to do some tweaking to get avatars and some other little details working).

                    My question: Will an updated version of ImpEx be shipping with VB4, or is such a tool at least on the roadmap? Specifically, I'd like to have tools for importing stories from my old CMS (PHP-Nuke) to the new vBulletin CMS. If not, I guess I'll have to figure out how to do it manually in SQL, but I would imagine that other customers would be interested in such a tool, especially those who want to move to the new CMS feature from older systems.

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                    • #11
                      Any CMS importers will be decided after the Suite release and will depend on overall demand.
                      Steve Machol, former vBulletin Customer Support Manager (and NOT retired!)
                      Change CKEditor Colors to Match Style (for 4.1.4 and above)

                      Steve Machol Photography


                      Mankind is the only creature smart enough to know its own history, and dumb enough to ignore it.


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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Steve Machol View Post
                        Any CMS importers will be decided after the Suite release and will depend on overall demand.
                        Thanks for responding! One vote for PHP-Nuke. (Although I'll probably have already migrated my site manually by the time you guys get around to it, but other people will appreciate having it)

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