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Community input - take whole site to vBCMS?

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  • Community input - take whole site to vBCMS?

    Dear vB community,
    I run a small non-profit site dedicated to a rare kidney stone disease (www.cystinuria.org). We are very community-centric, but currently support only ~ 450 members. We have been using vBulletin as our forum software faithfully since 2002. I will certainly be upgrading the forum software to 4.0, but i'm wondering if i shouldn't consider taking the entire site (which i currently design) and moving it to a CMS. Our entire online presence consists of announcements, articles, and videos (all of which seem well suited for a CMS). However, we do not generate these very quickly - perhaps quarterly updates (maybe with a CMS we'd update more)? Honestly, i'm a web designer who is not all that familiar with CMS. I would sincerely appreciate it if some good folks from this community wouldn't mind sharing their opinions on whether our site would be a good candidate for a complete CMS overhaul/solution, or whether you feel that it would be dramatically overboard for our small community and light content.
    Thanks so much, in advance.
    Kind Regards,
    matt
    www.cystinuria.org
    www.cystinuria.org/forums

  • #2
    It looks like vB CMS would fit your site perfectly. However, there are some issues with the vB CMS at the moment as it's in its first release.

    1. vB CMS is not placed in the root natively.
    2. vB4 won't display right in IE6. I imagine many of your members are middle aged people who might be still using old computers.
    3. vB CMS has high amount of db queries. Some say it's bad, others say it's not that critical under new vB structure.
    4. I read here about some troubles with CMS's seach function.

    I have no doubt things will be sorted out. But if I were you I would wait till vB4.1 or vB4.2 released.

    That said some sites seem to be ok running on vB CMS. Check this one out: http://www.gamingmasters.co.uk and of course home page here.
    Last edited by kyrgyz; Mon 28 Dec '09, 9:13am.

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    • #3
      kyrgyz,
      Thanks for the quick reply, and for pointing out those current issues. I had heard of some, not of others.
      1) I assume this just requires a redirect - probably no affect on SEO, i'm assuming. <edit> I should add, this is ideal for me actually, as i'll probably have to work on developing the new CMS site for quite some time, and being able to do it in the background and simply link it at the end to bring it live will be nice. </edit>
      2) You are most likely correct in your assumption. I was not aware of this - very good to know.
      3) I read about the db queries... i'm using a shared hosting plan. Is it true that vBCMS suite and shared hosting are not compatible???

      Also, thanks for the great example site. Looks good!!
      matt
      Last edited by CSU-CYS; Mon 28 Dec '09, 9:33am.
      www.cystinuria.org
      www.cystinuria.org/forums

      Comment


      • #4
        3) I read about the db queries... i'm using a shared hosting plan. Is it true that vBCMS suite and shared hosting are not compatible???

        No, this is not true. If your vBulletin forum is currently running perfectly fine on your "shared" environment, vB4 will be fine there as well.
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        • #5
          Hi Matt!

          Your site it lovely - you're doing awesome work!!

          I run a site that is similar (ie community focused on a specific medical condition), so my comments are coming from that perspective...

          Shared hosting
          As your community grows, you will outgrow a shared hosting situation, and the MAIN issue will be the server resources required by your vBulletin. I switched to vB many years ago (at least 8), and before I had 1000 members I was getting complaints from my shared host, and the issue was ALWAYS the vBulletin portion of my my site (not only were they complaining, they were literally turning my site OFF during big traffic surges on the message board because my board was slowing down the other sites on the server). I then moved to a virtual private server...same within a very short period of time. I'm now on a dedicated server, and whenever there's a 'problem'...the problem is always the vBulletin (my board now has over 75,000 registered members, and triple the unregistered visitors).

          Not that I'm complaining about vB - I wouldn't switch for the world - BUT...it's a COMPLETE resource hog if you have even a moderately active community. I never in my wildest dreams thought my teensy community that was focused on an 'obscure' disease would be as large or as active as it is today. I've learned to hard way to now 'build the site with an eye for easy expansion.'

          For that reason, I wouldn't put your 'all' of your eggs in one basket, so to speak. That way if your board goes down for some reason, the rest of your site will still be up and running. (this can be especially helpful if your site gets slammed with visitors following a mention in the media or there's general media attention to the medical condition your site focuses on.)

          For the 'main' CMS portion of my site, I'm using Joomla. (But I might still use the cb CMS for articles...if I can get a staff member to respond to my question )

          Anyway, I hope I've helped! Continue the good work!

          ps
          My other suggestion would be to get with a VERY good host who is familiar with vBulletin and the 'issues' with it. Also a host that can easily move you UP to a better server as your community grows. Currently, I pay a bit more for my host (liquid web), but I'm VERY happy with them since they're familiar with vb server issues, they answer the phones when you call tech support, and they resolve problems very quickly.
          Last edited by PcosKat; Tue 29 Dec '09, 8:51am.

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          • #6
            Good Work You Do There Mate, VB Should Give You A Free Upgrade!

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            • #7
              Community input take whole site to vBCMS

              Thnak you for the quick reply.I just tried to order with a blank domain name and it does not allow me to do so.What to do?Please Adwise

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks for the input, and for the kind words!!
                PcosKat, good info - it is interesting to hear the experience of someone in a similar position a few years down the road from where we currently are. It sounds like we're not on quite the growth curve that you are, but considering the impact of the vB system on the server is something that i hadn't really done, and certainly something that will be more important as the community grows, and as we potentially expand the role of vB (to CMS). I've been reading about the other CMS systems, and would only really go with vB CMS (over others) because of the login integration, and because of the "one stop shopping". But, as you say, that may also mean putting too much in one big vB basket....
                Lots to ponder.

                One thing for the mods perhaps - we're currently behind, running 3.6.7 (we don't have the money to update every year). Would i have to take the board through an intermediate upgrade before going to 4.0? Or can we go right from 3.6 to 4.0?

                thanks again,
                matt
                www.cystinuria.org
                www.cystinuria.org/forums

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by CSU-CYS View Post
                  One thing for the mods perhaps - we're currently behind, running 3.6.7 (we don't have the money to update every year). Would i have to take the board through an intermediate upgrade before going to 4.0? Or can we go right from 3.6 to 4.0?

                  thanks again,
                  matt
                  I'd also suggest waiting until the vb4 bugs are ironed out... but in answer to your question, you would normally be able to upload the vb4 files and it will step you through all the upgrades. In this case however, you may want to download the 3.8.4 package, run the upgrade, then upload the vb4 package and run that upgrade. the vb4 upgrade is a bit bonky, at least for me, so be sure to backup!
                  Plan, Do, Check, Act!

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