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22 November 2009 at 11:29pm
currently I am using Drupal for a blog-centered web site: 10 different Authors blog directly from the Frontend and can easily include Youtube-Links, Images etc, which are smoothly embedded in their posts. The authors can tag their posts and these are automatically listed in the appropriate category (e.g. Sport News, Fun, etc.). I have different areas that are automatically composed from previews of the latest Fun-Posts, etc. Comments from registered users are possible as well as commenting pictures.
Moreover, I have (or want to have) user-friendly integration of things like "post from iPhone", Twitter, etc.
I made the existing site two years ago with Drupal, but after all I must say, that I don't like the Drupal way. I hate the user interface and a lot of modules are not working really smooth (like Youtube-Integration). Updating modules is a hell...
So I'm looking for an alternative for a relaunch. I'm thinking about Wordpress, modx, and Silverstripe. Silverstripe is pretty impressive on the first impression. But I'm not sure, if it is really suitable for the kind of Website I'm thinking of.
What do you think?
22 November 2009 at 11:57pm Last edited: 23 November 2009 12:05am
Welcome to the community Tim,
In my case, the selection of CMS or Framework changes somewhat depending on the requirements for any particular project. Silverstripe has become the defacto CMS choice for jobs ranging from the simple to the moderately customized. Fully blown custom sites need a little more flexability for development, in which case I usually go for Zend Framework.
The point is, while Silverstripe is an beautiful CMS that offers a fantistic and easy method of extending, and does possess a blog module, the blog is not a core focus for development and extension. There are so many things that make SS a great system that it's difficult to offer outstanding functionality out of the box in all areas.
I have worked with Wordpress before, and from what you have described in your post, it is a perfect candidate for what you are trying to do. The development's focus is blog software. The community focus is extending blog software. The discussions on their forums are all about blog software.
Don't get me wrong, Silverstripe could do everything you have requested, but I think you will have a much smoother time (both in development and management) with the specialist in this particular area, which is Wordpress by a country mile. Certainly, if a client requested a strictly blog orientated site, that's the way I would go.
If the blog was secondary to general content and some custom goodies, it would be Silverstripe without much thought needed.
P.S. I'm an ex-drupaler - that's why I'm here. ;-)
23 November 2009 at 12:09am Last edited: 23 November 2009 12:12am
I'm sure all you want to achieve can be done with SilverStripe, but there may be things that aren't covered by existing modules and would require custom development on your part.
Since this is a Blog centered website, I suggest you have a look at Wordpress. Wordpress seems to be the blogging-tool, and there are lots of modules (or plugins) for Wordpress available.
I moved from MODx to SilverStripe, since SilverStripe was superior to MODx at that time (except the community maybe). This might have changed with the re-write of MODx (MODx Evolution) but honestly, I doubt it. You might also want to check out concrete5. It has an interesting block-based approach and allows for fine grained user-access controls. Documentation is rather bad though.
Obviously I would vouch for SilverStripe, but I guess there are tools out there that may be better for the kind of Website you're trying to build. If you're going the SilverStripe way, you'll learn a CMS/Framework that can be used for all kinds of Websites or even Web-Applications, which may prove useful for other projects as well.
Update. Aaron replied while I was typing my post... looks like we came (more or less) to the same conclusion.
23 November 2009 at 12:22am
Well, thank you for your interesting posts. In fact, I set up two Wordpress sites in the past. And I have to say, that I don't really like WP. It's very convenient, if you don't want to mess around with code, etc. But I like to know, what is happening under the surface.
I have a degree in Computer Science and I don't mind coding parts of my homepage by myself. Two years ago, I thought, Drupal was the perfect choice, because of the vivid community and the broad range of existing modules. Unfortunately, a lot of the existing modules have been not as mature as expected.
What I really want to have is mature functionality regarding the "little things" like routines for automatic resizing of images, integration of videos, smooth integration of Flickr galleries, etc.
23 November 2009 at 12:36am Last edited: 23 November 2009 12:42am
The biggest problem I found with Drupal is the "module hell" that was created. So many dependencies and options for the same process available. At the moment, there's no such problem with Silverstripe, and some of the key modules (including the blog) are maintained by core developers. In my opinion this is a very good thing for the reason just stated.
Personally, if you are still unsure on Wordpress, I would download a fresh copy of Silverstripe and the blog module, install it on WAMP or your server, and have a tinker. The tutorials are a great place to start to understand the Sapphire framework that lies at the heart of the system.
When you say "mature functionality", you really need to define what you mean. If you mean functionality in terms of customising and extending (E.G. Making those modules yourself) a CMS system without hacking core code to pieces, then you're in the right place. It is THE power of Silverstripe over other CMS systems IMO.
If you mean functionality in terms of pre-built blog functionality encompassing that list at the end of your last post, you simply won't get any more mature than Wordpress.
I'm not trying to get rid of ya. Just being honest as a developer who chooses base systems on a per-project basis.
23 November 2009 at 1:10am
I think, with WP I get 80% of the desired functionality out of the box - and have to do a lot of hacks for the remaining 20%.
If I get 40% from Silverstripe and code the remaining 60% in a clean, structured and upgradeable way, then perhaps SS is my choice.
5 December 2009 at 9:52am
Tim99 it is great that you are asking such questions. To date I have built two fully functional sites in SilverStripe and have quickly become an advocate of this CMS. Your description of your skills and willingness to "roll up your sleeves" in my opinion makes SilverStripe a great fit for your needs. Now be warned...SilverStripe is a great CMS, with great flexibility, but it too is not without its moments of frustration and tears. but that comes with any territory on any technology. There is slight learning curve to get into SilverStripe and once you ramp up this baby starts to smoke!!!
Now back to blog aspect...I currently have had the exact dilemma for a new client. They actually currently have a website and a separate site (wordpress) for there blogging platform. They want to merge the two and add new features etc...Hands down Wordpress wins the Blog functionality battle, but as we peel back other requested functionality SilverStripe becomes the best solution for their full needs...I may need to extend the current Blog Module to enable categories etc for their needs but when I sit in the room with clients I am comfortable and confident when suggesting the platform that suits them best is SilverStripe.
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