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General Questions /

General questions about getting started with SilverStripe that don't fit in any of the categories above.

Moderators: martimiz, Sean, Ed, biapar, Willr, Ingo, swaiba

To silverstripe or not to silverstripe...

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5 Posts   1033 Views


Community Member, 11 Posts

10 August 2010 at 11:58am

Hi all,

This is kinda the worst possible place to ask this question, but I'm looking at developing a new website, and am wondering if SS is the best option for it or not. I'm hoping to get a collection of as close to unbiased opinions as possible, so please bear with me.

The site would be a portal for our clients to get access to online help for our application, along with account information, kb articles, etc. We already have a support ticket management and CRM system which I would be looking at "integrating" in the future, but we don't really need to worry about this now. The main things I want to be able to do is have:

* we'll have a few hundred users, who will need to login to view stuff
* multiple (10-15) authors/editors and a few (2-3) publisher/administrators - so customisable user security is a must
* tag articles/posts
* have localised versions of most articles
* have a builtin way of submitting translations
* full audit logging (page views, searches, changes, by username, IP, date/time, etc).
* WYSIWYG editing all round (shouldn't be an issue with SS)
* Powerful search function, including a "how do I ..." feature
* numerous other small tweaks

We are currently looking at this from the point of view of taking a wiki and bolting everything else onto it, but I'm not sure if it is better to do that, or create a portal (SS or something else) and fill in gaps.

I appreciate that a lot of this will need to be bespoke code, and we will be out-sourcing most of this work, but I need to know that I can maintain it (should the funds not be available for future changes) - I'm pretty good at PHP and have become reasonable at SS over the last 12 months of maintaining a couple of SS sites; tbh though, I've been programming/scripting for 20 years, so I should be alright with anything really.

Thanks in advance for reading this far, and double thanks if you respond :)

Ronan 2.0


Community Member, 11 Posts

16 August 2010 at 8:54am

I'm guessing that due to the lack of response, that either my question was too long so no-one wants to spend the time responding (completely understandable), or Silverstripe just isn't best suited for this. If the latter, can anyone point me at what might be...ideally, I don't want to have this all done in straight PHP, for obvious reasons, so something that we can write modules/plugins for would be ideal.

Chris Allen

Community Member, 1 Post

16 August 2010 at 10:54am

SilverStripe is going to be able to meet your requirements. The framework that SilverStripe utilizes seems to be a pretty extensible MVC affair so your experience with programming and scripting is going to come in handy if SilverStripe isn't going to provide exactly what you need.

I have found modifying the existing SilverStripe code base, as well as extending and adding functionality, to be quite simple. I would recommend that you peruse the community showcase of SilverStripe implementations in the wild. I am pretty confident you will find an example of another site doing something similar to what you have stated, and perhaps that would be the best way of selling you on the use of SilverStripe for this project.

You can view the community showcase here.


Community Member, 114 Posts

18 August 2010 at 4:15am

unfortunately the lack of forum response is a major problem with silverstripe, the community isn't very large and quite often questions go unanswered on the forums. however, when people do answer they are knowledgeable and helpful.

my advice on another thread:


Forum Moderator, 5523 Posts

18 August 2010 at 8:42pm

Edited: 18/08/2010 8:42pm

The quick answer to 'Can SilverStripe do... X' is usually yes. Its a PHP framework under the CMS so you can do anything you want with it :) But thats not particularly helpful so I'll go into a bit more detail.

we'll have a few hundred users, who will need to login to view stuff, multiple (10-15) authors/editors and a few (2-3) publisher/administrators - so customisable user security is a must

SilverStripe has a pretty fully featured member, groups, roles and permissions system. The book has the best documentation for this but you can find some guides online.

tag articles/posts

Try digging through the blog module for an example implementation of tags. Can't remember any nicer tutorials for this.

full audit logging (page views, searches, changes, by username, IP, date/time, etc).

You would need a bit of custom code to do that but it wouldn't be that hard at all. You can create a table in the database which stores this information as a dataobject (with MemberID, IP, What they did) and wrap that up quite nicely. See tutorial 5 for an introduction to creating dataobjects.

WYSIWYG editing all round (shouldn't be an issue with SS)

It isn't :) TinyMCE out of the box, if you need to customize it you can (to varying degrees of success

Powerful search function, including a "how do I ..." feature

Sphinx (one of the best engines) search integration was released recently. Its got a whole bunch of functionality which you should try out

Like timtim said the community is small and often you will go without a response but usually you can find help between the forum and IRC (depending on the hour of the day!). Plus if you ever get stuck completely then a lot of developers offer private consulting, help (see the developer network).