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Migrating a Site to Silverstripe /

What you need to know when migrating your existing site to SilverStripe.

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

Migrating static site to SilverStripe

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6 Posts   3022 Views


Community Member, 9 Posts

7 October 2012 at 7:30am

Edited: 07/10/2012 7:31am

I would like to migrate my employer's website to SilverStripe. Right now it's a static site, and it's getting rather unwieldy to maintain and update content. I simplified things somewhat by writing a Perl script to generate the site from common templates, bits, and pieces, but it's getting to the point where I just want a real CMS. Here are a few things on my "want" list:

  • * Look and feel are very basic plain old CSS, and I'd just as soon leave it that way for the time being. We don't want to radically change this, or make it too fancy or complicated.
  • * We have a pretty basic "Home | About Us | This | That | The Other Thing" menu, but I need a way to make it hierarchical, because some of these categories will need to have sub-menus.
  • * We have certain required disclaimers that must appear at the bottom of every page on the site, and these must be subject to content management, as they must be updated from time to time and tracked.
  • * For regulatory reasons, all versions of the site we publish must be kept on file. An electronic database will satisfy this requirement.

I'd much appreciate any hints or ideas. Definitive solutions not needed at this point, unless it's something very simple and obvious I'm missing that will save me a lot of time. Thanks in advance.

Plato Creative

Community Member, 26 Posts

7 October 2012 at 10:45am

This is the CMS for you.
Silverstripe does all of these things out of the box (with the exception of CMS editable disclaimer footers, but it's a 5 min job to add them in).

SilverStripe gives you complete creative freedom, your CSS can be as basic or as complex as you want it. The theme files are all separate from the site logic, so it's a very easy transition from static files.

Pages inside the CMS are managed in a very visual tree structure, easily adding heirarchial pages is not an issue.

Disclaimers on the footer are easy to put into a template. However if you don't want to edit the template every time they need updating, it is a very easy process to add a field into the site settings that will allow you to edit the footer from within the admin area. This job takes about 5 minutes, and you can basically copy most of the code from various sources on the internet, ask in this forum, or join the IRC channel for live help & guidance.

So far as I'm aware, SilverStripe is also the only CMS with a decent version tracking system built in. Not only can you restore previous versions of a page, but you can also restore deleted pages should you ever have the need.

I hope that helps you out. Try SilverStripe, it's worth it.


Community Member, 69 Posts

16 October 2012 at 8:09am

i have been using it now for several customers.
Implementation of most things is easy...
Now i say to the customer... if you can find word files in Windows from the file manager, can edit them in word... you can build and or edit your website.
Basic site as you mention i build within 1 day (mostly).

In the footer implementing a page is indeed as Plato said easy. make an page for instance in the cms... go to the properties of the page and say do not show in the menu... make an hardlink for it in the footer... so very easy

As he also sayd... all versions of the page are being kept... you can read it... restore it... etc.

From all CMS ive seen its very flexible and for the customer (or yourself) very easy and simple to add and edit pages.


Community Member, 9 Posts

21 October 2012 at 5:50am

Thanks for the suggestions, folks. I have managed to get SilverStripe installed without too much ado on a rather unusual OpenBSD/Apache-1.3-fork/PostgreSQL/PHP stack for development, but when the site gets hosted, it'll probably go on one of those ubiquitous LAMP arrangements. I think I found just what I need here: Tutorial 1 - Building a Basic Site.

I don't have so much content that it's that big a concern to me at the moment, but how hard is it, say, to swap out the database backend on an existing site? And how fussy a process is upgrading a site to a new version of SilverStripe envisioned to be?


Forum Moderator, 1391 Posts

24 October 2012 at 5:58am

>> how hard is it, say, to swap out the database backend on an existing site?

Not very hard: I'm assuming you mean in order to upload your site to a production server? In that case it's mostly a question of

- get a Database dump of your existing site,
- upload your website files to the server and make sure all rights are set correctly
- change your mysite/_config.php settings to connect to your new database(server)
- import the database dump you made earlier
- do a /dev/build?flush=1
to get everything to work

>> how fussy a process is upgrading a site to a new version of SilverStripe envisioned to be?

Normally that would be a question of replacing two directories: sapphire and cms for versions 2.4.x, framework and cms for versions 3.x.

Upgrading from 2.x to 3.x is a different matter - version 3.0 has had a major overhaul, so that would mean checking all your custom code and modules to make sure they are compatible... So my advice would be to start with version 3.0 if at all possible!


Community Member, 9 Posts

24 October 2012 at 2:11pm

Edited: 25/10/2012 9:07am

Ok, great, I have one more question. Our page "template" such as it is for the static site now, actually has three content sections: a main column, a "sidebar" to the left, and a section in the footer that all contain content that should be editable. However the CMS only has one content field for the page. I've been trying to follow some of the tutorials, but I think it's something trivial I'm missing. How do I add two more html content fields to the CMS for my page template?

EDIT: I found this. It worked for me: I just had to remember to visit "dev/build" on my site. It's all good now :-)