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  1. #1
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    Moving away from Joomla & Wordpress
    I've been a huge fan of CMS apps for quite some time, and have built many a Joomla & Wordpress site. When they work, they work great, but when things go wrong, it can be a disaster.

    As a bit of background, I was following 'good practice' and upgrading components a few months ago... one of which reset the default behavior of URLS (appended a unique ID to EVERY url, and changed URL case). It took me a couple of days to notice something was VERY wrong, and a month to fix the damage caused. The site is still suffering in the SERPs as a result.

    And now I have a second component (in which I have 400 entries) that is serving up duplicate content. The Joomla developer can't fix the issue - but he has replaced the faulty component with a new version. It's missing half the features of the original, and I"m not happy.

    So I have decided to go BACK to standalone scripts - will port my 400 entries to a new platform, where I can EASILY add 301 to htaccess (no longer dependent on fancy auto-generated SEO components!), and control changes without cache issues, performance lags, etc etc.

    I just wanted to share this experience - when you depend on a CMS, you need to make sure you fully understand the repercussions of changes & upgrades. I can find my way around a script, but I'm not a developer, and don't have the luxury of "extensive" testing before applying a change to the site. Unless you have good support, keep it simple.

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  3. #2
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    I might suggest a look into MODx. While still a CMS system it's pretty barebones and more of a framework for you to manage assets and contexts to publish a website.

    I particularly like it because it allows you to define every aspect fo the site. And takes a very small learning curve to get up and running.

    You can find more info about MODx at modxcms.com.

    If you go that route let me know, as I have used it for some very large sites and can help speed up the curve.

  4. #3
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    I've looked at MODx.. it's a very cool CMS, but the usage & publishing methods are counter-intuitive to the other apps I've used.

    I still plan to use Joomla & Wordpress as a base for articles & general content, and recommend either of those for basic publishing - but for extra features that make a site unique, I've decided to steer clear of all canned components that can mess up your site.

    A canned component is tempting, but the only way to build a new feature that is truly unique is to break out of the CMS mold. The added benefit is you have FULL control over URL behaviour, and avoid any unpleasant surprises.

    Heck, I might be in the minority here, but I see a brighter future away from a CMS dependency.

  5. #4
    ABW Ambassador superCool's Avatar
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    Ugh! superCool always worries about stuff like during upgrades. definitely food for thought. thanks for sharing

  6. #5
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    Yeah the publishing mechanism isn't that great.

  7. #6
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teezone View Post
    Heck, I might be in the minority here, but I see a brighter future away from a CMS dependency.
    +1 - Think more and more affiliates will be getting away from platforms such as WP...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

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  9. #7
    SEO: A Specialty - Web Design: Slow or outsourced andbeyond's Avatar
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    I dont really agree with this.

    The first URL problem was that Joomla or WP? I have done many WP upgrades and have never seen that.

    Sometimes when you do an upgrade the htaccess can get removed or changed. You might want to back it up locally before upgrading or make it unwritable.

    There are 301 plugins in WP like Simple 301 Redirects which are about as simple as could be.

    And no matter what CMS you are using you can do straight 301s in front of the CMS. Wordpress has 2 htaccess files that make it work and you can add some things in it if you dont like that above Plugin.

  10. #8
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    You don't have to agree, I'm just sharing my experience.. and warning others to tread softly when it comes to CMS usage.

    The upgrade I was referring to is a Joomla component (sh404SEF).. it's a fantastic add-on, and (almost) a must-have for any Joomla site. There are MANY options for SEO, but its main usage is to generate your article URLs, ie. case-sensitive, include section/category, append ID, etc. When you make ANY change, it prompts you to "purge" URLs, which will regenerate your site in an instant. My problem occurred when the upgrade reset some of my custom settings... I didn't spot the change, and 4,000 stories were renamed, without any 301. It was too late - the damage was done as Google picked it up immediately.

    I realize you can override anything with .htacesss, but it gets messy quickly.

    As publishers, we often look for the easiest option - these CMS apps are fantastic, but I'm now in the middle of developing a new feature that was not possible through Joomla or WP. The speed is fantastic, I have already talked to a developer about custom changes (no Joomla knowledge required), and it's the first true unique feature I've added in 3 years.

    To clarify, I have another site in WP, so this isn't a Joomla vs WP issue - the same limitations exist in both.

  11. #9
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Teezone, your observations & decision are really interesting.
    I would also think that you have more leeway to experiment with
    scripts when using an html page/basic template as opposed to experimenting with a script
    that wrecks the cms [i.e. either Wordpress or Joomla or Drupal etc.].

    I think your observations & experiences might be helpful to newbies as well
    since you give working with a page design/template a vote of confidence

    I'm thinking of making a site with standard html as a point of reference to
    an accompanying Wordpress section within a domain but I've had my problems with Wordpress as well. I tried to update something and the entire Wordpress section got ruined -- that can definitely hinder progress.
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
    Twitter me

  12. #10
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    Thanks Rhia..

    It's a conversation I've had recently with my sister, who runs a VERY successful site (not affiliate marketing). She has limited technical skills, but knows how use her simple app, and publishes a lot of fresh content daily. She has been offered a site redesign many times, including Wordpress, but keeps it simple.

    Me, with my technical skills, work with both Joomla and Wordpress. I have a subdomain that is mostly content - not as much as hers on a daily basis, but steady fresh articles. That's the section that got hit with the unexpected URL rewrite... traffic is still only at 50%.

    I'm not dissing Joomla & WP - if you just need to write articles (and don't need to change things for a while!), they're great. But components and plugins can trip you up, and for the most part, they are not unique.

    I've had issues with Google over the past few months - a "perfect storm" of errors, as I call it. I'll add to those threads if I have some luck with this new section. The sitemap (with 30 pages) has already been 100% indexed.
    Last edited by teezone; May 26th, 2012 at 12:08 PM.

  13. #11
    Newbie jones's Avatar
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    teezone very nice sharing your experience, got me thinking if it would load quicker then running on a cached WP ? for users that run with shared host.

  14. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by andbeyond View Post
    Sometimes when you do an upgrade the htaccess can get removed or changed. You might want to back it up locally before upgrading or make it unwritable.
    This is a fact. Threw me for a loop the first time that it happened.

    I have tried to move away from WP.......but the ease of using it brings me back.
    You must climb this mountain. There is no elevator. ---- Don't stick your finger in the liquid nitrogen.
    Carolina China

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  16. #13
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    WP is so easy to use, code is simple, is very customizable and plugins can be developed very cheaply. Joomla is robust and buggy. That's why I don't use it anymore.

  17. #14
    Member Nytshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andbeyond View Post
    Sometimes when you do an upgrade the htaccess can get removed or changed. You might want to back it up locally before upgrading or make it unwritable.
    Thnx for the Tip!

  18. #15
    ABW Ambassador Adarsh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teezone View Post
    Heck, I might be in the minority here, but I see a brighter future away from a CMS dependency.
    No you are not alone ...
    Quote Originally Posted by Convergence View Post
    +1 - Think more and more affiliates will be getting away from platforms such as WP...
    +1 count me in too ..
    Fulltime webmaster and wordpress lover.

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