I’ve been struggling with this question for about… let’s see… 4 years! Do I convert my hobby site www.nifty-stuff.com over to a CMS platform?
Here’s how it plays out about every 6 months:
1) I get tired of creating pages in Dreamweaver and then shooting everything over to the server.
2) I start researching CMS’s (back in the day when I first did this the big ones were Xoops and PhpNuke)
3) I find and install one I think I like
4) I decide it is more hassle than it’s worth (keeping it updated, hacker safe, etc.)
Well, over the past year I’ve been becoming more and more drawn to wards CMS’s for different reasons than pure functionality / tools for me, the publisher. Most of the new reasons have to do with 3 relatively new points of consideration:
1) Blog based systems (see WordPress): SE’s LOVE blogs
2) RSS: It would be great to have readers subscribe to new posts on my site. The old school way of doing this was using a newsletter to tell people there are new articles… what a pain.
3) Comments: I’d love to enable my visitors to add comments to the stuff posted.
Found myself asking the following:
“Do I finally take the big plunge and go all out CMS? Convert all my pages and copy all the data into individual blog posts?
If yes, then which system do I use? Here are my two main contenders: Drupal & WordPress (I know, WP is not a traditional CMS, but you get the point).
For the most part I’m 85% converted to using WordPress. It’s clean, user friendly, has a great community with tons of plugins, SE’s love it, etc. My main problem. I just don’t like the chronologically sorted post structure of Blogs. I’m just not totally sold that a blog format matches my hobby site. This could just be legacy thinking.”
Well, after a few months of going back and forth I decided the pros outweigh the cons. I paid someone to help me move every page, one at a time into WordPress. There are still quite a few bugs and kinks to work out, but my main questions / issues were resolved.
The biggest issue: keeping existing PageRank and back links to the pages without having to create 100 redirects. WordPress allowed me to use “Custom Permalinks” to have all my posts look like php pages. Naming the post the same as the file name resulted in a perfect (90% of the time) match up between the old file url and the new blog post url.