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  1. #1
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    Deveoping Multi Website CMS

    Hi,

    I am thinking about developing a CMS System which enables webmasters to manage and control multiple websites from a single control panel.

    This is not meant to be a huge complex system but gives still enough features to create and run stunning websites.

    What kind of features would you suggest incorporating into such system?

    So far I have:

    Text (including images and embedded flash objects like video clips)
    Image gallery
    Google Sitemap Generator
    Google PageRank monitor
    Templating System
    RSS Feed creator
    robots.txt manager

  2. #2
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    Also thought the following features would be good.

    Multiple administrators (allowing to restrict them to 1 or more website, assign tasks ect)
    Content update alert (alerts when content should be updated to keep the website up to date)
    Plugin scripts for things like Google Adsense, Google Analytics ect
    Social bookmark Plugin

    nobody else any ideas?

  3. #3
    SitePoint Guru
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    I assume you've used some of the current CMS platforms out there? Many of your features don't even rate on my top 100 features.

    I don't care about sitemap generators, pagerank monitors or robots.txt managers in my CMS.

    How about permissions for multiple users (admin/designer/author/editor etc)
    Versioning with rollback abilities (in case of bad edits)
    Extensibility (modules/add-ons)
    Customizable link structure

    Actually, just start here for features: http://expressionengine.com/overview/features/
    MySQL v5.1.58
    PHP v5.3.6

  4. #4
    PHP/Rails Developer Czaries's Avatar
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    I think you need to focus your efforts on getting the core basics right, and let the developer community build specialty modules or tools on top of that. You don't need a google pagerank monitor at launch. That's not a core feature, and it's not basic. Start very simple, and work up from there.

    Architecture is very important for developers. Focus on features they will need, like a good plugin architecture, overriding and extending core files without hacking/modifying them, hooks and events placed everywhere (again the goal is no hacks or core file modifications), a built-in method of adding configuration variables and user permissions to custom modules, etc.

    Start with the core architecture and try just building your CMS with only a Text WYSIWYG module at first. The foundation is the most important part. Get that right, and other developers will help with all the other specific and custom needs.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    ^^^ What he said 110%
    The only constant in software is change itself

  6. #6
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    Keep in mind that the multiple websites are probably running on a variety of CMSs - how are you going to let your "control panel" talk to all these CMSs?

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy bluedreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lam.fong View Post
    Keep in mind that the multiple websites are probably running on a variety of CMSs - how are you going to let your "control panel" talk to all these CMSs?
    How about like this - http://expressionengine.com/download..._site_manager/

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluedreamer View Post
    How about like this - expressionengine.com/downloads/details/multiple_site_manager/
    That's nice.. but looks like it's managing multiple sites using its own system. I.e. like a multi-site WordPress.

    I would say that it's quite impossible (may be not that useful either) to talk to different CMS in terms of managing the blog entries/pages as they all have different formats.

    However.. maybe a multi-site "management system" can be helpful by grouping site usage reports?

  9. #9
    I solve practical problems. bronze trophy
    Michael Morris's Avatar
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    The framework I'm building this summer (or perhaps rebuilding is more accurate) is designed to be multisite supported, but the feature set I consider "launch" is entirely different.

    • Table & Form Building From the management console the developer can generate the admin system that the client will use on the site, mapping out tables and also establishing parent / child table relationships. Once the tables are drawn out the corresponding admin system is generated automatically. Tables can also be built from common templates, though this is a secondary goal and won't be in first release.
    • Role Based Access Control User access to the system will be controlled via RBAC - the implementation I'm using is that the user must have a role that says they can perform the action and not have any roles saying that they can't perform the action.
    • Beta / Stable Deployment Automation The framework actually stores two copies of each website - a stable branch (www.mysite.com) and a beta branch (beta.mysite.com). The framework is able to move code, data and dbstructure between the two halves of the site. This allows developers to fully test code for a site before deploying it, and also test upgrades to the framework against their local code before deploying it.
    • Caching The framework uses the webfiles folder as a cache so that for brochure sites and other simple setups the framework can avoid being started entirely.
    • Compatibility The framework does not use any global variables and keeps all of its functions in classes except the debug library (which is turned off and not loaded in production). It is possible to load and start most any PHP app within it - it has been tested against Joomla, vbulletin and phpmyadmin. This should greatly facilitate the writing of bridge code.
    • Extensible Every class except the core module can be overridden by custom code, developers can control which classes are used to deploy their pages. Even the models out of the dynamic table authoring can be overridden with custom classes or (more likely) extended. The classes are written such that each function takes one action only, so child classes have a very find degree of control over how they work.
    • Error Logging The exception and error handling framework provides you with as much information as possible when errors occur. Non-fatal errors are logged and displayed in javascript. When the system isn't in debug mode the system logs errors to a text file log (database connectivity errors can't easily be logged to the database )


    My focus at this time is getting the developer API right. Time will tell I suppose.


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