CMS to replace current one - holiday cottages and hotel site

Hi,

I’m looking into the possibilities of replacing the CMS for my current site Romantic Hotels UK and Romantic Holiday Cottages UK by Romantic Retreats which lists holiday cottages and hotels. I’m currently using WebsiteBaker which I really like because of its flexibility and most importantly; it’s great for SEO. I think especially my tiered setup and the fact that these are real existing pages has helped a lot.

But I’m missing some features, such as a good search feature where you can filter by how many people the cottage sleeps, if it has a woodburner, price range etc. With my current CMS this is difficult because they are just ‘static’ pages and don’t have fields that can be used for filtering.

What CMS would you suggest for this? I saw Real Estate - Joomla! Extensions Directory which looks impressive but I think I would miss the flexibility of being able to just add something to a page when it is so DB driven. I also looked at [url=http://www.dynaportal.com]Web Portal Software For Portals, Communities, Corporate Websites and Intranets - DynaPortal Software but that’s too expensive for me.

Does anyone have any experience with this sort of thing? Your experiences would be really useful to know.

Thanks,

Konrad

I would recommend you look at ExpressionEngine. It is incredibly flexible, and does not interfere with your code, while allowing you to create as much functionality as you need.

Thanks Ralph! Do you have any experience with a search function I was referring to? Is this built into EE?

Konrad

Yes, EE has multiple search options, from a very simple search function to a very complex one, with many fine-grained facets. Also, each bit of content you enter into the CMS can be tagged to make it searchable or not searchable. Very powerful.

I haven’t explored it fully, but you can read more here:

Search Module Tags – ExpressionEngine Documentation

Looks promising! A friend of mine also likes EE and has tried to get me into it :slight_smile:

I was looking at some of the sites produced using it and came across these two:

African Budget Safaris - Details - Show-EE
SnapDigs - Details - Show-EE

They both use a mod called super search by solspace - do you have any experience with this?

Thanks,

Konrad

Have you looked into Wordpress? Extremely flexible and well optimized for SEO. http://wordpress.org

Hi Raptor, thanks for your suggestion but I never really got into WP - I always felt it was like trying to press a website into a cms that was originally created for a blog! But maybe that’s just me :slight_smile:

Saying that, I just browsed a few sites using WP and found this one: 101 holiday ideas. Not the functionality I’m looking for but a fine site indeed!

Not directly, but the Solspace addons are excellent. They are one of the top few addon makers, so very reliable.

I agree that WordPress is a mess to work with and needs quite a bit of hacking around to do what you want, so I abandoned it a while back. The flexibility and ease of EE leaves it miles behind—at least for general websites.

I disagree. Why is it a mess to work with? I’ve found it to be really simple and I’ve never had to hack any of the core WP files to get the result I wanted. I’ve occasionally had to add a few lines of code into a functions.php file for a filter or something like that, but never anything I’d consider a real hack. On the contrary I think EE is a mess and poorly optimized so I guess it boils down to preference more then anything as I believe they are both capable.

One of the major things I see going for WordPress is the wealth of plugins for it. It’s sorta like the iPhone, if you want to do it, theres an app - or in this case plugin - for it.

Considering the custom content I would do it in Drupal.

Yes, arguing over the best CMS is one of the more contentious issues on the web. :smiley: Personally, I haven’t found a CMS that can as easily and cleanly handle content in a myriad of ways as EE (and believe me, I’m still looking). But I’m not as adventurous as some. I try to avoid plugins if I can, as they increase the complexity of a site and can be more trouble than they’re worth. As these forums attest, many a crummy plugin has brought a WP site unstuck; and some of the code we have to debug here is truly horrifying.

Hi Chris,

Thanks for your reply - what makes you suggest Drupal for custom content?

Thanks,

Konrad

I had a look at EE but the price of the commercial product plus having to then buy add ons like “forum” put me off, haven’t tried Durpal or Joomla yet though.

Dave.