[thelist] CMS Quest

Hershel Robinson hershelr at netvision.net.il
Thu Apr 14 09:17:40 CDT 2005

I manage this site:


It is a large and successful site (as far as visitors coming). Please don't
look at the HTML, it is classically horrible. I was not involved in the
design of this site in the least. The owners, however, are now ready to part
ways with the semi-custom ASP system they have and find a better one.

They have two reasons for this, one is that the admin side of this site is
NOT very easy to use nor rich in features and the second is that the public
side has a terribly coded front end (the resultant HTML I mean) and a mildly
precarious backend (ASP and MS SQL), which is actually down at present, or
at least somewhat down.

I am now looking for a third-party solution. The main features are the
tiered menus on the left and a robust system for ranking and connecting
articles, meaning keeping a record of who visits which articles and from
which articles they come and which are the most popular articles. Beyond
that, the owners want all of the standard CMS features and are very
interested in more features that they may not even have thought of.

The site is updated weekly by a semi-non-technical staff.

I of course am looking for something flexible with a CSS-layout-based front
end. The choices of technology are not much of an issue, nor is a reasonable
one-time purchase cost.

The owners also want to open a store on the site to sell merchandise, but
they told me that the store part of the site could be somewhat separate from
the CMS section, both in appearance and functionality, and so I would have
no problem using a separate pre-packaged ecommerce system for that. I am
presently considering x-cart, simply because I have heard good things about
it and I am soon going to be working with it for another client and so I
will hopefully begin to develop some knowledge of it. Of course I also hope
that if the CMS and the store are written with the same back-end technology
(like PHP) then it would be easy to connect them and show
dynamically-generated links for each on the other.

Any ideas for the CMS (and the e-commerce too) are appreciated.


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