What is the best CMS to build Local Portal

by hardy 28 replies
Hi Warriors,

I'm working on building a local portal and I'm wondering if anyone here can suggest what is the best CMS to use to build a local portal.

I'm familiar with WP but not sure if it has all the plugins I need to incorporate all the features I want onto the site (I'm thinking about something like yelp.com).

I'm sure there are some warriors here have build local portals and I hope you don't mind sharing your experience with me.

Thanks in advance,

Hardy
#website design #build #cms #local #portal
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  • Profile picture of the author oioioi
    Hello!
    How many users would enter ur website?
    If it's no so much - u can use JOOMLA or WordPress. Its free
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  • Profile picture of the author hardy
    Hi all,

    oioioi: Thanks for answering my question. Number of users will be unlimited. That's the plan for the long term anyway But my thought is I want to start it using the right system because I'm trying to avoid all the headache in changing system down the road. I'm not too techie-savvy. That's why I like the simplicity of WP. I haven't tried Joomla yet but I heard it has more power than WP but not as simple to use. Is this true?

    SusanneUK: Thanks for the note. I'll check it out. I heard about them. Are you a member there?

    Nick H: Thanks for your help. eDirectory looks good but a bit pricey for me to start. Any other cheaper option? How's your friend's experience with it? Is it easy to customize on our own or do we pretty much have to get eDirectory to customize the look and feel for us?

    I'll try building one using WP and existing WPplugins and see if I can get it to what I need.

    Thanks all,

    Hardy
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  • Profile picture of the author hardy
    Hi again,

    Nick H: Why didn't I think of doing Google search on it??? Duh...lol...Thanks for pointing those out. I'll search through it and see if there is anything that I like.

    C2WP: Do you have any suggestions on which plugins to use?

    Thanks again,

    Hardy
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  • Profile picture of the author Instructor
    If you decide to go with edirectory shoot me a PM. I'm also looking at grabbing a license (Owned) and if we get a few we can get a pretty good discount.
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  • Profile picture of the author hardy
    Hi Instructor,

    I'll let you know for sure if that's the way I decided to go. I can always use a great discount

    Do you have any portal right now? What do you use?

    Thanks,

    Hardy
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  • Profile picture of the author knowwow
    If you can put the time into trying to learn your way through it (there are many video tutorials available), I think your best shot is using Drupal.

    Also, if you are going to be paying for this, I would suggest that you find a Drupal developer and get this built on top of that.

    A lot of people say that Drupal has a steep learning curve. There is a truth to that. But, getting -say- wordpress to become a yelp-like site will necessitate turning wordpress into something that it is not. And that costs time as well.

    Here is a list of writeups on how people used Drupal to build different types of sites: drupal dot org /forum/25 (can't drop urls yet.)
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  • Profile picture of the author hardy
    Thanks for pointing it out Knowwow.

    I've heard about drupal as well but I haven't looked at it at all because of the reason that you mentioned (steep learning curve).

    I'll check out the link you provided.

    Thanks again,

    Hardy
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    • Profile picture of the author trumpetblast
      Hey Hardy-

      If you don't mind me adding my two cents here, and keep in mind that I have not built a local portal before, but here's how I see your situation:

      1) You're not currently very tech-savvy.
      2) You want to build the site right the first time as opposed to having to scrap your CMS down the road when the site gets heavy traffic.
      3) You'd prefer to build the site as cheaply as possible.

      Unfortunately from where I stand these 3 points don't mesh very well. If you want to achieve #2 (and I certainly think you're wise to do so!), you're going to have to change either #1 or #3.

      That is, building the site the right way with a free solution (wordpress, for example) will most likely require you to spend a lot of time learning how it works, slugging through the code and getting things just so. Be prepared to get frustrated and pull your hair out. That's the inevitability of climbing the learning curve. We all have to go through it

      On the other hand, if you're willing to spend some money, other alternatives open. You could buy a script that's designed for local portals already. You'll likely save yourself a lot of time and frustration. But this route has its downsides to because 1) gaining a little technical knowledge yourself is never a bad thing IMO because it makes you more capable of dealing with small issues down the road and/or communicating with coders that you hire to help you and 2) if/when you ask a coder to help you with that specialized script down the road, the chances of them being familiar with that as opposed to a more ubiquitous solution like Wordpress are lower, and therefore it will probably be more expensive.

      Anyway, that's how things look for you from where I stand. Hope that gives you a bit more realistic appraisal of the situation.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
        Simplicity is traded off for versatilty and power. Wordpress is NOT the best solution for every situation. Joomla will allow you through plugins to get up and running with many features fast but in the end I have to second the recommendation of Drupal. If you want a site with no limits and enterprise grade. its Drupal.

        Learning curve yes - a bit

        If you want to cut that down some check Acquia Drupal

        Acquia Drupal | Acquia

        If you are willing to spend a few hundred this is pretty good too and alot of great sites are built on it

        http://expressionengine.com/
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  • Profile picture of the author Instructor
    No, I don't have on right now, but I've also considered Joomla for this.

    Once you decide on a budget, perhaps we can get something built together and we can each have a copy of a robust platform.
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  • Profile picture of the author hardy
    Hi all,

    trumpetblast: I understand what you're saying. Although it maybe is true that all 3 of my objectives may not more together perfectly, but being new to this I didn't know that until you mentioned it...lol. Thanks for your detail input and suggestions. They are very well taken. And I will consider all alternatives before proceeding to build the site. So in this case objective #3 will be upgraded to "some cost involved".

    Mike Anthony: Thanks for your recommendations. Acquia Drupal is kinda pricey from my first glance at the pricing. ExpressionEngine doesn't look too bad. Do you have any experience using them?

    Cheers,

    Hardy
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  • Profile picture of the author Instructor
    I would think that anything you can do with drupal can also be done with Joomla.
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  • Profile picture of the author designerpk.com
    joomla and drupal both are best for portal, If I'll, I'll use drupal
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  • I, personally, believe Drupal is the best CMS all around. It does require more coding knowledge than most CMS platforms, though it's very robust.
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  • Profile picture of the author VisualWebEffects
    as far as portal apps go, i use both Joomla and drupal. However, i only use drupal on one site, and it is because i need to use it for a purpose. My personal favorite is Joomla. very powerful, easy to use, very robust, and a huge extension library accessible on the Joomla website.
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    • Profile picture of the author Biz Guru
      1. Drupal is the Best/Strongest but also a little difficult. (get it built for you and you laughing)

      2. Wordpress is the Easiest and Fastest to throw together (although not a True CMS)

      3. Joomla Is not Too hard fairly flexible and easy to find plugins and competitive prices for help building it out.

      That is where you stand and basically all you need to know to make your decision.

      If I could ever get a second to breath I would be building a portal as well. Most of my sites are wordpress but for my Portal I would Probably use Joomla. UNLESS I got a decent price for having 1 built then it would be Drupal.
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  • Profile picture of the author Slingshot377
    Since you are already familiar with Wordpress, I say stick with it.

    Joomla can be for more powerful, but it is also a lot more difficult to master and as such will take much more time.
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  • Profile picture of the author hardy
    Hi all fellow Warriors,

    Technista: How is your experience with cmsmadesimple.org? It seems like a great CMS. Is it stable (i.e. not too many bugs, etc)?

    VisualWebEffects: You mentioned that you use Drupal for one of your site for a purpose. It got me wondering what can't you do with other CMS that you have to use Drupal?

    TheBrainchildGroup & Biz Guru: Thanks for your input. It just make me more sure that (at the end) I will have to use Drupal. So might as well start learning about it now

    Slingshot377: Thanks for your suggestion.

    Thank you all for your suggestions so far. I've checked out most of your suggestions and all considered, I think I will start working on building the site with Wordpress (for now) while learning Joomla and Drupal. And once I have more knowledge of Joomla and Drupal then I'll make decision whether to go with Joomla or Drupal.

    Thanks again,

    Hardy

    PS: Please keep the suggestions coming.
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  • Profile picture of the author aalpha.org
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    • Profile picture of the author cma01
      I use Joomla for my local community portal.

      The components that I use are:
      • Kuena Forum
      • Community Builder
      • Mamblog. It is deprecated now, but there is one for 1.5.
      • Ads Manager for Classified ads.
      • YANC
      • SEF Patch - a must for SEO on your site
      • Phil Taylor's Directory script. At the time I first launched the site, it was the only directory option available. However, when I redesign and upgrade it, I'm going to switch to Moset's directory.
      • Zoom media gallery
      • JEvents
      • Attend Events
      I used to use the ArtBanners component for advertising, but I switched to an external installation of OpenX. If you're just planning on having the one site, Artbanners is great. If you want to run campaigns across multiple sites, I would go with OpenX. There is also a component called . . . I think Ad Agency or something like that . . . that is supposed to be more of a full feature ad server. I haven't tried it though.

      I also have a group of local bloggers that I publish excerpts of their posts with a link back to their site. It adds a lot of flavor to the site. I use Feedgator for that function, but it's kind of an orphaned/rescued/orphaned again component that is really buggy. There are a couple of commerical components out now for 1.5 that will do the same thing.

      It is really easy to set up a community portal with Joomla, the hardest part is deciding which components you want to use.
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      • Profile picture of the author joshril
        Would you be willing to share this site with us?

        Thinking about buying an edirectory license, but I would be interested to see what a joomla portal site looks like.

        Thanks!

        Originally Posted by cma01 View Post

        I use Joomla for my local community portal.

        The components that I use are:
        • Kuena Forum
        • Community Builder
        • Mamblog. It is deprecated now, but there is one for 1.5.
        • Ads Manager for Classified ads.
        • YANC
        • SEF Patch - a must for SEO on your site
        • Phil Taylor's Directory script. At the time I first launched the site, it was the only directory option available. However, when I redesign and upgrade it, I'm going to switch to Moset's directory.
        • Zoom media gallery
        • JEvents
        • Attend Events
        I used to use the ArtBanners component for advertising, but I switched to an external installation of OpenX. If you're just planning on having the one site, Artbanners is great. If you want to run campaigns across multiple sites, I would go with OpenX. There is also a component called . . . I think Ad Agency or something like that . . . that is supposed to be more of a full feature ad server. I haven't tried it though.

        I also have a group of local bloggers that I publish excerpts of their posts with a link back to their site. It adds a lot of flavor to the site. I use Feedgator for that function, but it's kind of an orphaned/rescued/orphaned again component that is really buggy. There are a couple of commerical components out now for 1.5 that will do the same thing.

        It is really easy to set up a community portal with Joomla, the hardest part is deciding which components you want to use.
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      • Profile picture of the author xtratheme.com
        Originally Posted by cma01 View Post


        It is really easy to set up a community portal with Joomla, the hardest part is deciding which components you want to use.
        vote + for you

        My site developed with Joomla ! It's flexible.
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  • Use Drupal..I like that CMS the best. WOrdpress is good for blogs etc but not for intricate designs.
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  • Profile picture of the author hardy
    Hi again,

    cma01: Thanks for your suggestions. I'll look into it for sure. I already got the domain ready and I need to get this started ASAP. And as joshril asked: will you be willing to share your site with us? I'm sure it will help everyone else too to see how it looks and its functionality. How long have you have your sites for? Is it easy to maintain? Any security issues (such as spams, bugs, etc)?

    Orlando Web Design: I've heard Drupal is the best but I have concern about the learning curve since I haven't learned much about drupal. I've been using wp for some time and heard about Joomla but not Drupal.

    xtratheme.com: Do you have any other components you use?

    All of you have been a real help for me to decide which CMS to use. All of you are truly warriors indeed.

    Thanks,

    Hardy
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