We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

Need Help Selecting a Suitable Content Management System

441 Views
Last Modified: 2018-03-26
I've just had some major "internal" work done on my website (built with FrontPage), and as a result, will need to replace some code on over 100 individual pages.  My freelance coder said that it just might be time for me to consider a Content Management System. I looked at some CMS sites, and I'm starting to think he's right.

My website is www.radiogeorge.com

My coder has suggested I look at:

    WordPress  -- https://wordpress.org/
    Joomla - https://www.joomla.org/
    Drupal - https://www.drupal.org/ 

saying that the best candidate might come from this short list, considering the structure of the site.

FrontPage has given me familiarity with  tweaking pages to the extent that they look O.K. and are easy to use, but beyond that, if I am going to go with a CMS, I would like to go with one that is very easy to use, since it looks like I'll be rebuilding the while enchilada.

So, experts, I'm asking you to scope things out and give me your recommendations before I get involved with learning and implementing a whole new bunch of tools to get the job done. Key thing to keep in mind: while I'm not a rank beginner in messing around with web pages, I am far from being up on the latest tools, so simple is best. I am not ruling out paying for a CMS tool, if it is indeed easy to use.

Thanks!
Comment
Watch Question

Commented:
This one is on us!
(Get your first solution completely free - no credit card required)
UNLOCK SOLUTION
This one is on us!
(Get your first solution completely free - no credit card required)
UNLOCK SOLUTION

Commented:
Let me add, Rowby mentioned backups and security.... WordPress has multiple plugin-in options for backups, and keep one or more recent backup remote from your servers.

From a security perspective, the internet is an open playground, keep your systems up to date with patches :-)
Scott FellDeveloper
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Fellow
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Commented:
This one is on us!
(Get your first solution completely free - no credit card required)
UNLOCK SOLUTION
This one is on us!
(Get your first solution completely free - no credit card required)
UNLOCK SOLUTION
RadioGeorgeOwner/Programmer

Author

Commented:
I think I'm more impressed with the quality of the responses to this question posting than any others I have made since I started using Experts Exchange about 5-6 years ago!

Rowby's question "What is your website about?" deserves an answer, because I am asked that a lot, except not as directly as he worded it.

Radio George is a unique original created ten years ago. While it often comes across as a website with live streaming, it is not. It uses what I call a "file-on-demand" process using a playlist on each "channel" or page. Why call the pages "channels?" The music is primarily targeting adults over 40 (indeed, over 50!) who may have become well-adapted to digital media, but grew up "listening to the radio," with individual channels, stations, and formats of music (primarily oldies 1955-1975 and Smooth Jazz) that were structured in a specific way. So that an older audience is comfortable "tuning in" to Radio George and listening. You go to a channel and essentially just start listening! The commercials are from firms who want to reach the over-40 audience and come from my own prospecting efforts and from three national ad agencies who have clients who are happy with the results they've received.

As the site took shape (with 100% of the actual technical coding being done by a freelancer who is still on board today), I had to address some requirements that are very site-specific. Most prominent of these is the tracking of every piece of music that is played 24/7. This is so that I can file the reports to the music licensing companies, the same as traditional stations (on the air, streaming, and other digital operations) have to do, since those licensing companies must be paid for each and every time one of their licensee's songs is played!  (For the record, that's ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, and Sound Exchange, each of whom also charge an annual fee).

Special attention had to be paid to an incident when hackers found the source files  of  some of the music, copied it, and made it available on pirate sites. I found out about this via a letter from a British lawyer who discovered it! Special tech work had to be done to remedy that, and the solution seems to be a solid one as close to permanent as one can be, it seems.

While the origination of the site was in part inspired by the format changes of the oldies and smooth jazz stations where I live, the early statistics (I use 4 different services to track them) showed few people listening. But just a month later, the stats exploded as the viral nature of the Internet took over and digital word-of-mouth performed its magic. Today, Radio George has listeners in over 4,000 cities in more than 120 countries/nations.

So that's what the site is all about. I intend to keep adding channels, since the maintenance is simple. I have had cron jobs built that change commercials and content that are super efficient and also easy to use. I should mention that the first major behind the scenes renovation is nearly complete, and that is switching over to a new player that has been internationally tested on computer and telephone systems (by users) to make sure that RG can be heard on as many digital devices as possible. This was a change that was dictated by advancing technology, of course, and is being implemented by my coder.

Goals: as it says on the back of my business card, "Have fun, satisfy customers, make money."

That's Radio George.
Developer
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Fellow
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Commented:
This one is on us!
(Get your first solution completely free - no credit card required)
UNLOCK SOLUTION
This one is on us!
(Get your first solution completely free - no credit card required)
UNLOCK SOLUTION
Brandon LyonFrontend Engineer and UX
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Commented:
This one is on us!
(Get your first solution completely free - no credit card required)
UNLOCK SOLUTION
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Most Valuable Expert 2017
Distinguished Expert 2019
Commented:
This one is on us!
(Get your first solution completely free - no credit card required)
UNLOCK SOLUTION
RadioGeorgeOwner/Programmer

Author

Commented:
Reply to Julian (but definitely of interest to all for their reaction):

Julian, I am generating each one of the pages manually. When I first started Radio George, it used 30 pages of smooth jazz playlists and 37 pages of oldies. It was relatively easy to use a cut-and-paste approach in addition to simple modifications of coding provided by my coder to build a site like that.

Obviously, there has been a lot added since then, and I do foresee additional channels (pages) to be added in the future.

There are two other factors that come into play, in light of the many ideas expressed in this thread so far:

In doing the manual work, I use:

(1) a variety of programs from sobolsoft.com, such as:

Rename Multiple Files At Once Software
Copy Files & Folders to Another Folder
Extract Data & Text From Multiple Text Files Software
Extract Data & Text From Multiple Web Sites Software
Extract Data Between Two Strings Software
Find and Replace Multiple Items at Once
Rename Files Sequentially

As you may infer, using such utilities makes making changes on many pages very simple and fast.

(2) In using Cute FTP to upload files manually, I noticed the program option to create a macro via the recording of keys pressed, options selected, etc. I looked at one and saw that it was a file saved in Visual Basic. While I do not have a background in VB, I do have a background in DOS and QuickBasic, so it became apparent that I could create and/or tweak such files and run them directly for various functions. This is how I delete and replace commercials (using the "same name" approach) weekly.

Add to this Google Fiber's transfer speed of 1 GB per second, and the entire process is not taxing and does not demand a lot of time.  

Now, I am not saying this is the best way, I present it here for you to comment on it, compare it to the other posts, and hear your analysis of all the suggestions posted here to date.
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Most Valuable Expert 2017
Distinguished Expert 2019
Commented:
This one is on us!
(Get your first solution completely free - no credit card required)
UNLOCK SOLUTION
RadioGeorgeOwner/Programmer

Author

Commented:
I really wish I could give EACH of you guys 500 points for the quality replies you provided to me. I forwarded your replies to my coder and he offered several ideas I thought about for a day or two. One of his suggestions was that since:

-- the Sobolsoft programs can "cut and replace" multiple pieces of code very fast
-- the existing cron jobs in use have been working well for a year or more
-- Cute FTP's automated options for updating info (such as commercials on different channels) are fast and reliable

the best course of action might just be to continue business as usual and tweak when necessary until such time when a truly complete overhaul is needed. And, that may never come. Think about it: how many "big band" stations are there now in radioland? Maybe enough to count on the fingers of one hand? Time passes and so does the main audience. The few who remain are listening online. While I hate to admit it, this is moist likely going o be the same for Radio George and its oldies. And, there's always the unwelcome possibility that the music licensing costs will be enough to signal sign-off time.

So for the time being, the best use of time seems to be business as usual. Thanks to all your comments and the introduction of support for Wordpress from my site's hosting company I may consider giving it a shot for a smaller website I have.

Thanks all....and if you like oldies or smooth jazz, you know where to find it!
Unlock the solution to this question.
Join our community and discover your potential

Experts Exchange is the only place where you can interact directly with leading experts in the technology field. Become a member today and access the collective knowledge of thousands of technology experts.

*This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

OR

Please enter a first name

Please enter a last name

8+ characters (letters, numbers, and a symbol)

By clicking, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.