A glossary/database site with CMSimple - makes sense?

General questions about CMSimple
YuD
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Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 6:38 am

A glossary/database site with CMSimple - makes sense?

Postby YuD » Thu May 19, 2016 9:47 am

Hi, community!

Please, give me your general advise re the CMS. I am neither a programmer, nor any other IT specialist. Just a using-brain-a-little-bit user and a have-to-be site admin :? )) (Hope, it's not considered a crime here :) ) Moreover, I've discovered this fork (XH) of CMSimple and other its variants just a few days ago :shock:

I've been using CMSimple (one of its first versions) since 2008 for a site of a non-commercial NGO (non-governmental) organization. Now I have got another site)) for another NGO. I like the CMS very much, however the new site requires some features which are usually typical for different types of CMS, namely:

1) A tag system + a tag cloud with the possibility to exclude some pages from the cloud, different colours for the tags etc. The example of such a cloud is here: http://physrehab.ru/resources/database/ - right sidebar.

2) A small glossary/database (not a wiki-like! no public editing!): there are a number of special articles (app. 400-700 pages, some of them with images) whose titles can be called in one page in alphabetical order. Catagories are also desirable. The same example - the page itself.

3) A search form with a multiple choice from a set of options (there are, let's say, 10 doctors, each of them having 5 characteristics - a city, speciality etc. which a user can choose from and get a list of desired specialists as a result). The same example, right sidebar.

4) A small catalogue of special equipment (not a shop! but somewhat similar: an items which has photo(s) and a description). The same example - home page (physrehab.ru) - at the bottom.

I've tried Wordpress but for some reasons I'd prefer to try a different CMS. As I've mentioned above, it's for a non-commercial site hence our resources are quite limited whether it is a CMS itself or site maintaining/hosting. That's why I need a free, stable, and easy-to-operate CMS (who would not?))).
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:? My stupid questions are:

1) Is it possible at all to use CMSimple+its plugins for this purpose (or the site does need SQL)?

2) If 1 = yes, will it not be too "heavy" and/or slow for users to upload the site pages and/or for a not-expensive hoster/server (CPU/memory load)?

3) If 1=yes AND 2=no, will it be possible at all to put such a site together using the existing plugins?
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Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

cmb
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Re: A glossary/database site with CMSimple - makes sense?

Postby cmb » Thu May 19, 2016 10:44 am

Hi!

YuD wrote:1) Is it possible at all to use CMSimple+its plugins for this purpose (or the site does need SQL)?

I don't think that you require an SQL database for this purpose, but most certainly you would need some custom plugins (i.e. they would have to be programmed).

YuD wrote:2) If 1 = yes, will it not be too "heavy" and/or slow for users to upload the site pages and/or for a not-expensive hoster/server (CPU/memory load)?

Indeed, that might be a problem, but probably it would be possible to work around that issue. Something that you would have to consider also, is the expected traffic. If you expect only a few dozen visitors per day, CMSimple(_XH) most likely is able to handle that, but if you're expecting, say a few thousand visitors each day, CMSimple(_XH) might be unable to cope with the amount of data you require.

YuD wrote:3) If 1=yes AND 2=no, will it be possible at all to put such a site together using the existing plugins?

Most likely not (as mentioned above you'll need some custom plugins or at least would have to customize existing ones).

Before going into the details, a short explanation about CMSimple/CMSimple_XH. The original CMSimple (i.e. versions < 4) has reached its end-of-live long ago, and I wouldn't use it anymore for whatever purpose. You now have the choice between CMSimple 4.6.2 and CMSimple_XH 1.6.7; both are based on CMSimple_XH 1.5.3, so they are still somewhat similar, but already so different, that they have their own set of plugins (some plugins may work for both variants, but I wouldn't count on that). If you're going to use CMSimple 4.6.2, you might get better support in its own forum.

Tag cloud
I'm aware of two plugins for this purpose, namely sCloud and jCloud. Both plugins are unmaintained, and sCloud might not be compatible with CMSimple 4.6.2 and XH 1.6.7. jCloud most likely works with XH 1.6.7 and may work with CMSimple 4.6.2. I'm not sure, however, if jCloud would suit your purpose. Neither the developer's site nor cmsimplewiki.com are available since quite a while, but if you like I can send you copies of latest versions of both plugins.

small glossary/database
As far as I can tell, there is no existing plugin for that purpose. You may work around this issue by maintaining the glossary summary manually, and simply have the individual pages as normal CMSimple(_XH) pages. An alternative to normal pages would be to use one of the Realblog plugins, either Realblog for CMSimple 4.6.2 or Realblog_XH for CMSimple_XH.

search form
There is no readily available solution for that. Maybe one of the Realblog plugins could be used, but note that both plugins currently only support 1 blog, so you couldn't use them for the glossary also. On the other hand, such functionality might be rather simple to implement, and of course there is always the possibility to use some third-party script running in an IFrame.

small catalogue of special equipment
There is the Wellrad Shop plugin which probably works with both variants of CMSimple(_XH), and that might be able to be used for your purpose (I'm not sure, if it would be possible to suppress the actual shop functionality). Another option would be to use normal CMSimple(_XH) pages, and to manually create and maintain the index. Again one of the Realblog plugins could be used alternatively.
Christoph M. Becker –Plugins for CMSimple_XH, but not for CMSimple 4+

svasti
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Re: A glossary/database site with CMSimple - makes sense?

Postby svasti » Sat May 21, 2016 1:31 pm

If the traffic is not too high, in principle it could be done.
However some plugin functionality you are asking for isn't yet available... and there are very few active plugin programmers for CMSimple_XH.

Anyhow, you might like to wait a little bit for the forthcoming version of miniblog which could be used as glossary and catalogue (miniblog will be multiblog capable).

YuD
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 6:38 am

Re: A glossary/database site with CMSimple - makes sense?

Postby YuD » Sat May 21, 2016 3:05 pm

cmb wrote:

Christoph, hi,
thank you very much for such a detailed answer! Now I have to think it all over.) Also I forgot to mention a mail form for users to subscribe to our news... I use Mailchimp service.
I don't tnink that my traffic will exceed 100/day but there will be a lot of images and news. All in all, I am going to try several ways to build a house from the cubes). If you could send me the tag plugins you have mentioned, it'll be great!
==========
svasti wrote:you might like to wait a little bit for the forthcoming version of miniblog which could be used as glossary and catalogue (miniblog will be multiblog capable)

It would be interesting to try, thanks for the announcement)

cmb
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Re: A glossary/database site with CMSimple - makes sense?

Postby cmb » Sun May 22, 2016 1:33 pm

YuD wrote:Also I forgot to mention a mail form for users to subscribe to our news... I use Mailchimp service.

I don't know about the Mailchimp service, but I suggest you have a look at Advancedform_XH which is rather flexible.

YuD wrote:If you could send me the tag plugins you have mentioned, it'll be great!

I just have sent both plugin to you.
Christoph M. Becker –Plugins for CMSimple_XH, but not for CMSimple 4+

YuD
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 6:38 am

Re: A glossary/database site with CMSimple - makes sense?

Postby YuD » Sun May 22, 2016 2:50 pm

Christoph,

yes, got it. Thank you very much for your help!

One more question: if, say, I install two CMS: one for the site except the article database and the second one - for the database only (on a subdomain). The database will be called from a menu on the main site, -- will it help users to load the site pages faster? In this case there will be two content files therefore the content will be split at least in two parts. Does it make any sense at all?

cmb
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Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:04 am
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Re: A glossary/database site with CMSimple - makes sense?

Postby cmb » Mon May 23, 2016 8:48 am

YuD wrote:One more question: if, say, I install two CMS: one for the site except the article database and the second one - for the database only (on a subdomain). The database will be called from a menu on the main site, -- will it help users to load the site pages faster? In this case there will be two content files therefore the content will be split at least in two parts. Does it make any sense at all?

Yes, that might make sense. I wouldn't start with this way, though. Instead I would only resort to such tricks, if it's proven that a single CMSimple(_XH) is definitely too slow, and there are no other ways to improve the performance. So I suggest you start with a single installation, fill in the contents, and if the system gets too slow on the production server:
  1. check whether you can tune some server settings to improve the performance (e.g. use a recent PHP version, enable OPcache and tune its settings)
  2. check whether there are other ways to improve the performance (Boilerplate_XH might also be an option)
  3. use two (or more) CMSimple(_XH) installations, if all else fails
The biggest problem with multiple installations are the updates (CMSimple(_XH) and plugins). Updating a single installation is okay, but multiple installations are a PITA. That's the reason why CMSimple_XH 1.5 introduced the concept of Subsites, which has been removed with CMSimple_XH 1.6, because the implementation was very suboptimal. However, CMSimple 4.6.2 still offers Subsites, albeit with an improved implementation.
Christoph M. Becker –Plugins for CMSimple_XH, but not for CMSimple 4+

YuD
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 6:38 am

Re: A glossary/database site with CMSimple - makes sense?

Postby YuD » Tue May 24, 2016 8:44 am

Thank you, Christoph, for the explanation and the prompt answers. Now I have to make out whether I am trying to "to squeeze the unsqueezable")))


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