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  1. #1

    Questions about leaving a CMS

    Hi. After working from home for the last couple years, I recently got a job doing SEO and website management for a business. They currently use a CMS who is located nearby to manage and host their site and Iíve become increasingly frustrated with the limited amount of control they provide as well as the high prices they want to charge for anything. Although itís not my money, I donít think I could look any of my bosses in the eye and tell them that $100 for a sitemap or $100 for a Google Analytics account setup is a fair price. And itís hard to listen to them tell me things like ďSure, weíll install a Wordpress blog for free because youíre a valued customer. It usually costs $20 a monthĒ when I know better. They also wonít provide me with cPanel or FTP access which makes certain things a huge hassle to do.

    Iíve been thinking about the feasibility of converting the entire website to a more open CMS and was looking for some advice. This would all be on my own time and without prior authorization. Once I completed it I would approach my boss with the option of things staying the way they are or saving a lot of money and switching. I have a few questions:

    1. I want to make a NoIndexed mirror of the site to make sure I can get everything to work correctly under a different CMS. Whatís the best way to do this? I was thinking of using a program like HTTrack to get the bulk of the HTML pages transferred over, but I have no experience with anything like that and am not even sure itís the right tool for the job. I donít have access to any HTML other than what goes in the body of each page.

    2. Any CMS recommendations? The site is fairly simple and could be handled by something like Wordpress, which I have a lot of experience in. There are about 200 pages, 550 images, and 200 .PDF files, so itís not the smallest site in the world, but itís not complex.

    3. Shared or semi-dedicated server Ė The site currently averages about 70 uniques a day. That seems like itís well within the scope of shared hosting, but Iíd want to make sure the site loaded quickly and had a minimal amount of downtime.

    4. Is there any way that having a complete mirror of the businessí site could harm the current site (ex. Duplicate content penalty)? Iím assuming I can block the majority of spiders from indexing the new site with a Robots.txt file, but I want to make sure.

    5. Is this a bad idea? They seem fairly happy with spending a large amount of money to have a CMS that provides good customer support and keeps the site running. They also want a solution that they would be able to continue to use in case I were to get hit by a truck someday and leave everything to them to continue. Is it unreasonable to think that a more open CMS, managed hosting, and a dependable freelance coder/developer could provide them with that security?

    Sorry if this is in the wrong place. I wonít be offended if it gets moved to the correct forum Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    1,273
    Well, if you've got proof that you can save your boss/company money..then gather it all up and show them. They do know that Wordpress is open source right? That anyone and their mom can pretty much upload and set it up in about 10 minutes? The company that currently hosts the account doesn't seem to operate on a very honest business model, sure, people need to make money but $20 to just 'install' Wordpress?

    If your site has cpanel but they don't allow you to have the login details (weird) then all they're doing is using Fantastico to install Wordpress How do you even update files? Telepathy? Or you're at the mercy of them enabling re-write access to the current Wordpress theme files and what not?

    The question is, who has control over the Domain name Would you have to run through hoops to get the domain name to point to a new server? I personally would run away from the current host. Doesn't sound like the type of business relationship I'd enjoy keeping, especially if they price gouge every nook and cranny out of their customers. Plenty of other hosts out their with many more options, allow you the access you need to run your site(s) and live happily.
    Hi! My name is Christina Chun and I'm an Artist.

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