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Thinking about Multiple Sites and one code base


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Laugh

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Registered: 27/09/05
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I just wanted to write my ideas down on my multiple site idea and let others chime in with their thoughts.

Down the road I may need to do a number of related, similar sites for a client.

I was initially thinking of doing the sites using one code base with the following domain setup.

site1.domain.com
site2.domain.com
site3.domain.com

The problem with this setup is, the sites are not connected which makes changing configuration options a pain and things like spamx, ban and autotags will have duplicate entries. Another problem is the user tables and searching is separate to each site as well.

So I then thought, what makes these sites really different from each other. Well first I would probably want slightly different themes for each site, and different menu bars and blocks being displayed.

I was then thinking of alternate ideas and thought about the topics, and wouldn't it be nice to be able to assign other objects/plugins like staticpages, polls, etc.. to a topic. This way when a staticpage is displayed, the topic it belongs to would be known by geeklog and the appropriate blocks would be displayed (like how viewing a story works now). With this in mind it wouldn't be too hard to modify the menu bar to display the main and topic related items and it would be simple to switch to a different theme depending on the topic as well.

Selecting a topic from the topics menu would still work the same (brings up a list of stories).

I think it would be good to be able to feature a story in each topic as well as the home page.

So in a sense the topics would be acting like each separate site. The only thing I would be losing out on is having the different domain names.

What do you guys think of the idea, it is early in the morning so I have probably not thought of everything? Would anyone else have any use for this and want it in a future version of Geeklog?


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::Ben

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Registered: 14/01/05
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Location:la rochelle, France
Hello Laugh,

A Multi site way can be a little hack on db-config.php and siteconfig.php

and of course you will need to duplicate the db for each site.

See code here.

Some plugins will need hacking too. You can look on this page to see some.

::Ben
I'm available to customise your themes or plugins for your Geeklog CMS
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Laugh

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Registered: 27/09/05
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In my initial search for multisites I came across your excellent resource.

I was just wondering if other people saw the need to expand on how topics work? I bet using topics the way I suggest (sort of like a category of a main website), a lot of people would eventually use, especially since blocks are tied directly to topics.

An example website idea that could use this topic approach would be a games console website. Instead of doing a multisite that uses the same code base you could do the topic approach. You would have the main game website (home) and then each topic could be one of the game consoles (Xbox, PS3, etc...). This way you could have each topic setup a bit differently for each game console while still keeping other things consistent, like having one members table and search.

I even see the need if this idea is ever implemented for hidden topics.

A plugin could have topic support added to it, and if no support is there (or needed) for topics in a plugin, then it would be considered for all topics (the entire site).

I just figured I would make the post to flush out the idea a bit more.

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jmucchiello

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The problem with doing via topics is if someone wants to log in to more than one site, they see an aggregate of the two sites. Since they have permissions to both sets of topics regardless of which URL they use, they see both sets of topics. They breaks the "two different sites" feel. If you can guarantee no one will have access to both sites, it would work just fine.
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Laugh

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Quote by: jmucchiello

The problem with doing via topics is if someone wants to log in to more than one site, they see an aggregate of the two sites. Since they have permissions to both sets of topics regardless of which URL they use, they see both sets of topics. They breaks the "two different sites" feel. If you can guarantee no one will have access to both sites, it would work just fine.



In my situation it would be ok as the muliple sites are really like sub (second-tier) sites. When a user logs in, I want them to have access to the entire set of sites since they are all related. You could make the only real link to the other sites just the Topics block (unless the user does a search or something).

I've done a few sites in Joomla and I like the control you have on where blocks can appear. I know this can be done in code through manipulating the enabled flag (like how the forum does it) but it would be best if it worked out of the box.

Another additional feature I thought of for this Topic/multiple sites idea would be allowing multiple topics to be selected in the block editor to allow a block to appear for 1 or more topics not just one or all.
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jmucchiello

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Quote by: Laugh

Another additional feature I thought of for this Topic/multiple sites idea would be allowing multiple topics to be selected in the block editor to allow a block to appear for 1 or more topics not just one or all.

Selecting multiple topics anywhere is big rewrite of lots of code. I know it's also a top 5 feature request but unless Dirk announces an anything-goes Geeklog 2.0, I don't believe it will happen. (Mostly because I think it is a bigger project than a GSOC can handle and it would not really be fun for GSOC anyway so who would sign on to do it?)
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lasat

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Registered: 04/11/07
Posts: 6
We run multiple sites with one code base and one db. only some hacks in the config class and the registration page are needed.
we join the users at registration to different groups to give them different sitecontent.

but we doesn't need a clear cut between the sites. we try to motivate the users of the different sites to collaborate.
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