View Full Version : Need advice in taking over an existing site

12-20-2006, 03:35 PM
I have built a lot of sites on my own, but all of them have been from scratch. Now I am in the process of taking over an existing site. My interest in this site is in the subject matter, rather than really monetizing it. I thought I might document the process of taking over and "fixing" an existing site that has fallen into disrepair... and ask for advice along the way.

The site is MicroCinemaScene.com (http://www.microcinemascene.com). It focused on no-budget filmmaking. It currently averages about 1000 uniques a day w/ about 3,000 page views. It was once a pretty vibrant community, but it has really died off. The owners were going to shut it down, so I volunteered to re-energize it and keep it going.

Now I am faced with a few issues and thought I would ask you guys...

1. The SEO and CMS are terrible. It's currently running on something called "Article Manager" and you can tell by the URLs, it needs serious help. I want to move this into a different CMS but I have never done something like this before. Does anyone have experience with "Article Manager"? Also, I am leaning towards Expression Engine for the new CMS.

2. Forums are on something called invision. They get spammed to hell everyday. Even though, they aren't very active at the moment, I want to take the risk and move to vBulletin. Any thoughts on this?

3. I am going to be completely rebuilding and re-architecting the site. What's the best way to do this while leaving the existing site running?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I will post progress reports here as I go. The goal is to have some kind of relaunch by late January. Thanks!

12-20-2006, 03:50 PM
Not sure on 1, other than to say yes, SE friendly URLs are a must.

#2, no problems there, there are built in importers for invision to VB.

#3, develop it all on the site in a new directory, then, when everything is working as you like, move the new directory to the root directory.

12-31-2006, 04:25 PM
1. - I would recommend druple.org - With them you have no shortage of programmers and its a really slick CMS.

2. - Don't know how to do this but I would do it whatever it takes to switch.

3. - I would suggest the same as above, build the content on the server then rename directories. Unless you have the luxury of being able to use a testing server first.

01-01-2007, 07:39 PM
I've recently been turned on to a CMS called Expression Engine at www.pmachine.com

For 150 bucks you basically a whole package, plus their forum software which isn't to shabby from what I've heard (although it's no VB). Give it a look see.