Back Again

Redoing the site....again. This time around an unsuccessful drupal upgrade killed my website.  This wasn't really drupal's fault, as I didn't actually follow the directions and suspected some custom configurations I had might cause problems.  I was debating between doing an upgrade and just wiping it out and starting over, so I decided to let fate decide and just went ahead with the upgrade (sans backups) and see what happened.  As I'm sure you can tell, it didn't go terribly well.

So now I'm trying to decide what software I want to host my site with.  I still really like Drupal, but it is in many ways way more than I need for what I am doing.  Right at the moment I'm trying the newest version of WordPress which is probably a good fit for my needs.

The biggest issue I'm having, and one which I haven't found a single good solution for, is trying to have multiple sites that share a common administration area and user database.  I own many domains, not sure why, just every so often I register something that takes my fancy.  I've had plans of hosting different types of content on different domains, which isn't a bad idea.  It has a few problems though.

  • One is that it would be nice to share resources between domains.  If I update code or a theme on one site, I would like it to be available on all my sites.
  • Likewise with content.  While I have different plans for the different domains, some of the content would work well across all of them.
  • And finally there is the matter of users.  One of the points of a blog or web portal is interaction with friends.  It is hard enough to get people to visit one site, register, post comments, etc.  Trying to get them to keep track of and actually take time to check out a half dozen different sites just isn't happening.

It is also surprisingly challenging to find a blog/cms package that actually works well with a multisite configuration.  The 5.x version of drupal did have add on modules that allowed this to an extent, and the 6.x version has some options, though not as many.  None of them really worked as smoothly and easily as I would have liked though.  Wordpress itself doesn't really support this either.  They do have a multiuser version, at mu.wordpress.org, but it lags in development behind the main version, and is also overkill for what I'm doing.

My plan for the moment is to just point multiple domains to the same site and use some content specific formatting of different pages to give it kind of a multi site feel.  Not sure how well this will work, but I have some ideas of how I might implement it with Wordpress so I'm going to give it a shot.

I will be using Chaosengine.org as the main site/hub.  Everything will pretty much show up or be linked here.  As this is a work in progress, expect to see lots of changes to the appearance of the site as I work things out, and if it looks broken, just come back the next day and hopefully it will be fixed.