Thread: Advice Wanted

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    Advice Wanted


    Hi,

    I'm looking for a technical partner, not just yet, but sometime this summer. My difficulty is that I am not yet sure what skills will be needed.

    I need to know if a CMS such as Wordpress is scalable for a large number of users and multiple contributors. Or if there is another CMS that will be highly scalable and can be modified for special requirements.

    It will be something like a Wiki, but without using Wiki code to create the articles, instead using Custom Fields. The system would have multiple authors, who would enter their articles in a forms-based interface. It will need a solid search engine, capable of searching the custom fields which they create.
    It will also need the login system and superadmins to control users and submissions.

    I have already done a test implementation using Wordpress, and it works fine, but I am concerned about security, scalability, etc.

    If you were starting a project like Wikipedia (obviously not as big as that, but possibly with a large amount of content too), but ... if you wanted to do it in a way that used Custom Fields instead of Wiki codes, where would you begin?

    Wordpress doesn't really say anything about scalability, and whether it would be adversely affected by a large number of contributions or viewers. I'd rather begin in the right place.

    Thanks!
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    WordPress has been used on some pretty large sites, so I assume it can be made to scale pretty well.

    I've also seen large sites using WordPress that have had terrible performance issues though. Most of the performance issues were due to third party plugins, not the core WordPress code.

    WordPress isn't that difficult to customize as long as you don't care too much about writing neat code.
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    Thanks Oreo.

    Even after just a couple weeks working with Wordpress, I can definitely see how some of the plugins would cause performance issues, since they're not all designed by experts. If Wordpress itself is solid enough to handle many users, I might start there, since it does 80% of what I need already. I'll go find a Wordpress forum and ask about the special requirements, especially security.

    I do wonder if there's a search engine that can handle a large volume of information in custom fields in Wordpress. Relevanssi is nice & the author is helpful, but he specifically says that it's not guaranteed in such a situation. Perhaps I will need to check in the Sphinx or Lucene forums too.

    (Love your signature quote. USB ports get broken often in my house, haha.)
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    If the searching is the main issue that has you on the fence for this, just write your own search function. That's what I am going to have to do for a clients site that's coming up soon. They need something different then you do, but it's achieved basically the same way - extra data attached to the main "post" for each item. In Wordpress there's a few action hooks that you can use to insert your own searching functions, so I'd suggest looking into that as that will give you a lot more flexibility over how the searches are performed.
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    WPsearch is for Wordpress, based on Lucene:
    http://codefury.net/projects/wpSearch/

    However, it may not be actively supported. The author hasn't posted in the support forums for a year, and hasn't responded yet to my attempt to contact him.

    Still, if someone knew what they were doing, that might be a useful place to start. The Lucene engine, from the few comparisons I could find, was rated best on hard-drive space and on relevance. Sphinx was faster but... I think I'd prefer .02 seconds with good relevance to .008 seconds with less relevance.

    Reference:
    http://zooie.wordpress.com/2009/07/06/a-comparison-of-open-source-search-engines-and-indexing-twitter/

    I did not see any documentation about how much of WPsearch is "based on Lucene". One plus was that it doesn't appear to require shell access to install this, so it should be far more portable as a solution.

    Any experts want to jump in with an opinion here about the best path to develop such a search? Right track or not, here?

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