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I am currently heading a project to re-vamp our 6 year old hand-built CMS and trying to get this company into the 2010's and have a future-proof to the 2020's. This hand built system is disorganized, not based on any framework, and quite frankly is a "Frankenstein" of code pulled from multiple sources (partially, I think, because the project was over the original developer's heads).

The type of CMS is unlike anything I have ever encountered. This CMS manages about 450 (with plans to be over 2000) websites. It has a "Wix" like backend for our team to easily update "block elements" within the templates of these sites. Also the sites are all a "niche" content if you will. Meaning there is "reusable" pages and categories that are shared among individual site. For instance example.com offers widget 1 and widget 3 but home.com offers widget 2 and widget 3. -- widget 3 becomes a reusable section that can be used for ALL sites.

Another parameter, these sites are STATIC. Meaning the CMS "publishes" these websites to hard-coded .html files. The reason for this is two-fold: 1) The load on the servers is negligible for serving static sites -- Increasing site speed and decreasing load times. 2) There is a very low vulnerability point -- Only being the "admin" section which is hidden and IP address controlled. None of these sites have (or ever will need) complex scripting more than the occasional form to send contact info.

Exact parameters this CMS needs to accomplish:

  • Preferably open source
  • No need for a front end
  • Multiple admin logins
  • Manage "client accounts" which websites are associated (2,000+ accounts / 1 site per acount)
  • Have a repository for "reusable" pages, sections (categories), and blocks
  • Would be nice to have a built in editor for page blocks, and page HTML
  • MySQL driven
  • Not concerned about the "publishing", just the storage of HTML, CSS and JS per site
  • Preferably PHP based framework
  • Can have billing tied to the accounts fairly easily -- Even if by cron job

So here is the Question: Is there a CMS option that wouldn't be completely reinventing the wheel? I'd even settle for half the features to have a solid ground work laid for the rest of the labor involved. I have looked into Laravel-Lite, and October -- I am just not knowledgeable enough to know if either one of those would do the trick .. Or possibly a Drupal flavor? As far as out of the box CMS's ... What are my options?

  • Have you had a look at the multisite option in WordPress? See codex.wordpress.org/Create_A_Network – TheEdge Nov 9 '17 at 1:23
  • Well, 500 websites are already "built". So I'd have to convert them to wordpress sites? – Zak Nov 9 '17 at 22:02
  • Also according to the docs .. I can't have individual domains .. They need to be sub domains, or a separated directory. – Zak Nov 9 '17 at 22:26
  • CNAME the original domain to the subdomain. – TheEdge Nov 10 '17 at 22:09
  • So in addition to converting 500 sites to wordpress specif templates .. CNAME 500 individual records records in the DNS server ... If I am going that far, I'll build the thing ground up based on a bare bones Drupal, Joomla, LaravelLite or October. Changing the CNAME on all those records to point at subdomains is not an option with our current setup. – Zak Nov 10 '17 at 22:20

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