Our plans for the multi-site manager
We already have the ability to run multiple c5 installs off of a shared code base. We have some simple scripts to create a database and the few files needed for a new client site, and then the core code base files will be used a defaults for everything else. If a client install /has/ a file in the proper place in their directory structure it will be used instead of the core's file. So you can still customize blocks, or even hack away, but when we do a version update to the core - it goes out everywhere.
We use this over onhttp://getConcrete5.com
(hint hint, cough cough)
This stuff /works/ but it's hardly packaged up well or sexy. We were thinking one of these days we'd take a couple of weeks an build a standalone web server management tool.
it would centralize the c5 code base, but do a lot more including..
o... Run X sites off of Y code base's. You should be able to checkbox select /some/ installs and upgrade them to different code bases, or even downgrade.
o... Copy a site. We do a fair amount of backup and sandboxing for our hosting clients, this should be as simple as "copy" on a install list.
o... Some logs/stats? not sure if this recreates the wheel or no. People seem to respond well even to the simplest of stats we put in the dashboard on c5 - so i think some exploration here makes sense.
o... what else???
oh, and what would ya pay for it?
Maybe a community version and a pro version?
I've been looking for a while for a simple CMS that I can use on multiple sites. And.. do I really want to maintain 30 separate installations?
C5 is looking a lot like that system. My main target group are non-technical users. Inline editing is sooo cool :)
Other features that would be nifty:
- Export entire site to a works-every-time-no-binary-crap xml-, file- and sql-dump package, for moving to another physical server.
- separate per site backup/restore (so I can restore a single site from my nightly backup). For instance running a batch of the above export to a directory named domain1.com.zip etc.
- Enable/disable a site with a checkbox, in case client doesn't pay
- Lots more. Give me a buzz via email if we should look into this together.
Keeping many individual CMS sites up-to-date with security patches and module updates is an ongoing nightmare for a web design company and not something clients expect to spend much money on.
A single base system for most cms web site customers would save a lot of time and time is money!
We are also getting more customers who need to run multiple sites for different brands or for niche search strategies. A single site manager and options to share users between sites is just what these clients need.
Any thoughts on when this facility might be available?
Also, I can't find any documentation for 'running multiple C5 instals off a single codebase' now. Is there anything?
Since it is quite difficult to update a c5 installation using php code it thought it might be nice to have a separated "c5 update/backup/restore" server. A small php application where you simply enter the ftp credentials to all the sites you want. You could then execute a couple of functions from this point like
- check for updates
- install update
- duplicate to a new site
This is not a concrete5 that could host more than one page but it would make it much easier to work with a hundred installations..
I don't care about stats or logs. There is part of the web server or part of something like google analytics.
My servers don't have ftp, only sftp which might be a problem too because as far as I know php only supports "ftp" and "ssl ftp" (which is not sftp!)
What I would pay for it. Good question - I wanted to implement what I wrote above on my own...
As soon as I have a few more customers running c5 this feature is pretty much a must have. Means I would also pay for it. Right now there's just a one problem - c5 is not ready for all my customers. I need a couple of features before I'm able to use c5 for all my projects...
Because of that it's a bit difficult to say what this feature is worth...
But I have to admit I like the sort of elegant way Drupal does multi-site, by simply controlling all the domains via modrewrite, and then tying a seperate config file to the domain in question, each install with its own DB!
haven't tested it, but "should" work, you may run into some funkyness in the asset library, but my guess is that it'll work fine..
were not gonna build a multisite manager though, the whitepaper is enough.
I'm sure a centralized config would be possible under windows - and I imagine the whitepaper might give you some starting points and direction on how to approach it - but it's not written with IIS in mind.
There are solutions under wordpress and more under typo3 to point a domain this way
I think it's mostly mod-rewrite tom foolery.
for now, we're happy to share what we know with our hosting partners with those whitepapers, but i see building a multi-site manager that we sell as a total nightmare..
far more likely is we'll rethink how we're integrating our own hosting with this site and there will be a nice reseller console in your account area here... that's not gonna happen tomorrow, but i'm thinking about it.
I need it asap, will pay 150Euro.
(I've got my own server)
if you're serious about wanting to run a hosting environment, join the hosting partner program, hire a sys-admin, and treat this as the custom problem it is.
my only option is to do that on the next project then.
(I am sysadmin and developer)