The last weeks I have been very busy with the new BryteNet site. The old site had been created in a couple of minutes 'just to have something', and never changed afterwards. It was really time for a complete site overhaul. When planning the datacenter move, I decided not to restore the old site, but to put a simple page with the main properties of the hosting packages and contact information instead. That gave me the chance to built the new site properly.
My first concern were the existing users of the server. I quickly installed ClientExec and created accounts for all users, so they can manage their helpdesk tickets and billing information. Installation was very easy, and within an hours I had everything set up. I still want to change the templates to fit in the new BryteNet style, but that can wait 'till later. I did modify the template to include the Google Analytics code. After all, I still want to know what is going on…
It's a Small Place
The next step was to restore the BryteNet weblog. Since the new server has Fantastico installed, I only had to fill in some details, and WordPress was installed. I copied the plug-ins I used to the right place and restored the database to get the old content, and I was finished. 29 minutes was all I needed!
For the rest of the site I had chosen the eZ Publish CMS. While eZ Publish is probably way too big for such a small site, I wanted to use it for its execllent multi-language support and since it can do literally anything. So I can manage all aspects of the site (product information, contact forms, customer forum,...) with a single tool. eZ Publish also has a weblog module, but for the moment I have chosen to stick with WordPress.
I had looked at eZ Publish before, and have big plans for it for future projects, but without a concrete implementation, it is difficult to find out what the possibilities and limitations of this CMS are.
Installation was a breeze, and I have been able to activate the features I wanted to use at the moment. The templating system is very powerful, though I find it still difficult to find the right template when I want to change a part of a page-layout.
A little disappointment was that eZ Publish is not able to generate friendly URI's when PHP is implemented as CGI rather than with mod_php. For security reasons PHP is run through CGI on the BryteNet servers, resulting in the appearance of
index.php? in the middle of the URI. It is something I will have to live with…
Another problem I still have to solve is that the automatically generated menus only contain folders, and I haven't found a way yet to include links outside eZ Publish in the menu. I have found something on the subject in the eZ forums, and will tackle this problem soon enough.
The next big thing I am going to work on is to give BryteNet an unique face. At the moment the three components of the BryteNet site (eZ Publish, ClientExec and WorkPress) still use their default design, which I only modified a little bit. I om going to generate a completely new stylesheet for those sites, so they will have more or less the same look. I started my work with designing a new logo, and am now working on the colour scheme. I have some ideas on how the result will be, but am still experimenting with those ideas.
Stay tuned for more news…