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  1. #1
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    Hello,

    I'm looking for some advice.

    I'm in the process of designing my own website. It will be a sports info/news site focusing on soccer, perhaps with a little cricket thrown in to the mix eventually.

    I have the content knowledge/skills, but no real web design/development background. I am, however, very keen to learn the ropes as I go and have read my way through a variety of "basic" guides to html, css, php, xml, mysql, etc. I've also researched the open source CMS options out there.

    All of which has left me, still, a little confused about what structure/format I should use.

    Here are the main features the site will (hopefully) have:

    - News articles/features
    - League tables
    - Results/fixtures
    - Club profiles
    - Player profiles
    - Blog

    Obviously, there will be a lot of data and, ideally, I would be able to update things like team rosters and player info in one place, without having to change hundreds of pages every week. That's why I was thinking dynamic...database...php...etc...

    I'm just not sure where to start and where a CMS fits in. The last thing I want is to find that, halfway through building this thing, I've chosen the wrong direction.

    If anyone has any advice I would be eternally grateful!

  2.  

  3. #2
    WDF Staff mlseim's Avatar
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    I would go the route of using Drupal, but you'll need some scripting help if
    you're not so experienced with PHP and MySQL. Your site sounds large enough
    to where you could hire someone?

    Here's the deal though ...

    I'm guessing there are already 1000 sites like that online.
    Why would your site be better, different, worth building?
    You might want to research the demographics of the topic.


  4. #3
    Junior Member
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    Thanks for your help, mlseim.

    This is really just a pet project of mine so, alas, I'm not really in a position to hire anyone. I am very keen to learn, however, and I have lots of time/energy to experiment.

    My main concern is that I waste my time learning/implementing needless systems/languages. I don't want to find myself, six months down the line, thinking "why have I been doing that, when I could have used this!"
    :ermm:

    I've played around with Drupal and Joomla and both seem easy to work with. Why would you specifically recommend Drupal over the competition?

    To answer your very valid question about my site - having spent the past year researching, I think I can safely say that 90-95% of sports websites/blogs are either badly designed, badly written, or both. I have faith that, as long as I can produce a good-looking, easily navigable site with up-to-date information, the quality of my writers will take us forward. If not, then at least we'll have some fun trying!


  5. #4
    WDF Staff mlseim's Avatar
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    I think Drupal is more powerful, but at a deeper level.
    Both Drupal and Joomla have a lot of online support ... that's not an issue.

    Drupal seems to be more flexible as far as customizing the site.
    Joomla sites always seem to look like Joomla sites ... you know what I mean?

    Another thought would be to use WordPress for the blog part, and integrate
    your own PHP/MySQL scripting for the rest of it. If you have some ideas about
    tables, results, and profiles that would be unique to you ... like a way to organize
    and present data in a way nobody else has done, you could create your own
    scripts. That would be interesting.

    Maybe there's a way to collect data, stats, and some algorithms that nobody else
    has been able to figure out. Don't rule out the ability to subscribe to data from some
    databases online (even if you have to pay for access).

    I know nothing about those sports, so I can't offer any ideas on what you can do with it.


  6. #5
    Junior Member
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    I have some experience with Wordpress, so that could an option. I'm willing to give scripting the stats/rosters/results part a go myself - I think that might be an easier way to start than attempting to learn drupal code.

    Here's a thought - if I liked the idea of managing the front page/news/features part of the site with Drupal or Joomla - setting up the cms in the website's main html directory - can I then locate my own scripted section in a subdomain, completely separated from the cms?

    Thanks for the advice!

  7. #6
    WDF Staff mlseim's Avatar
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    Yes you can ...

    You would use the same MySQL connection scripting to connect
    to the same database that Drupal uses ... the MySQL is a database
    on your webhost's server that you can access from any script.

    About the stats, scores, etc.
    Are you planning on entering those in every day, or is there a place
    where you can grab those online (using a PHP script)?


  8. #7
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    That sounds good. I think my host provides me with a couple of MySQL databases. Is there a particular reason I would use the same one that Drupal uses?

    As for entering the data, I have a lot already, but it would be very useful to grab some stats, like results, online. How would I go about that?

  9. #8
    WDF Staff mlseim's Avatar
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    You could add more tables to the existing MySQL database.
    This all depends on how experienced you are at PHP/MySQL.
    It will be a big project no matter how you look at it.

    Stats are best grabbed if the host provides XML files (like RSS feeds, or data files).
    I would guess some providers of scores might charge a subscription fee?
    Some offer access to databases using API (application programming interface),
    but I'm sure you would have to pay for access to their data.

    Good luck on this project ... it will keep you busy for a long time.



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