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#1 2016-08-25 02:04:27

SunFoxNC
Member
Registered: 2015-09-04
Posts: 52

www.sunfox.com now live on Backlight!

Before I really get into this, let me say that Backlight has been an absolute joy to use...seeing the changes to the pages generated out of the Backlight templates in near real-time has been well worth the price of admission!  And even doing a full rebuild of the site manually was pretty simple by cutting-and-pasting the relevant bits from the old CE4 published collections to their new Backlight publisher counterparts.

Thanks to the very active support in the support forum, I was able to convert the five subdomains (four CE4 installations and one test Backlight installation) that comprised www.sunfox.com into a single Backlight installation that rules the five current sections of the site.  I ended up doing a full rebuild of the site rather than promote the one test Backlight installation to the root and run the conversion...there were a few things I wasn't fond of in the test installation and wanted to start clean.

Ironically, of the subdomain publisher instances being converted...the Backlight test installation was actually the most painful one!  I would make a change to the templates and they would show up in the database but then the live pages wouldn't update and would give an error saying something went wrong and it couldn't find the album set template with ID xxxxx.   It took about 90 minutes before I realised that I had never deleted the Backlight folder in the subdomain and when I was going to the live site, it was looking at the old copies of the database that I wasn't updating.  Once I deleted the old Backlight installation in the subdirectory that was somehow being picked up by the live pages, everything proceeded quite nicely.

Had I promoted the single Backlight installation to root and ran the conversion, I probably would have avoided that pain but all's well that ends well!  Self-inflicted pain and stupidity does not take away from what has turned out to an excellent product that has had much fewer bugs than one would expect from what is a huge port of the CE4 code base!

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Anywho, the site in question is a photo history primarily about my kids with content started in 2003 and having gone through a couple of iterations culminating with CE4 and now Backlight to drive the site.  As a result, I had a lot of content I wanted to maintain access to but it's way too massive to convert everything to Backlight so the decision was taken that 2015 and prior would remain as-is and 2016 would be the year of Backlight and links back to the archived stuff.

I had previously gone back and forth about having multiple Backlight installations and having one rule them all in this thread:

The "One Backlight to Rule Them All" Stream of Consciousness

I had thought about going the full-on subdomain route but problems with Lunarpages and their handling of the subdomains led me to rethink that strategy and I ended up adopting a hybrid of what Rod and I were talking about...one Backlight at the root with all of the new Pages content at the root and liberal use of the responsive grid layout (VERY NICE...MUCH SUCCESS!!! smile ) to integrate the archival content (2015-before) with the current 2016 content on Backlight.

What really makes it work is that the slugs have a naming scheme that incorporates the section the galleries appear in and having a publisher instance feeding each section means that the publisher album sets/albums don't get too unwieldy and I can push the section's galleries into that section's subdirectory in case I ever want to snapshot that section of the site.  This effectively gave me what I really wanted from the AutoIndex-based solution I had done before but in a much more manageable way.

At the end of the year, the galleries that show up under the current galleries tab will be manually moved under a new entry on the archived galleries page but this is something I've had to do anyway and it's usually when I revisit the mastheads or galleries of the "best of the best" images that were being hosted by the Stage gallery on each section's main page.

Ultimately, the big advantage to have only one Backlight installation in this domain to update with new versions and it being much easier to share the common look-and-feel of the templates I was wanting for all of the sub-sites was what led me to decide against the multiple Backlight installations in this domain.

Next up will be converting Red Vixen Studios and its satellites to Backlight...

Last edited by SunFoxNC (2016-08-25 02:07:27)

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