Software: vBulletin as CMS

dune

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dune submitted a new Article:

Software: vBulletin as CMS

When rebuilding our site last year (the fourth major revision since 1999), I set out to find a CMS that would integrate with our new forum software (we chose to migrate our phpbb forum to vBulletin) to use for news, articles and static content. I was looking for a very specific set of features and needed a well-integrated setup to use with vB. The end result is that I did not find anything! Mambo was a contender, but the vB integration was not what I wanted. Ultimately, I found way to make vB work the way I wanted to for all the content I needed to create.

This article details not so much a hack (though there are a couple) as it describes a different way of thinking about content with vBulletin. News, Articles and Forum threads, they’re really all the same thing. Just some kind of information posted by an admin, moderator or user. The difference is in the timeliness and/or presentation of the content. With a few changes in style and presentation, a vB forum is the perfect platform for almost any kind of content created my multiple users.

Objects

To understand how simple the concept is, just think about how a Forum is organized into components:

Forums contain Threads (started by Poster) with Replies by Posters looked over by a Moderator.

Now, let's reword that for news:

News Section contains Stories (started by Reporter) with Comments by Posters looked over by an Editor.

Works for articles too:

Article Section contains Articles (started by Author) with Comments by Posters looked over by an Editor.

If you think about the content in this way, you'll see that you can setup a forum or group of forums to hold your content (News, Articles, etc) in a very organized and appealing way while having full control of permissions and image management. Hmm, starting to sound like a CMS, isn't it?

The Hack

The most important change needed to present news and articles effectively is to create a style that displays the first post (News Story or Article) in a different way than the following posts (replies or comments). The first thing to do is hack vB to use a different template for the first post in a thread than for all the subsequent posts. There may be a much better way to do this than I will outline now, but this works pretty well – the only downside is that any tweaks to your postbit will need to made to two different templates per style. You will need to duplicate your existing postbit template to the two new...

Read more about this article here...
 
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Kevin

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Interesting article. :cool: Being able to see it action definitely helped with understanding it.
 

GBSA

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KW802 said:
Interesting article. :cool: Being able to see it action definitely helped with understanding it.

Thank you for your input
 

Nippoo

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I'm sure it can be easily updated to phpBB 3.0. :p
 

Anat

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I was actually looking into something like that, but then decided to just integrate VB into Mambo...
 

dune

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Anat said:
I was actually looking into something like that, but then decided to just integrate VB into Mambo...

There was a MamboVB project, but it had stalled out some time ago. Obviously a lot more coding work involved.
 

Brook

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Excellent Article - can someone go into further detail please? Like which 'templates' need to be edited and if possible, could someone paste the codes of some of their templates as an example?

Would really help those of us that are not php coders :)

Thanks in advance!
 

dune

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I'll be adding more soon. Which parts do you need help with first?
 

WebForging

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Well done!

Forums are evolving. Communities are including news, blogs, classifieds, Member Profiles (deeper than PostBits and vB type Member pages), add-a-link, journals and more.

Your article provided an excellent start, integrating several features by tweaking a single tool.

Thank you.

Regards,
Keith
 

Brook

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Hi Dune... any updates to this since 3.5.x ?

Do we still have to 'hack' files or can it be done with plug-ins now? I know you can add/use custom templates via plug-ins now... (in the how-tos are vb.com).
 

dune

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I'm moving to 3.5.x shortly and will update this as soon as I do so. I expect it will be much easier. I think my first/subsequent template hack was quite kludgy.
 

Jeff

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dune said:
I'm moving to 3.5.x shortly and will update this as soon as I do so. I expect it will be much easier. I think my first/subsequent template hack was quite kludgy.
Let me know if you want some help working on an update. As you know, I'm a big fan of the concept.
 

Aunt Clara

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Any chance we get an update for 3.5.4? I opened the showthread.php file and there is not such string. I currently do this with conditionals, but this method seems more robust.
 

wizard1974uk

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Aunt Clara said:
Any chance we get an update for 3.5.4? I opened the showthread.php file and there is not such string. I currently do this with conditionals, but this method seems more robust.

Why haven't you upgraded to 3.6? That is now the latest stable release.
 

Aunt Clara

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Have you checked my site? It is so heavily modded that I don't know how and when I'll upgrade.
 
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