It's been awhile since I last posted a blog. It's not like I had a bunch of avid readers; in fact I would be surprised if I even had one. But nevertheless a lot has happened which has kept me away. The most notable thing is that I got engaged and I am now in the process of getting married.
Being the prideful web programmer that I am, I decided I had to build my own website. I was thinking which direction I could go. I could have used Word Press. It's easy and honestly it's a pretty darn good product. In retrospect, it may have been the better choice but I decided to go with Liferay. I used the EE version since I can generate my own keys but I could just have easily gone for the latest 5.2.x CE. Both are excellent solutions.
I had to eat my own dog food I guess but right off the bat I want to tell you, it tastes pretty darn good. I only brought up that maybe Word Press was a better solution because of a few things, cost and how simple my website was. I'll let you guys know my experiences of using Liferay for my wedding site but if some of you guys want to stop now, here is the bottom line. Liferay isn't the best choice for personal websites, but I can see why companies use Liferay and fall in love. It is the best open source portal in the market (fact) and maybe the best portal period (maybe I am biased).
First thing first I go over the negatives of Liferay for my wedding website.
There were too many features, too many options. In real life this wasn't a negative but because my website was so simple I had to decide between all the different options. Should I go with cms, portlets, leverage existing Liferay portlets? The options were endless. It was a good and a bad thing.
Second and last negative. This is a biggie. I couldn't find a cheap place to host my site. Java hosting is expensive!!! Not quite as much as getting married but it's not like php. I could have done tomcat hosting, but it was pretty complicated to get it working right and even harder to get it working with my plugins also since I didn't want to build anything in the ext. I tried to get a vm but they were usually around 50 dollars a month! When you're saving any way you can for the wedding of your dreams, there is no way to justify that. I was just going to have to swallow my pride and go to theknot.com and use one of their templates for my site. Luckily Liferay, loves me and gave me my own private vm so I didn't have to resort to that =).
Ok now for the good things.
It's so easy to develope for Liferay. The plugins have made my life as a liferay consultant so easy. I built all my portlets and theme in a matter of a few days. I'm a Liferay expert of course so it made things faster but still Liferay is simply a fantastic tool to use to build a professional website. We could really change our product and call it Liferay Framework and I doubt anyone could disagree.
The CMS is so much better now. I am one of the first employees in Liferay so I started using Liferay from its earliest versions. I remember on one project for a non-profit we built much of their content on our CMS. It was a nightmare. We built some of their content with portlets because the CMS wasn't advanced enough to handle what we needed it to. If we did the same project today, I doubt we would need portlets and I think I could have done the entire project myself instead of needing a 3 man team. It has gotten that easy and that good.
There are a lot of features that are really made my life easier. I used remote publish from my laptop to publish my website to my vm. If I didn't want to do that I could have just manually exported my communtier to a lar and then import it back. I could create different communities and host other sites if I wanted to. And Liferay is almost easy enough that I might be able to ask my fiancee to do some stuff.
Using Liferay did allow me to do somethings Word Press wouldn't have allowed for (not that I know of at least). I was able to build a guest list portlet where I could input all my guest and have them register what foods they want. I can later export this to excel if I feel like doing that and I guess that's the beauty of using Liferay. I feel like I have the power to do anything I want as long as I want to put some hours into it.
* Hopefully I can update this post with a link as I'm still in the process of getting all the content written =).