Easter weekend didn’t start well – I decided to upgrade Joomla on one of my sites to version 1.5.1 from 1.0 and upgrade just totally ruined the entire site – content was lost, template wasn’t compatible with version 1.5.1. At first I thought that the reason is Dreamhost‘s automatic one-click upgrade that I used, but even after manual reinstall Joomla kept giving weird “Fatal error: Call to a member function name() on a non-object in helper.php on line 219” error in Control Panel, and legacy mode for old template didn’t work.
(To be fare I should say that Dreamhost provides excellent value for money. If you are looking for a good hosting – use IVANKUZNETSOV promocode and get a $50 discount when setting up an account on Dreamhost)
A thought of reinstalling all modules and reconfiguring Joomla from scratch was simply too depressive, so I decided to try another CMS. As a Ruby on Rails convert and a strong believer in open-source ideology I decided to go for Radiant – open-source CMS written in RoR. It is still in beta (latest release is 0.6.4), but it is surprisingly stable and powerful. Take a look at the footer of www.ruby-lang.org – official Ruby programming language web site – it is powered by Radiant 🙂
Installation of Radiant was rather easy – thanks to this guide and my prior experience with RoR applications deployment on Dreamhost. It took me a couple of hours to figure out how to actually create sites with Radiant – there are not that many tutorials available yet, so it is pretty much “make by example”. Split into pages, snippets and layouts makes a lot of sense onse you get your head around it.
From my experience Joomla is an overkill for most of the small sites, and despite being WYSIWYG, it still requires a professional or at least a tech savvy to configure it. After Radiant is set up and configured it is no more difficult to add content there than to edit a wiki page because of its Textile support. But it is so much simpler and easier to use than Joomla.
I managed to restore the ruined site in a day’s time – fetched most of the lost content from Google cache, converted Joomla template into Radiant’s layouts and recreated the pages (well, it was a small site after all). First time I dealt with Joomla – I spent several days trying to figure out where are the settings that I actually need in the endless menus.
Radiant is clearly following “less is better” principle. If you want to try Radiant – there’s a live demo where you can do whatever you want with the content.