New User - hopefully easy questions to get started

Greetings. Please don’t feel the need to answer every single question in 1 post. Any individual answers is very welcome.

I’m migrating my wife’s site from a custom FB PHP API site I wrote a few years back that has since broken and I’d rather move to something easier for me to keep updated with new features. We’re currently limited to a shared virtual host on a friend’s HostGator account but I do have access to the cPanel (but am looking at Grav to avoid needing to mess with things at that level).

I’ve been Googling and reading forums for a couple of days but after that I still have these questions in mind. I haven’t started testing Grav or any other platforms I’ve looked at yet.

I’m just looking for pointers right now. For things that require plugins/themes I’m hoping to get pointers to projects that are working in Grav 1.4.7. Which leads me to question 1:

… Grav Cart … brought me to Grav in the first place as it is just feature rich enough to work for her stuff. However the lack of updates/comments on the Git for it make me wary. Working well in 1.4.7? I’ll be using the PayPal gateway and won’t need to extend it much past default configuration (except next item).

… Cart deeper dive:

  • I’d LIKE to organize the site in such a way that she can add a new item to the site as both a new post as well as a product available in Grav Cart. Such that the post can populate a gallery and the shopping inventory. Most are unique items, quantity 0, but some will have multiple quantity I need the shop to decrement as sold. I want the item to disappear from the shop when quantity hits 0 but still be visible in some form of gallery. Thoughts? This was something (relatively) easy to do when I was using Drupal 6 but that was just WAY overkill for her site.

  • Comments: I’d like to have a web comment module on any gallery entry that are also shared to the product page when active. Pointers for the way to do that appreciated.

… Themes: I’d like the most responsive theme I can find that does both desktop and mobile site formatting. Hopefully including theming Admin so that I can let her post blog and product from her phone as she’s stopped touching her laptop :slight_smile: I’m willing to minimize design capabilities. Thoughts on the Bootstrap theme for this as it seems to check boxes well for me and is recently updated.

… Multi-site question: I may end up using her site as a basis for a site I’m thinking of to sell some of my own creations (which are entirely different from hers). So I’d like to set her site up from the get-go as multi-site.

  • I read a bunch of comments about Grav 1.0 Admin plugin (which will be necessary as I want her to edit/post and she won’t be interested in FTP uploading new stuff) not being fully multi-site aware. I didn’t find anything in the current release notes. Has Grav 1.4.7 addressed this?

  • If answer above is “no” … how hard will it be to migrate her structure to a multi-site structure later on if I set it up as single site? I’d be using a sub-domain for my stuff.

… Old plugin compatibility / Future-proofing

  • similar to the original Grav Cart question, how much do new versions of Grav break old plugins, or is backwards compatibility

  • When Grav 2.0 eventually comes out and I if can get the shared host to install PHP 7.x (upgrading PHP has been slow in the past), what’s the current thought on plugin backwards compatibility then? Specifically wondering about Grav Cart but curious about the direction in general.

Many thanks!

On themes: Quite a lot of themes are using responsive frameworks, so they will look good on any device you use. Searching for ‘responsive’ gets a good list of them on the Downloads-page. You can style or re-structure Admin by following examples from other plugins, several modify Admin in this manner, but be aware that it is a slightly more involved process than designing a front-end theme.

On multi-site: Setting up multisite can take a little effort, but once done it will suit you very well. I would first consider whether the first site and any subsequent sites will share anything essential that could not just be copied once, or symlinked to be always available. We often symlink essential parts of Grav Core, Themes, and Plugins to minimize maintenance between sites.

On future-proofing: Grav Core and extensions (Themes, Plugins) follow SemVer, meaning that their core functionality should not break between minor- and patch-versions. Backwards-compatibility is very often considered before making a change to Core, also in the scope of breaking extensions’ functionality. Grav is due to become PHP 7.x-dependent by version 1.6 if memory serves, because its dependencies are mostly moving there as well. Given the state of PHP, and the speed of 7, it is safe to say that everyone will be using 7 fairly soon and leave slow hosts behind with out-of-date versions of CMS’ like Grav.

Multisite Admin does seem have problems with its URLs, though you can work around this by changing them in your browser if you know the correct URL. For example, logging in, you typically get a 404 but it is simple to correct the URL and find that you did log in successfully and see the dashboard. Unfortunately, it’s probably the less technical users that are both affected and can’t easily work around this.

Also note that you never need the Admin plugin, it’s simply a GUI and everything can be achieved using simply your text editor. However, it’s essential for non-technical clients to make edits.

I’m sure this will be fixed very soon if not already.