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Love, Marriage, and Liferay?

Company Blogs December 23, 2009 By David Truong Staff

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 =).

Threaded Replies Author Date
Would love to see your wedding site... Hennie de Villiers December 23, 2009 11:19 PM
Congratulations for your wedding! Funny post :)... Juan Fernández December 24, 2009 9:05 AM
I support your comment that thinking outside... Shepherd Ching January 2, 2010 10:34 PM
Nice site. Congrats again, Dave. =) Alice Cheng January 4, 2010 11:52 AM
Hi David, congratulations on your wedding! I... Igor Stipanov January 5, 2010 5:00 AM
Very nice post David! Congratulations for the... Julio Camarero January 6, 2010 11:52 PM
Hey Igor, Have you ever tried using the... David Truong January 21, 2010 12:55 AM
Great title ...:) vijay pandey November 27, 2011 8:35 PM
I agree with every bit of this article...... Advait Trivedi June 18, 2012 9:40 AM

Would love to see your wedding site...
Posted on 12/23/09 11:19 PM.
Congratulations for your wedding!
Funny post emoticon
Waiting for the url
Posted on 12/24/09 9:05 AM.
I support your comment that thinking outside the box.
Sometimes we should try another tools such as Wordpress in order to improve our products.

Love, Marriage, and Liferay?
Love -> Marriage -> your new ray of life !
Posted on 1/2/10 10:34 PM.
Nice site. Congrats again, Dave. =)
Posted on 1/4/10 11:52 AM.
Hi David,
congratulations on your wedding!

I have a question: when you say "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..." , what exactly do you mean by comparing using CMS instead of portlets?
We are currently working on a site with a lot of content, but we mostly built our own portlets to display content which is stored in Liferay's CMS. So we use both custom portlets and CMS emoticon
Posted on 1/5/10 5:00 AM.
Very nice post David! Congratulations for the wedding!!
I am looking forward to seeing your site emoticon
Posted on 1/6/10 11:52 PM in reply to Igor Stipanov.
Hey Igor,

Have you ever tried using the service locator with journal templates? Sometimes you can forgo together creating portlets and do everything within the template. Also with the frameworks built for javascript today... many things we did in the past with jsp's are no longer needed. I am comparing of course Liferay 3 to 5... I can't believe I've been here so long..
Posted on 1/21/10 12:55 AM in reply to Igor Stipanov.
Great title ...emoticon
Posted on 11/27/11 8:35 PM.
I agree with every bit of this article...
especially the one which says there are multiple options available to implement a functionality. It overwhelms sometimes to know that I can implement a functionality using 4-5 different methods - for e.g. custom portlet, webcontent, OOB Services etc.
Posted on 6/18/12 9:40 AM in reply to vijay pandey.