The dreaded 404 Error page! I’m seeing it far to often these days. And the 400+ crawl errors in Google Webmasters doesn’t seem to be dwindling quickly enough.
These are the headaches of moving a website that has been with one automotive industry provided CMS to another.
Luckily I had backed up the entire website before the CMS move. However, remembering what all of the custom created pages were and the time and effort to re-create them is another matter.
I’m sure there are other industries just like the automotive where people have to deal with these same headaches. The CMS isn’t a blank slate. It’s not like WordPress where I can just go into the back-end and recreate my link structure and upload my backed up database. NOOO. Each CMS provider has it’s own platform, it’s own way of creating URLs and it’s own plug-in content. So to move from one CMS to another blows out the website completely.
It amazes me that these providers don’t use some sort of common framework like Bootstrap, Foundation or Skeleton. Plus not being a fan of IIS (I think all of my vendors have heard me ask why anyone would run a website on a Microsoft server) and therefore not being familiar with it, I don’t understand why they can’t just re-create the file structure of my old site. Having worked with Apache for so many years, modifying the htaccess file is second nature.
But the one thing that really threw me for a loop was when the CMS providers support told me that I couldn’t create a custom 404 page!!! What??? I did a little research on IIS and also setup a local web server on a desktop. Within an hour I had figured out how to create a custom 404 page. Still not understanding why I can’t have one with this CMS.
And don’t even get me started on the fact that this new CMS provider doesn’t include microdata (see blog post from over a year and a half ago) or HTML5 semantic markup!!!!
As the frustrations mount, I continue to re-create the old pages (about 5-6 per week) and once created I then have to submit the re-directs to the CMS providers support team to create on the server.
I find myself wondering if I could disrupt the industry a bit by taking a 6 month vacation and creating a new CMS for car dealerships that ran on apache, used the Bootstrap framework (which includes jQuery) and was coded in php and using AngularJS.
Perhaps there are other programmers out that that would like to tackle this as an open source project? If so leave me a comment and let’s get something started!