Can I use Armadillo & Sitelok on same site? Pros & Cons?


(e.g.,) #1

I’m struggling with Armadillo & Sitelok. Have not really used either to speak of, but I own both.

At this point it seemed to me that Armadillo is the choice for a blog page (though I haven’t figured out how to use it) & that Sitelok has a lot features, such as page lockdown & member areas possible.

I’m really not finding anything in the documentation of either that tells me simple things about the products.

I have changed themes in the site, been trying to overwrite it with an Armadillo blog to experiment, but it won’t DO that.

What criteria should I be comparing or considering in order to conclude I should rebuild my site?
Any help would be appreciated.


(Lisa Sandler) #2

I can’t tell much without a link or screenshot, but I’m betting that if you’re talking about republishing and you haven’t seen the changes, that you need to go on your server and delete the html file as it will now be a php file.

I don’t know Sitelock, but with my host Chillidog, (@barchard), I locked my store page (https://www.lisasandlerphotography.com/client-store/) without using SiteLock.


(Pedro Perdomo M.) #3

I suggest ask to Mathew, he has a lot of experience with that combination

Best


(Mathew Mitchell) #4

Please don’t listen to @peppermint: he gives very bad advice! :slight_smile:

I created a long video about how to set up Armadillo a few months ago. It’s not edited, and I don’t know how useful it will be for you. But I tried to go over every detail. The video is 42 minutes long (yes, I realize that’s too long) and I think you can create you own blog and Armadillo solo content by watching, stopping, doing the steps yourself, and then proceeding onwards with the video. Here’s the link to the video:

Armadillo is great for blogs, or any content on any page that you want to be able to edit via a web interface. It’s value partly is economic: buy one Armadillo stack and you can use it on as many websites as you want. (Many CMSs charge on a per usage basis. Each new website demands a new license.) But the main value, for me, of Armadillo is it works quite elegantly when you want to have multiple folks editing a website. You can set things up for different people, with different logins, and different levels of actions they can take. When a user logs in they only see the “things” they are allowed to edit. Obviously the Admin is a semi-God and can see everything, but individual users only see their designated blog posts or content areas.

Depending on your needs the above advantages may, or may not, be valuable to you.

Sitelok is wonderful membership webware. I create course websites at the university level. So Sitelok helps me manage student logins. Typically most-to-all of a course website can only be viewed by students in the course (as setup in Sitelok). One great feature is you can also have some pages that are only for one or two students. Thus I can create a website where most of it is only for my students, but some pages are just for individual feedback/comments between myself and one particular student. No other students can enter that kind of page. … Please keep in mind that I’ve only described one way to use Sitelok. There are many other powerful and creative ways to use it. For example, @dave uses Sitelok a lot in a very different way from me.

Okay, the above hopefully will give you a better idea of these products. The bottom line, however, is I’m not really sure what you are asking for. Your post (perhaps unintentionally) comes across as unfocused. As a reader I’m unsure what you are trying to accomplish. I, and others, could help you much better if we knew what you wanted to accomplish and what are your present barriers to reaching that end.


Armadillo blogging, any video links we can watch?
(Dave) #5

Great reply @Mathew! I agree totally regarding the economic benefit of using Armadillo over competing blogs - and have Armadillo running in several sites. Unfortunately, I have other sites that require features that the pay-per-domain CMS offers, and I have it installed in several sites as well. But, if my client is looking for a blogging solution - or a simple CMS, I’m going with Armadillo every time due to the licensing arrangement. On the other hand, Sitelok also charges per domain - but they generously offer a 50% discount on all domains, after the first. Because of this, I always (happily) install Sitelok anytime a client needs pages to be locked down.

As for Sitelok, I assure @Runamok that it can be used with Armadillo. I’m not sure why you’d need it to, though, since Armadillo a great system built in to limit admin users.

As with Mathew, I use Sitelok on some sites in order to protect pages. With some tweaking, I’ve also found that it’s a fantastic solution for a client (a small city) that runs a fall festival each year. Prospective vendors are able to complete an online application, determine how much they will owe in booth fees (this amount depends upon five different criteria including type of items that will be sold, size of booth needed, number of electrical drops required, etc.) and pay the non-refundable $25.00 application fee. With well over 1,000 applicants, it’s critical that my client isn’t having to figure out booth fees for every applicant…and with Sitelok, there’s no errors. The amount is figured up automatically and then kept track of. If the vendor is invited to participate, they’ll be notified six months before the festival, using SItelok’s built-in mailer, with instructions on how to pay the remained of their fees. They can even log back into the system and update profile items that don’t affect the fees-due (e.g., they can update contact info, booth requests, etc., but can not change the size of their booth, etc).

My last comment is that the authors of Armadillo (Jonathan) and SItelok (Adrian) are both fantastic when it comes to customer support. Both seem genuinely motivated to see their customers succeed. If you are having issues, and take the time to explain to them exactly what your end-goal is…and detail the issues you’re encountering, my guess is that you’ll get a detailed message back.

Cheers,

Dave


(Peter Danckwerts) #6

I’m creating a society website with both Armadillo and SiteLok but it’s not fully up yet. I need SiteLok because there are pages which must not be viewable by non-members. As @dave says, Armadillo can control admin access to the Armadillo content, but it cannot control who can view what.


(e.g.,) #7

Thanks all. Will let you know how it goes.

Matthew, as flustered as I’ve been getting these to work – 42 minutes may be about right! Thanks.
I didn’t wish to over-explain in my initial post & maybe that’s why it is unfocused.

The original site I published was slapdash to kick it out in a day. W/o the tools I bought.

I recently mangled my site while trying to test drive the 2 softwares - which forces me to finally get it closer to what I want. Now I’m trying to apply these tools to it as a learning experience, but bumped into a wall.

Dave, I’m not sure whether I need to use both. Has occurred to me that they may overlap quite a bit. I bought both - because I liked the idea of Sitelok with very fine membership controls, (though now I may not make the site a tiered membership after all). Peterdanckwerts’ explanation is in line with my original intent: both public pages & private pages for members that have broader interests. Armadillo because I wasn’t aware it was a full CMS so much as a recommended solution for blog control, though have no real idea what makes it different than the RW built in blog.

NimbleHost has taken pains with their videos, but I didn’t finding any that addressed my grasp of the topic.
The biggest problem may be that I am a dabbler & not well-versed apply the design of the site.


(Mathew Mitchell) #8

For the time being I suggest leaving Sitelok alone. It will be there when and if you need it later. I’d focus only on Armadillo and getting it up and running. It’s a fantastic product.

The main differences from the built in RW blog are several including, but not limited to, the following:

  1. you can post online
  2. nicely integrates with Markdown (perhaps not important to you)
  3. very flexible in how you deploy it (e.g. on a home page you can show the latest headlines that all link to the relevant full posts)
  4. you can have multiple blog contributors to the same blog
  5. you can have multiple blogs on one site (though perhaps you can do this with RW blog pages too)
  6. great flexibility with how and where you put traditional sidebar material (categories, tags, latest posts names)
  7. and more

As you can see the word “flexibility” crops up often. A consequence of flexibility is it does take a wee bit more time to set up and implement to your liking.


(e.g.,) #9

Thanks Matt.

I wasn’t sure if one (Sitelok or Armadillo) takes precedent over the other.
Right now that doesn’t matter to me, but I didn’t want to start over later on, for lack of attention now.

Diving in with a std RW blog to get it live in a day or two didn’t serve me well in the long run.

Your video (just finished viewing) is helpful.
The blog entry synopsis (rather like an old iWeb page) looks fairly straightforward (easy to say now. Time will tell).

I can control my areas of interest through separate blogs, I guess, vs Sitelok membership control.

When my Armadillo (sql) db did not prove to be accessible, support at NimbleHost did if for me & I am led to believe Sitelok can drive from the same db. Now to see if I can link it all together!

LSPhoto Lisa:
Yes, you surmised my intent abt replacing web accessible content. The previous webpage is still out there, albeit a little blown up & no longer useful for phone & tablet sized viewing. Trying to publish the Armadillo blog & experiment has not supplanted previous content.


(Lisa Sandler) #10

@Runamok when you change your website, names of pages and folders, style of page and you republish, it will not get rid of old pages and files. You physically have to go to your hosts’ website folder and delete old files that are no longer in use.


(e.g.,) #11

Suspected as much, but with my luck - I would have done it & have it unneccesary!

btw, a response I got from Adrain @ Sitelok some time ago on a blended Sitelok/Armadillo db paraphrased here:

"Hosting plans often allow multiple mysql databases.
Sitelok can have its tables inside another database, but there is no point in it."


(Dave) #12

I agree with @vibralogix - MySQL databases are so easy to set-up, that I don’t see any reason not to have separate ones for Sitelok and Armadillo. No reason to create extra work by trying to blend one db to host both solutions.


(Mark Harradine) #13

The benefit I can see by using the two products would be to have a single sign-on that allows those with appropriate rights to edit Armadillo content on Sitelok controlled pages, rather than having to use 2 logins to achieve the same. I have implemented something similar to this in the past, but was using Webyep, rather than Armadillo as the CMS. (Sitelok has a Webyep plugin that allows single sign-on as described above).

I have never used Armadillo, but if a single sign-on solution as described above could be implemented between the two developers, then that would be great, as Armadillo has (from what I have read) excellent blog capabilities, whereas Webyep has no blog capability.

I have been tracking an alleged update to Webyep but I am not convinced it is ever going to happen!


(e.g.,) #14

Mark, would you be inclined to control a blog from within a Sitelok-controlled environment?
What are the pros & cons, besides having only 1db log-in. I’m not experienced enough to assess which is the messier scenario.


I think I’m probably making this more cumbersome than will be feasible for site visitors, but here go the rudiments:

In my hypothetical case, for the sake of examples-- Mine is a racing site & vaguely related content (probably too broadly focused for a single site, but I’m experimenting). I eventualy want 2 levels of membership: Static public pages & one blog for members. A 2nd, higher level of access for club members – to access the full photo galleries.

My site has a few static pages like most websites. Then mostly a blog which contains an image or two per entry as its main content. I want to allow blog replies by members. Right now I don’t have that facility from within the rw blog. (Matthew mentions that I can do this well enough from within Armadillo).

Some of my potential members are not very web-savvy & I can’t expect all to use Disqus or other 3rd party methodology that they would have to know & manage.

My other main content are photo galleries with photos & cartoons as content.
I want to protect my images from download as much as possible, (right now they are easily downloaded). I don’t want to drop big watermarks all over their centers & thus muck up the images overmuch. Some of the photos are of professional musicians & Native American sites / events who have granted me permission, but don’t want to turn content over pell-mell.

The 2nd tier of membership might be to allow access to the cartoon/comic pages.
Or alternately, only horse club members with edit rights to their blog comments.

Part my question is whether Sitelok & Armadillo should reside with one as overarching framework, or whether they should be applied to only SOME pages of a rapidweaver project. If I skip Sitelok for now & later add it – what am I doing to page addresses?


(Mathew Mitchell) #15

You are definitely making this way too complicated.

Just get Armadillo up and running.

Sitelok can be added later. It does absolutely zero to the page addresses. Sitelok is something you add to relevant pages: but it does not change page addresses. Have 2 levels of membership is no problem at all.

Of course it would be a tad bit simpler if there were a single sign on with Sitelok and Armadillo. I have no idea if that’s possible in the future (it isn’t doable right now). You might want to ask @nimblehost and @vibralogix directly. It’s certainly a good idea for us the users, but I have no idea how complicated for the developers and if they’d make enough money off it.

As for non-web-savvy contributors. That potentially is a huge problem (no matter what product you use). It might be best if non-savvy contributors email you their content and then you massage it into the website. At the very least they’ll need some clear instructions they can easily refer to.


(e.g.,) #16

Matthew, Thanks for a detailed answer.
In reality, this should be 3 separate sites, as they have differing content. But I’m trying to force one.

It may turn out I cannot shoehorn them together successfully.

What I was trying to say re: “savvy” contributors,
was that I want a result where members could casually respond with comments to the blog.

To do so using another tool such as disqus, twitter, etc requires they add an external tool over & above what they’re looking at; sign up for a comment tool & be harangued. The act of registering to an external tool is irritating to the potential respondent if they’re not already using one of those specific tools.

If they’re signing up as a member in order to comment - it ought to be to my site.

That interaction doesn’t appear to be a built-in feature to the std RW blog.
The cleanest way I could find from my research was Armadillo, if my structure is a standalone RW site.


(Mathew Mitchell) #17

Well there might be a nice solution for you! Sitelok has an add-on for Disqus. That means if someone is a member and they login to your site then their login name is auto-recognized by Disqus. Nothing extra for your members to sign up for. And their Disqus comments are hidden behind Sitelok and thus not freely available to the general public. I use this all the time with my course websites. The initial setup with Disqus is a slight pain, but once done you are taken care of forever.

Adrian @vibralogix might have something to add (or not). So it truly is a single-sign on solution for entry to website and making comments.

If you want members to add their own blog posts then that currently is not SSO. But that doesn’t seem to be important to you.


(e.g.,) #18

Matthew, Thanks for your kind help.
Your mention of Sitelok is the garden path I was going down - in my attempt to meld Armadillo & Sitelok on one site.

I just blew up my previous website in order to dive in with both feet, from scratch. I have a little time to work it out & ask questions before I build it anew.

From what I could tell to this point, not all the features that I was seeking are available in each app.
That feature level of information is not as readily obvious to a novice: as optimally clear about the various applications & plug-ins.

Re: the site
I don’t want to clutter up by expecting people initiate their own OP blog entries.
My starting a blog topic for them is not the intensive action managing all their comments would be (your prev post).

If I can allow one level of access via Disqus - that may turn out to be a good trajectory.

I have a Disqus log-in & my (possibly incorrect) perception is that there is some management an account holder ought to do for privacy. I don’t want to increase a member’s web-anxiety in the process! Conversely, I don’t want to bloviate at the wall through my website, assuming those members’ attention.

I’m not creating a storefront anytime soon, if at all. At this stage, I’m playing & experimenting.
I just want members to feel that they are relatively safe & private, without adverts or be harangued for other sign-ups & offers. Peterdankwarts above mentioned a society website & I guess that’s analogous to my intent.

I suppose I should bear down & try to break things, while I can experiment.

Aside: My single biggest reticence is that both solutions
require I do so while connected to a webhost, to see the outcome.


(Mathew Mitchell) #19

From what you write the Sitelok + Disqus SSO combo may be perfect for your needs.

But I’m not sure why you are reticent to use products that require you to be connected to the web to see the outcome. This happens with a number of products that essentially require working with another product and integrating with RW. Maybe it feels odd to you, but it’s typical of how things need to work. Remember products like WordPress and many others are ALL on the web.


(e.g.,) #20

While I’m trying to get my bearings, bungle my way through - I really don’t want to put content online. Thus until one (I) feel comfortable with what I’m doing, its disconcerting.

Inherently, Wordpress requires web. However, there are several local folder publishing options WAMP, MAMP & at least one other, before moving it to the host while a site is in development. Same as RW does.

I’m using RW over WP because of security & the ability to have an easier local repository until I feel what I’m publishing is close to what I want open to viewing in my ideal. And iWeb grew long in the tooth, had a few limitations & was frame-based.

Disqus isn’t complicated. However, my experience with the slapdash site I put up - few of the people it was intended for, actually utilized it. (Backstory omitted). People are often reluctant to try new things. I’ve run into this with many other social media tools: they use what they use; no more & no less & then haphazardly. They use Twitter, iMessage, Disqus, Facebook - whatever they’ve grown comfortable with & don’t expand until the trends change. In my case, I won’t move onto Facebook (the AOL Granny of websites) to adjust to the status quo. (Lowest common denominator) to get the content across.

IF a person doesn’t already use Disqus - they either use it out of the box, ignore settings; or have to manage its settings just to get to comment on mine. They shouldn’t have to leave my site, in order to get the tools to use my site. Maybe I’m making too much out of it, but I’ve seen it happen over & again.

As I’m not putting up a storefront…
That said, I may well take your advice & go the disqus route.

This puts me back to using [possibly] both Sitelok & Armadillo together!?
Is there a reason to include or drop one or other of these applications from the mix?