I decided to use Joomla as the CMS for the site. I was thinking about Drupal at first, but after spending a little bit of time with it, I eventually went back to Joomla. I found it difficult to find good themes for Drupal, like what you can get with Joomla. Drupal is probably more flexible and powerful, but Joomla is a little easier to get a site up and running, in my opinion.
I am using a theme from Joomlart. The theme has an online newspaper look. At first, I couldn’t get anything to work. The documentation for it isn’t great, but once you play around with it for a while, it is not too hard. They have a great support forum, who helped me with a couple of small problems I had.
I want to make user reviews a large part of the site, and Joomla has a great review extension, which I think looks very professional and is fairly easy to set up. I would also like to add property listings later on and again Joomla has some good extensions for this.
I wanted to add a blog to the site and could have done it within Joomla, but you just can’t beat wordpress for this. I imported my old travel site entries into the site and redirected the old site to the new domain. I want to also eventually set up a forum on the site and will probably go with Vbulletin. There are bridges available to link users to Joomla, but to keep it all simple, I might just keep them separate.
I am getting a little bit of traffic now to the site and starting to build links. Travel bloggers are a friendly bunch of people and seem to happily exchange links. I am already ranking for “asia travel guide” which at least is a start.
My goal is to eventually be able to hire some writers to produce content for the site, but that could be a while off yet.