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Creating 500+ sites with same design but different content

Discussion in 'HTML & Website Design' started by kevmacmeh, Aug 30, 2014.

  1. #1
    Hi there,

    I want to know what is the quickest and easiest way to create 500 websites in a specific subject area, whilst remaining Google friendly.
    The client has a lot of domains. We will say the subject area is "repairs" - so he has names such as ohiorepairs, newyorkrepairs and so forth.

    He wants the design to be consistent on each site with content being the only difference. This will be a big project. Would Google take a dim view on me creating a nice website and copying that website design to each of the 500+ names using a duplicator then getting my team to create unique content for each site.

    Would Wordpress be the best CMS to use for such a project? He wants to be able to change adverts, for example on all 500+ sites at the click of a button. Is that possible on Wordpress?
    SEMrush
    Any advice and tips would be excellent.
     
    kevmacmeh, Aug 30, 2014 IP
    SEMrush
  2. Adam_UK

    Adam_UK Member

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    #2
    Wow, 500 websites is a large amount. I'm not sure what your experience is with building websites but you're going to have a lot of work ahead of you, primarily in writing unique content for each site.

    I'm trying to wrap my head around why your client want's that many sites. The cost of 500 domains, each with their own host* could amount to $25K/annum. Plus you've then got the upkeep, maintenance, content creation costs and more.... On top of this, while each site may be unique, since they would feature around the same topic they could end up competing with themselves for traffic.
    (*It is possible to host more than one site with different domains from the same host/server.)

    Saying that, in my experience, are lot of clients are crazy. I should really stop fishing for jobs at Harry Potter and Steam-punk Pirate conventions.

    Generally speaking, search engines won't respect your visuals and styles (They're not looking at that). Although you can get your images indexed (Google Images). Search engines primarily crawl your HTML document to seek out it's brilliant, well written and unique content. Document structure can hinder this if it's poorly written, causing the search spiders to 'give up'.

    If you think about how many WordPress sites are out there with the same theme, yet still ranking successfully. Its their unique content which is a key factor. Whether using the exact same template, same style-sheet, same class/id names in your HTML Document has any negative effect, I'm not sure. However, using duplicated content does. So you need to make sure it's both unique and has value to the reader (Not just jargon). You may have difficulty to maintain this over 500 sites if the topic is the same throughout.

    I can't personally recommend WordPress any more, other than as a blogging platform separated for the main website linked via the menu. The time it takes to fully use, explore and learn the code base of WordPress would be better spent learning PHP and MySQL to then create your own lighter weight blog. If you become adept at PHP and MySQL the benefits of WordPress diminish.

    But with my non-recommendations aside. WordPress would still not be the best CMS or solution for your project. It takes time to create, upload and manage a WordPress site. For example, each time you want to edit the site and save a changes it may take a second or several seconds for those changes to be saved. If you need to regularly do this, then preview the results, then edit, save, preview, edit, save, preview etc.... The time taken mounts up, and development takes longer than anticipated. On top of this you need to regularly manually update it, the theme and plugins, despite some of it's automated features. Now multiply this time by 500 and you have a large work load on your hands.

    There may be a possibility with the Multi-site feature to spam out 500 different sites. Since it's easier to maintain multiple WordPress sites via that format. However, to have a different domain for each of these sites usually requires premium plugins if you're unable to create the functionality yourself. And so may be a burdening cost.

    There are other problems with using WordPress as a CMS, but these are out of the scope of this post. I would however like to mention that WordPress requires third-party plugins in improve it's security. Which can be a risk in itself. Since you are creating 500 sites which can be recognised (i.e. same theme) from one site to the next, your security risk may increases and 'chain' from one site to the next. If one site was hacked, the hacker could identify another (From the theme and content) which may have the same or similar login details and the risk would continue to that site. Just something to consider.

    There are web services which allow you to manage advertisements. When you build your site you allocate the space for an advert, then link that area to the advert hosted in the web service. To change the advert, you change the advert hosted in the web service.

    My personal recommendation for building and managing 500+ websites. I would build my sites to not require constant maintenance and upkeep because 500+ sites can become an administrational nightmare. I would therefore build an HTML/CSS static site and template it via PHP. I would use an external advertisement management service so that I would not need enter into the HTML code to replace an advertisement.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2014
    Adam_UK, Aug 31, 2014 IP
  3. dwirch

    dwirch Well-Known Member

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    #3
    You're probably not going to want to use an off-the-shelf blog platform for this. There is too much other stuff going to manage it efficiently, as other have pointed out above.

    I haven't heard of any pre-built solutions that do what you are asking. However, if you do hire out to have this done, any competent coder should be able to get it finished in short order. Note the emphasis on the keyword. Anyone who tells you it is overly-complex to build a solution for this or tells you it is going to take an inordinate amount of time should be disregarded as potential job candidate. Most likely, they are only able to squirt out WordPress-based sites, then install plugins and themes.

    Hell, I don't even code for a living, and I could whip this out in a weekend.
     
    dwirch, Aug 31, 2014 IP
  4. kevmacmeh

    kevmacmeh Well-Known Member

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    #4
    Thanks for all the advice

    If anyone is interested in working on such a project, do message me.
     
    kevmacmeh, Aug 31, 2014 IP