My wife and I are volunteer webmasters for a charitable organization. Over the years, we've written tens of thousands of lines of HTML, JavaScript, HTML, CSS and especially Perl for our site.

We're now looking at finding other volunteer webmasters. We've been told that finding someone who can maintain and grow a site using this technology is almost impossible, and that we really should convert it to Drupal/PHP before we run away. That's a huge project which is going to cost our organization big bucks. Is it really the best approach for maximizing the chances of finding new webmasters?

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    How many pages does your site have? What are you using Perl for? – MrWhite Jan 20 '15 at 22:10
  • "finding new webmasters" - that's "finding new volunteer webmasters" I assume? Just my opinion, but I would have thought it would be harder to find a (experienced) Drupal developer who would be willing to do this as a "volunteer" (ie. for "free"). – MrWhite Jan 20 '15 at 22:17
  • On the order of 1000 pages, most of which are static. Perl is used for things like database searching, conference registration, management of rental assets and so on. And yes, volunteer webmasters is correct. – Peter P Jan 21 '15 at 2:15
  • It's not a problem that's easy to solve. Generally Wordpress has a larger hobbyist community than Drupal. Anyway converting a site is a huge problem... – Osvaldo Jan 21 '15 at 22:22
  • My question really is: "Is this the right way to go, or should we stick with the existing architecture?" - given that we will be looking for a volunteer. I'm beginning to think that any competent programmer can learn enough Perl to be useful, but getting up to speed on Drupal might be prohibitively difficult, and not provide much advantage. – Peter P Jan 22 '15 at 1:40

You might want to consider moving just the static pages into a content management system (CMS) such as Drupal. The big advantage of a CMS is that they allow the pages to be edited through the front end. That means that any volunteer with no programming experience can modify the text on the static pages.

There are more PHP developers than Perl developers these days, but I'm not sure that migrating that part would be worth it. I think that basic programming skills are what is hard to find rather than knowledge with a specific language.

  • Well, that's a very helpful idea. Doing it this way, we could use unskilled volunteer labour to maintain the static pages, and contract out the Perl work when necessary. Thank you, Stephen. – Peter P Feb 3 '15 at 17:13
  • There was this British WWII term "Let George do it", an anti-apathy push to not be that person. In the volunteer environment it's applicable as "Let CMS do it", as you will find a dearth of people with basic glue programming skills willing to donate their time. The love of doing computer stuff for the hack of it has kind of worn off out there as Peter P and I are being admonished. More people are available to fiddle with a Wordpress template than are to do the core programming to create a Wordpress plugin. The base skillset then becomes a data entry issue for content. Anybody can clatter keys. – Fiasco Labs Apr 4 '15 at 18:40

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