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I was just looking for some opinions regarding installing Civi in a current wordpress webpage (the non-profit's front facing regular ole website) versus creating a separate Wordpress installation to specifically house Civi.

Are there any major pitfalls to a separate directory?

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For balance, there are a few pro's for using a separate site and linking between them. The main website can have information about events or ask for donations and then link to Civi for bookings/contributions etc

  • Your website and Civi are not tied to the same version of WP so upgrading is independent
  • Your website and Civi don't even need to use the same CMS so you could leave your existing website in WP but have Civi on Drupal if you want Views, Webforms etc
  • Your Civi site will (probably) have fewer extra modules/plugins/extensions which in theory reduces your number of vulnerabilities and improves your data security posture.

I'm not saying this is better overall, just that there are some benefits to separating your main site from Civi.

  • Good feedback, thanks for adding a balancing answer. :) – Christia Jan 18 '17 at 17:51
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If the CiviCRM is installed on a different Wordpress site, important features and functions would be completely crippled by not being connected to the front-end website:

  • Letting users input and manage their own contact information either deliberately or through contribution and sign up forms
  • You wouldn't be able to take donations through the CiviCRM through the front-facing website
  • Users wouldn't be able to sign up for events or memberships and be managed through CiviCRM
  • You wouldn't be able to collect user email addresses or get newsletter sign ups through the front-facing website to be managed through the CiviCRM.
  • Staff would have two different company websites to sign into for managing different things, instead of just one

I can't think of many pros for doing it this way. Even if there are features you aren't planning to use now, you might want to grow into them.

  • Good call, that signup forms to newsletters on the main site, might not be managed well thru Civi. But both sites are front-facing - users could still manage their own contact information and sign up for events etc. Those pages would just be accessed on the secondary site. Correct, you can’t take donations on your main website, users would have to click from the main site to the secondary site - perhaps not ideal but I’ve seen several sites whose donations pages were definitely a different set up than their main website. Perhaps it comes down to use case - I will def mull this over. – RayWright Jan 18 '17 at 0:43

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