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Any CMS suggestions?

jenfloyd's Photo
Posted Nov 04 2009 11:16 PM

I'm currently starting a project to redesign of my organization's website (http://www.deschutes.org/). In addition to updating the look and feel we're shopping for a new CMS.

Just a few of the important features we're looking for are:
1. Easy to use for non-technical content editors
2. Flexible and powerful event calendar
3. Content scheduling
4. Good-to-great asset management (i.e. images and documents)
5. Integration with social media

Obviously I have already identified several strong candidates, but I'd like to keep our options open since it's still very early in the project. We're evaluating everything - platform doesn't matter - open-source or commercial!

What's your favorite CMS... and why?


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6 Replies

  James71's Photo
Posted Nov 05 2009 01:41 AM

Take a look at this site
It contains almost all open source CMS systems installed for you and ready to try them out.
+ 2
  anoren's Photo
Posted Nov 05 2009 11:06 AM

What an interesting and also supremely difficult question. Did you know there are consultants whose sole job is analyze your needs and recommend a CMS? At O'Reilly we use a number of solutions, partly because we've been on the web for so long and because of our diverse needs, from database publishing, blogs, forums, community, ecommerce, and more. For the bulk of our web publishing we use a mix of in-house and hosted solutions, from Community Servers (in-house), which we've been using since the '90's, MoveableType (hosted) for blogs, and a custom version of Invision Forums for O'Reilly Answers. Beyond the list of features you list, I'd also consider the following as you move forward:

  • First and foremost, what are the goals and needs of your site? Is yours a simple news site, or will it include community and ecommerce? And just as importantly, where may it go in the future?
  • What's your budget? Even Open Source solutions cost money, especially in support and staff.
  • What staff will you have available, and what are their skills?
  • How easy are they to replace?
  • Are there consultants or support services available, and what do they cost?
  • Does the CMS have an open and helpful community to around it?
  • What's the quality of the documentation?
  • What language and architecture is the CMS based upon? Is it flexible? You'll inevitably want to add features and functionality.
  • Does it have a simple administrative interface?
  • How easy is it to manipulate templates that those non-technical people will rely upon?

I hope you report back on what you learn.

Regards, --Allen
 : Nov 05 2009 12:17 PM
If you decide to go with a commercial solution, be sure to talk with current and former customers about their satisfaction with the vendor's customer/technical support. Customer, tech and account support can have a huge influence on your happiness with the product after you've implemented. And as anyone who has gone through one of these processes can attest, you're loath to do it again any time soon. :)
+ 3
  rlopes's Photo
Posted Nov 05 2009 07:40 PM


I recently did the same kind of research.
I just look at PHP CMS since PHP was the best choice for my project.

I reduced the list to the following:
- ModX
- SilverStripe
- Concrete5

The requirement were a CMS friendly for the designer, a non cluttered admin, a good programming model for developers so they can extend the CMS.

Both ModX and SilverStripe are OOP and a joy for developers. They both have a nice admin and a clear interface. Designers and content managers should be at ease.

Concrete5 is another kind of beast and what really shine is the page editing capabilities perfect for non technical people. For the rest it is a bit below the two others and the community around it seems smaller.


 : Dec 07 2009 04:20 PM
Here's a fairly recent article titled Drupal or Django? A Guide for Decision Makers that discusses a CMS vs a Framework. CMSs are great for their ease of use and heavy reliance on plug-in's. Frameworks may require a steeper learning curve, but you're offered greater flexibility in the long run.

Also, if you haven't run across it, the Pinax project offers some cool plugable apps for building your own social media site. Good luck with your quest.
  ballys's Photo
Posted Jan 04 2010 10:38 AM

I previously used Mambo for it was easy install but now I use Joomla. It's powerful and easy.