Thursday, April 19, 2012

18 Open Source Content Management Systems


A content management system (CMS) is a system facilitating efficient production of desired output by using managed content. The content may be text, images, graphics, documents, sound, video or other that can be managed in an electronic format. It is a software application used in uploading, editing and managing content on a website. CMS has been gaining popularity as it handles various tasks including when to display content, how many times to display content to specific users and how the content interacts with other elements of the website. Open source CMS systems are popular for their quality, lower cost, reliability and flexibility.
This article is the first in a series that lists the advantages and disadvantages of the 18 most popular open source Content Management Systems. The first five are WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, and b2evolution.
1. WordPress
WordPress is a publishing platform focused on aesthetics, web standards, and usability. Working with WordPress does not require any knowledge of HTML. Ease of installation and upgrading make it a great fit for beginner webmasters and even for non-developers.
Using WordPress has these advantages to users:
  • The CMS tool has blogging options such as Posts, comments, media, links, simple pages, users etc.
  • Customization of the look of a website or addition of an extra feature is possible
  • Multilingual support: Although it lacks out of the box support for bilingual or multilingual blogs, plugins developed by the WordPress community permit creation of a multilingual blog
  • Many plugins are released by independent developers that enhance the user interface
  • Creation of new content is very easy with the visual text editor
  • Security from hackers is comparatively high for many community developers
Disadvantages are:
  • Limitations for bigger and more complicated sites
  • Better suited for blogs than general websites
  • Changing navigational structure requires knowledge of WP scripting language and CSS
  • Below average SEO friendly: SEO provided by WordPress is below average but can be improved with installation of a useful plugin
  • Attracts spambot
2. Joomla
Joomla is a much appreciated portal- or community type site CMS tool for simple websites and blogs. It comes with an easy to use graphical administrative interface and powerful WYSIWYG Editor that enables the creation and editing of pages. With Joomla, there is no need to use specialized tools or programming languages to update the sites. It has a large user base with a lively community where tips and tricks are shared.
Advantages of using Joomla as CMS tool are as follows:
  • Good choice for creating a community or network with a membership area, newsroom, forums, articles, input from external authors
  • Simple installation: takes a few minutes
  • In the most recent version of Joomla, a more complex navigation pattern is available that can support more than two-level hierarchies
  • A lot of functionality is built into Joomla hence it requires fewer plugins than WordPress
  • Easy to create a navigation structure: no need to have knowledge of Joomla scripting while changing the navigation structure and menus of the site
  • No knowledge of HTML is required
  • Multilingual Support: An extra module called Joomfish is required to facilitate multilingual support
  • Allows users to set article expiration dates, activation dates, author names, etc.
  • Has many development tools and tutorials to help users
  • Offers users a large community where advice, tips and tricks can be shared
Disadvantages of using Joomla:
  • Lacks advanced technologies hence not suitable for advanced web designers
  • Less security: Every site has its own login details making the work easier but leaving the site less secured
  • Less friendly to Search engine optimization
  • Certain plug-ins cost money which are available for free in WordPress
3. Drupal
Drupal is a free source PHP based CMS tool that allows an individual or a community of users to easily publish, manage and organize content on a website. Requiring complete control over scripting of sophisticated website design, Drupal is not very user friendly, but can be worked on only by professional web developers. Installation of Drupal is easy and straight forward for anyone familiar with installing applications on web servers. For web developers new to Drupal, it is a steep learning curve. It requires knowledge of a sophisticated programming language.
Drupal has gained popularity over other CMS for the following advantages:
  • Flexible yet robust content creation: There is flexibility in creating and managing different content types such as text, blogs, video, polls etc.
  • Using Drupal CMS, one can customize the URL path for each piece of content published on a website
  • Creation of own dynamic designs for pages of your own website
  • Drupal is the ideal platform for developing large websites with hundreds of pages
  • Highly scalable
  • Drupal is proven and secured
  • Multilingual Support: It requires only to activate a core module named Locale to enjoy multilingual support
  • SEO friendly: Drupal CMS software is ideal for search engine optimization
  • It has very strong community support
  • Large support base
Disadvantages of Drupal include following:
  • Not very user friendly and requires greater technical knowledge
  • Needs MySQL and Php language support
  • Customization of Drupal requires an expert user and developer
4. Magento
Magento is an open source ecommerce platform designed for customizing, managing and running an online portal.
Advantages of Magento include:
  • Well defined with core code and third party or community code allowing users to download other extensions or modules without worrying about the impact of future upgrades and or disrupting the current appearance of the website
  • SEO friendliness: Magento achieves high ranking on search engines Google and Bing
  • Large community of users: A community of users, developers and service providers are available to share their advice, tips and tricks
  • PHP written Magento is a feature rich ecommerce platform. It has all the features of a top of the line Ecommerce website such as advanced promotion and marketing tools.
  • Easy integration of additional layouts and Add-ons
  • Provides ability to manage multi stores from single Administration panel
  • Nice default template
Disadvantages are:
  • The CMS software is a complicated platform and follows best web programming practices
  • There are very few expert Magento developers available
  • Heavily layered and overly complicated coding style and large number of files required to learn and do customization
5. b2Evolution

B2Evolution is an open source blogging system distributed under the GNU General Public License, making it free to use and modify. A large number of plug-ins have been developed for the CMS including extensions allowing incorporation of third-party text editors. In addition, it also permits integration of functionality provided by popular websites including MySpace, YouTube, Digg etc. It is featured with friendly URLs, image resizing, photoblogs with thumbnails, UI levels, a WYSIWYG editor, spell check and style wizard. It is a multilingual, multi user, multi blog publishing CMS.
Advantages of b2Evolution:
  • Fast and easy installation of the software: can be installed on virtually any server configuration consisting of PHP and MySQL
  • Spam protection: Featured with blacklisting and CAPTCHA to prevent comments from automated bot programs, your blog will be free from annoying spam comments
  • B2Evolution provides multiple Theme support
  • Navigation is quite straight forward
  • Installation of plugins is quite simple
Disadvantages:
  • Difficult for non-technical blogger to use b2Evolution
  • Performing customization requires knowledge of the language of the PHP tribe
  • With  respect to availability of extensions and their ease of use, Add-on community is limited
  • User community is comparatively small
In the last article in this series we covered WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, and b2evolution, five leading Content Management Systems. In this article we talk about the next five: Xoops, Seotoaster, e107, Concrete5, and Typo3.
6. Xoops
Xoops (eXtensible Object Orientated Portal System) is an open source and ideal tool to develop small to large dynamic community web sites, corporate portals, web logs and much more. It is a dynamic object oriented portal script that is written in PHP and it supports MySQL. Easy to use, Xoops is an ideal tool to create data-driven community sites of all sizes. It is used for blogs, corporate intranet sites and content-rich information portals.
Advantages of Xoops:
  • Small learning curve
  • Easy installation
  • Addition of features to your website can be done easily through additional modules and themes
  • It has worldwide support available in a number of languages
  • Administrator can easily find users based on a variety of criteria.  Using a simple template-based system, he can send both emails and private messages
  • Using a theme-based template system, Xoops allows instant enhancing of the presentation of your site
  • Search Engine Friendly: Xoops supports many add-ons to help make your site more search engine-friendly
  • Theme capability
  • Worldwide Support
Disadvantages:
  • A provider should be equipped with the Apache web server, PHP and an SQL database, preferably MySQL
  • It requires installation of a number of modules and some of the documents for some modules are lacking. Because of this, it becomes time consuming for administrators to tweak these modules to get them to work.
7. Seotoaster
SEO Toaster is a free open source CMS and e-commerce software used by many big and small businesses. The powerful CMS is very light on resource usage. It represents an alternative to Yahoo Stores for small e-commerce websites or WordPress when used as a corporate or affiliate CMS. Featured with a unique architecture, the powerful CMS makes piloting SEO execution. It also helps in easy marketing for multiple websites from a central automated web marketing location. Seotoaster requires a single core to power and revise multiple websites hosted on the same server.
Advantages:
  • Provides ability to access a library of ready-to-use themes to jump-start your presence online
  • Customize and integrate open source shopping cart and other applications
  • Building one, two and more money-making websites for free is possible with SEO Toaster
  • SEO friendliness: In-built all latest SEO techniques right into their website from the get-go helps in achieving high rankings with Google and other search engines: No blog to read or SEO expert fees to pay
  • Much easier to use than WordPress and has scope of scalability
  • Seotoaster is easy for content writers, and website administrators featuring complete front-end edition


8. e107

e107 is an open source content management system covering every area of content management including admin, file and directory management, multimedia, e-commerce and so on. It is embed with simple, intuitive interface and flexible architecture which allows the CMS to perform well on anything ranging from blogs and personal websites to business sites and intranets.
Advantages of popular e107:
  • Loads of plugins available on the CMS
  • Easy to install
  • Great community support
  • Designers are available to create beautiful theme designs
  • Highly customizable
Disadvantages:
  • Not many plugins are available for bloggers
9. Concrete5
Concrete5 is a free open source CMS gaining popularity among designers for its focus on ease of use. With Concrete5, one can manage a small to medium size website as easy as a WYSIWYG. A great feature of Concrete5 is it keeps revising a page which make it easy to roll back to a previous version of the page.
Advantages include:
  • The Concrete5 platform is quite flexible and easy to edit and update
  • Best for non-programmers that want a static website
  • Creating themes with Concrete5 is very easy
  • SEO friendly
  • Multilingual support
  • One can develop own themes
Disadvantages include:
  • It needs solid knowledge of HTML/CSS and an acquaintance with PHP
  • Community is not very large
  • It needs a blank database, which can be frustrating if on a shared hos
10. Typo3
 TYPO3 is an open source enterprise-class content management system. The powerful TYPO3 can handle large and complex websites. It has a broad base of extensions and developers that can add to its functionality. A developer is able to create pages with a variety of content elements such as regular text, forms, multimedia, file links, etc. Advantages include:
  • Many extensions
  • Powerful scripting allows flexibility without custom PHP plugins
  • Unlimited scalability: Typo3 can acquire new functionality and expand or modify existing ones with special modules
  • The CMS allows working with draft versions of web site without affecting live site content
  • Unlimited Undo/History levels make it possible to roll back your changes to a previous state, regardless of how old that stage is
  • Multiple domains/sites on one installation: Single Typo3 installation facilitates working on several web sites with different domains. This is useful when your sites have shared or related content or when these sites belong to one complex project
  • Gives the ability to temporarily hide some content without deletin
  • Huge international developer community
  • Multilingual
  • Security: A high level of protection from hacker attacks or hijacking of business-critical company websites is offered
Disadvantages:
  • Learning typoscript is time consuming
  • The documentation lacks detail and needs more examples
  • It’s not suitable for small websites
  • Many extensions haven’t been updated in years
This is the third blog post in a series of blog posts about open source Content Management Systems (CMS). You can find the first two parts here (Part 1) and here (Part 2) .
In the last article in this series we covered Xoops, Seotoaster, e107, Concrete5, and Typo3, five leading Content Management Systems. In this article we talk about the next five: MediaWiki, Moveable Type, dotCMS, Dotclear, and Zope/Plone.



11. Media Wiki
MediaWiki is a PHP designed open source software wiki package, initially built for use on Wikipedia. Now it is used by several other projects of the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation and by many other wikis, including this website, the home of MediaWiki. The free software is available under the license of the GPL. It runs on a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) architecture. It’s designed to run on large server farms for websites that get millions of hits per day.
Advantages include:
  • Scalability: It is scalable and powerful, with many features not commonly found in Wiki systems
  • MediaWiki supports a multiple server environment allowing it to scale up for high usage situations such as massive collaborations
  • Powerful and robust, MediaWiki is capable of handling hundreds of millions of pages
  • Multiple users can simultaneously update, modify and edit pages on the CMS which is designed for a collaborative environment


12. Movable Type
Movable Type is a free, all-in-one content management system that helps in building and operating an eCommerce site and creating a social networking site. It also lets developers manage large volumes of content and run a blog, while also functioning as an intranet. This content management system has gained popularity in various circles including media and publishing companies, design and development firms, power bloggers and marketing and communications folks.
Advantages include:
  • Managing your website with Movable Type is quite easy through the administrator interface
  • With one installment, one can manage multiple websites/blogs
  • It is scalable. As your site grows, the platform scales to meet fluctuating traffic needs
  • It is quick and easy to make new templates and requires very little technical knowledge using the built-in tools
  • It’s easy to publish content in either entry or page form and add custom fields as you go
  • Optional support for bloggers, online support for businesses and premium support for enterprise and high-traffic bloggers
  • It supports multiple users, themes, comments and tagging
Disadvantages include:
  • It takes longest time to install in comparison to other CMS
  • Active community is significantly smaller than more popular content management systems




13. DotCMS
DotCMS is an enterprise-grade open source J2EE/Java Web Content Management System. It is used for controlling websites and managing content such as media, modules, text and other add-ons. Users with moderate or no technical ability can make massive changes on a site while working on dotCMS. The combination of open source and Java Script makes it sophisticated, innovative and customizable. Intended to serve CMS-driven e-commerce, it allows corporations, institutions and organizations to move at a quicker pace without the need for Java development talent within a Web Team. Some of the organizations that run on dotCMS Enterprise Edition are Toyota, Hospital Corporation of America, University of Texas, Thomson Reuters, Aquent, State of Ohio, and the Government of Quebec.

Advantages include:
  • It offers a certified and warranted Enterprise solution in addition to a Community version
  • Using dotCMS, clients with little or no technical knowledge can manage an open source portal, company web site, or intranet application
  • It is suitable for a document management application, or an information portal of any type
  • dotCMS enables the marketing department to tag, segment and group site visitors by any number of criteria. For example by the pages they visit, the time of their last visit, their demographic information and any of their indicated interests
Disadvantages include:
  • Unlike other open source CMS, dotCMS requires one to have root access to the server for installation of things like Apache Tomcat






14. Dotclear
Dotclear is a French open source CMS under the GNU General Public License. It is a blogging platform available in English. Developers can create multiple blogs with one installation. The open-source web publishing software offers a very user-friendly backend. Anyone with little technical knowledge can publish on the web using Dotclear, a user-friendly tool.
Advantages include:
  • Easy publication
  • Package engine allows 1-click install for plug-ins and themes
  • Fully customizable theme
  • User-friendly administration
  • Low requirements (PHP4/MySQL4) help to minimize hosting dependencies
  • Flexible comment system
  • Performance and scalability
  • Huge number of available plug-ins
Disadvantages include:
  • Single-site only
  • Rudimentary security features
  • Not suitable for large enterprise projects
  • Very limited assets manager


15. Zope/Plone 

Plone is an open source and web CMS that is based on the Zope application server, which uses the Python language. This is unique in a world filled with PHP applications. It is famous among developers as an intranet, portal, web site or community site. It helps them to manage all sorts of content, organized into folders that can be uploaded by a community of users.
Advantages include:
  • Far less vulnerability than PHP-based systems
  • Extremely extensible and flexible
  • Wide range of 3rd-party products to deal with off-norm use-cases
  • Extraordinarily helpful community
  • Excellent i18N support
  • Scalability: Plone scales to enterprise levels
  • World-wide availability of professional trainers and consultants
  • More secure than systems like Drupal and Joomla
Disadvantages include:
  • Requires knowledge of Zope and Python
  • Not very user friendly for non-technical users
  • Plone’s CMS niche is often confused with other, less powerful OSS CMS due to its operation at the confluence of web content management, social S/W & collaboration, and enterprise portals
  • Very steep learning curve
  • Not very good web 2.0 support (blogs, forums, streaming media etc.)

2 comments:

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