Comparison of Content Management Systems

There are many CMS options out there and they all have their features, pluses and minuses. Choosing the CMS that is right for you is based on several factors:

  • purpose of the site,

  • level of proficiency,

  • personal taste and comfort level.

Here is a list of top CMS choices with my brief assessment:

php based
  • WordPress – My CMS of choice, and I know that I’m not alone because I’ve seen new versions of old websites that are now on WordPress. For websites, weblogs, single site installs or network installs, WordPress is flexible, powerful, well structured and has visual appeal. Latest figures show that WordPress powers 23% of the web.

  • Joomla – I’ve dabbled with Joomla and found it a little cumbersome for my own tastes, though they offer great support through a huge user community and have some awesome themes out there. Joomla seems to be extremely popular in European countries, especially Italy.

  • Drupal – Many corporate requirements specify Drupal in their search criteria. Drupal seems to be a preferred CMS of large enterprise companies. Drupal considers itself a content management framework but can also be described as a web application framework. Drupal is used on at least 2.1% of websites globally. Drupal seemed very similar to Joomla to me in that it can seem quite complex with a fairly extensive learning curve.

  • Magento – Magento is an e-commerce CMS solution. Magento, solely owned by eBay since 2011, has been around since 2008 and is used in 1% of all websites.

  • phpBB3 – A php based bulletin board platform, phpBB3 (the recent version of phpBB), is one of the most prominent forum CMS platforms in use. If you frequent forums, chances are you’ve probably used it yourself. Though I use both phpBB3 and bbPress, I’ve found phpBB3 to be my CMS of choice over bbPress as a forum platform.

  •  LightCMS – Though not yet as well known, I personally favor LightCMS and recommend it for small business or e-commerce sites. It is a clean, easy to use, CMS with well formed code, nice templates, great documentation and a lot of freedom to customize. LightCMS has grown considerably since my first experience with it in 2010. Free for the basics, LightCMS offers a hosted version or allows for redirect to your own domain.

Perl based
  •  Movable Type – Similar to WordPress, MT is easy to install and use, though the theme selection is somewhat weak. Nevertheless, Movable Type is an excellent choice for a personal site or blog for one who prefers working with Perl.

Java
  •  OpenCMS – OpenCMS has been around since 2000 and is used by large international corporations like LGT Lichtenstein Bank, BP South Africa and UNICEF Netherlands.

  •  Magnolia (CMS) – Magnolia is robust, WYSIWYG website designer that is widely used in the broadcasting industry.

  •  Hippo CMS – Hippo CMS is a presentation framework built using Apache jackrabbit open-source repository.

Others to consider that are written in php are Concrete 5, Mambo, Moodle, MediaWiki, TikiWiki, and b2evolution of which WordPress was a fork of.

These are just some of the better known CMS alternatives, there are new ones arising all the time. With never ending mergers, acquisitions and various collaborations, their identities are subject to constant change.

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