Highly subjective, of course, but what’s the best content management system that you’ve used? I think that the best CMS is the one that gets out of the way, that allows anyone to easily write content for the web site. Someone should not have to learn HTML, or how servers operate, or spend days in training just to add a press release.
I’ve had the fortune/misfortune to work in multiple CMSes. Here are my impressions:
WordPress – Maybe not technically a CMS but so simple to use. WYSIWYG window, you click publish, that’s about it. I use it for my personal site, joeflood.com and also used it for a blog while I was at NOAA. I literally trained people in how to add content to the blog in fifteen minutes. My favorite. This is ideal for people looking for a simple platform to blog.
Google Sites – Again, maybe not exactly a CMS. Limited functionality but perfect for groups that just want to publish content. It’s very dumbed-down but it’s simplicity and lack of features makes it ideal for a no-fuss intranet.
Zope – I used this at the Nature Conservancy. At the time, I wasn’t a huge fan but, after exposure to much more complicated CMSes, it was better than I thought. Almost as easy as WordPress but key functions were locked down. Also, developers were needed for any design changes or to periodically reset it when it broke.
Plone – I’ve experimented with this and I like it. A lot of universities seem to use it.
Vignette - Steep learning curve, whole new set of metaphors to learn, puzzling interface. Difficult for even experienced web folks to figure out.
No CMS – After using many CMSes, the simplicity of just HTML is really appealing. I managed NOAA Ocean Explorer which was all done in Dreamweaver. Thought this was crazy at the time. Now, not so sure. If you don’t like rules and don’t mind code, then No CMS is the choice for you.
Like I wrote yesterday, there is no perfect CMS. Consider your needs and choose wisely.
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