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Comparison of content management systems

Websites, especially large ones need a CMS (content management system) to manage all of their content, image assets, comments, etc. There are a large number of CMS's out there, but I will focus on the biggest and best known ones.

There isn't a "best" CMS to use, it all comes down to what your website is all about, the content you're trying to serve up, and what kind of audience you're targeting.

Drupal

Drupal is one of the biggest CMS's around, and actually it isn't a content management SYSTEM per say, but more of a content management FRAMEWORK. The difference implies that it does so much more than just manage content. Drupal websites can do pretty much anything from e-commerce websites to blogs to information sites with millions of pages of content and users.

Drupal has almost 19,000 modules, all 100% free to use, download and modify. Drupal powered websites make over 2% of all the websites in the world.

Well known Drupal powered webistes:

  • The Whitehouse (whitehouse.gov)
  • Zynga (zynga.com)
  • The Louvre (louvre.fr)
  • Ubuntu (ubuntu.com)

Wordpress

Wordpress is the CMS to use if you have a blog, it can of course do so much more than just blogging, but this is what it does best.

Wordpress has a huge number of plugins that you can download for free, and is extremely easy to use and create themes for. If you're website is focused around blogging then wordpress is definately the CMS for you.

Here are some well known websites that are powered by WordPress:

  • TechCrunch
  • BoingBoing
  • Mashable
  • Reuters (Blogs)
  • MP3.com

RedDot (OpenText)

Also known as OpenText (the company that creates the product) this is used primarily by governments and enterprise level corporations. RedDot is meant to serve up complex and large scale websites with multiple layers of content authentication and authoring with their workflow system.

Some well known websites powered by RedDot

  • STA Travel
  • Alberta Government
  • Rio Tinto
  • City of Surrey (B.C.)
  • University Healthcare Consortium

Joomla

Joomla is an offshoot from Mambo, another CMS and is open source and written in PHP. It uses object-oriented programming, and much like Drupal is widely uses design patterns.

Joomla has well over 10,000 modules and has been downloaded and installed over 30 million times, making it the second most popular CMS after wordpress.

DotNetNuke

DotNetNuke is a CMS made entirely in asp.net, it's known for having performance issues and although widely used has been criticized for being slow, cumbersome and not as flexible as other CMS's.

SharePoint

SharePoint is Microsoft's content management system, and has been around for many years and is one of Microsoft's biggest selling products.

Older versions of SharePoint were focused purely on intranet and document management, however the most recent version has really expanded on functionality of the platform. The focus though is still on enterprise level internal websites, and not much on public facing or e-commerce sites.

Concrete 5

A CMS that's designed for people with minimal technical skill. It is though fairly advanced, and based on MVC architecture and object oriented programming. It is extremely easy to maintain, and even allows automatic updates.