For my day job, that pays the bills I’ve been looking at a few content management systems (CMS). Our current CMS provider, in my opinion, has lost their way. So we’ve been looking at other options. In doing so I have been looking at three CMS’s that I’m most familiar with by name. There are a ton of CMS’s out there, it’s big business theses days, but here are my thoughts on these three.
WordPress – This is the big dog in the room. It’s also what this blog runs on! WordPress is, in my opinion, the de facto blogging platform. Over time they have been transitioning to becoming more of a framework so that it’s possible for people to build web sites upon their framework. Automattic that parent company of WordPress is making a ton of money off of doing this by hosting the likes of CNN and Sports Illustrated and many other’s that I’m not familiar with. As part of my evaluation I’ve been trying to build a simple plugin/widget that displays a JSON feed from Rotten Tomatoe’s API. I’ve ‘hacked’ a few things on WordPress from the plugin aspect, but I wanted to do it correctly. I found a tutorial here, here and here and read through it a couple of times. Things were going well up until I hit part 2 and 3 and I gave up. I will be going back to this as I think there’s a huge opportunities on WordPress, but compared to what I have programmed with before it’s quite the mind bending trick.
ExpressionEngine (EE) – I’m not exactly sure where I first became familiar with this CMS, but I suspect it was about the time that I discovered CodeIgniter. I haven’t had the opportunity to write a plugin for this so from that aspect I can’t comment. But from the aspect of setting this up for a news like site, I think it’s pretty straight forward. Creating a new section, is done fairly quickly, but also allows for some custom page settings. My one thing about this is that the company behind EE as of late hasn’t been all that forthcoming with their changes and when they do come they just happen. I think the latest go around has finally settled down, but it makes me a bit nervous when things like this happen and the community goes into an uproar!
2/4/2013 – Please see the comments/conversation below from Phil and myself. Phil has brought up some information that I was not aware of and makes a very good point that merits further consideration. As I stated above this is a business decision that I’ll be involved in and will have to make for the business that employs me. Taking that perspective out of the equation, so on a personal aspect, I feel PyroCMS is worth considering as it sounds like Phil has a plan in place that will lead this product forward with as little inconvenience as possible.
For now I’ll leave the original post in contact, which you see below, but I may remove this as some of my opinions have changed with information Phil has kindly commented on below. Please perform your own evaluations and get to know the products as much as possible.
This is a CMS that got it’s start as Phil Sturgeon’s personal CMS for his customers. However as the need grew he released it to the public. It’s a great little CMS. It is currently mostly built on CodeIgniter, which I like, but is making it’s way to Laravel. Which brings me to my main concerns on this platform. It’s actually not the platform it’s Phil. This is nothing against Phil, in the few conversations I’ve had with him, he’s been incredibly gracious if a bit abrasive at times. Any how my biggest concern with this CMS is that in my opinion Phil tends to chase the shiny and new things. While this isn’t entirely a bad thing, I don’t think it pays in the long run to make such dramatic shifts in the foundation of the CMS every couple of years. I’ve asked this to the team and as of yet have not gotten a response. Despite all of that when I did my plugin/widget/module test, it was quick and easy to write. A lot of that has to do with my knowledge of CodeIgniter, but I think someone who’s remotely familar with MVC structure would get it fairly quickly.
This is a very high level over view of three CMS’s that I think are all worth considering. Some good, some bad. No decision has been made at my place of work and I’m not sure when it will be made. Right now, if the decision were up to me, it would come down to WordPress for the fact that there is so much already built but would take a TON of hacking to get into a news site (beyond a blog). And ExpressionEngine is the other one. I need to explore it more, but it just feels right and something that could be put into play very easily.
Do you have another CMS that you’d recommend?