Testing some CMSs

Over the past decade, with the advent of the web 2.0 concept, the need to create Web applications which are easy to access, easy to use for the end user, and relatively fast, has been a challenge to many developers worldwide.

That was why the concept of CMS (Content Management System) started to be used and many of the CMSs have been created to give an efficient solution to ease all of the processes. At the moment there are around 1200 CMSs for programming, available in different languages. With this big number, it is hard to know which CMS is better than others and it is also hard to know how each of them respects to each others’ performances.

In order to know which CMS is the best, there is a great tool that people can use to see the characteristics of many CMSs. It is called cmsmatrix, which is updated constantly by the developers. The parameter evaluated in the CMSs can be a good indicator to know which CMS is better than other, however, so far there are no parameters that can say:
This one is easy to install and to configure if they have good documentation, a good community, enough number of themes (free or paid), or if it supports clustering to balance the load, or if it is easy to extend the code, inter alia.  Those can be the things which can help a developer to choose a CMS  according to its characteristics.

Currently there are several relatively very popular CMSs worldwide such as drupal, wordpress, joomla, blogger. Yet it is not important to discuss these CMSs as there are other CMSs that have good profile in cmsmatrix such as plone, typo3, dotCMS and concrete5. There are probably more but these CMSs get more attention than others:

Plone

Description extracted from their web page Plone is among the top 2% of all open source projects worldwide, with 340 core developers and more than 300 solution providers in 57 countries. The project has been actively developed since 2001, is available in more than 40 languages, and has the best security track record of any major CMS. It is owned by the Plone Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, and is available for all major operating systems.

Typo3

Description extracted from their wab page: TYPO3 is an enterprise-class, Open Source CMS (Content Management System), used internationally to build and manage websites of all types, from small sites for non-profits to multilingual enterprise solutions for large corporations.

dotCMS

Description extracted from their web page: dotCMS removes the technical issues that have long plagued the pace of website change, allowing organizations to move ideas to market in days, not weeks. We couple a sophisticated and extensible Java architecture with an easy and intuitive user interface. Enabling your team to lower time-to-market, increase site traffic and repeat visits while providing a targeted and engaging on line experience.

Concrete5

Description extracted from their web page: concrete5 makes running a website easy. Go to any page in your site, and a editing toolbar gives you all the controls you need to update your website. No intimidating manuals, no complicated administration interfaces – just point and click.

After reading the description and performance in cmsmatrix, I installed them on my laptop (Ubuntu, 4GB RAM, A6 quad core amd ) for testing and have obtained the next table of characteristic:

Table of compare with some features of installation
Feature Plone Typo3 DotCMS Concrete5
Installation
  • Simple and easy.
  • Linux configuration needed.
  • Not easy.
  • More main server configuration.
  • More freedom to decide what’s on page.

 

  • Complicated.
  • Needs changes in core database configuration.
  • Script running problems (it is necessary to see logs.)
  • Run the script from the main folder(no from the directory “bin”).
  • The compilation takes a long time.
  • Intuitively easy.
Documentation
  • Good and easy to follow.
  • It is not good, it is necessary to read a lot to understand how to configure some behaviors of the system.
  • Good.
  • Good and easy to follow.
  • Explains some functions of the code.
Configuration
  • Easy.
  • Is not easy to understand.
  • Relatively easy.
  • Intuitively easy.
  • No html o css knowledge deeded.
Dev. Extension
  • I don’t know if it is easy.
  • Relatively easy,  documentation based.
  • I don’t know if it is easy.
  • Easy with documentation for main functions.
Ease to use
  • Yes.
  •  Relatively easy.
  • Relatively easy, some behavior understanding needed.
  • Easy, user friendly.
Theme
  • Varied, mostly paid.
  • Varied, mostly free.
  • All theme from the website are applicable.
  • Varied, mostly paid.
Add-ons
  • 1806 projects.
  • 6080 free releases available.
  • Numerous, mostly free.
  • 35 plugins.
  • Countless, mostly paid.
Instance
  • Yes.
  • Yes.
  • Yes.
  • Not specified on the page.
Cluster
  • Yes.
  • Yes.
  • Yes.
  • No information.
Community on line (IRS) #plone they have around 200 user online. #typo3 they have around 70 user online. #dotcms there are around 15 people online. #content5 they have around 40 users online.
Mailing List
  • Sorted by topics.
  • Yes.
  • Yes.
  • No, only forum on the main page.
Page More than 2266 around world, such as:
http://qt.nokia.com/
http://nasascience.nasa.gov/
http://www.brasil.gov.br/
http://www.fsf.org/
Numerous pages powered by typo. A few interesting page. Not many pages.

 

Conclusion:

CMSs can have very good profiles as safety, documentation, administration, performance, etc. They are important to the developer but not to the end users who care more about simplicity rather than the technology used in the CMS to make a web page. While the most common CMSs are not as complete as CMSs plone, typo3 and dotCMS, they provide easy content management. That is why they are more popular because they are user friendly. This case also happens to concrete5 CMS which is actually not as full as plone or typo3, but what makes it successful is that it can be used easily and it has a simpler configuration.

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