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10/13/2005 Archived Entry: "Open Source CMS"

Here are some web links for open-source Content Management Systems that I thought others might find useful.

Briefly: a Content Management System (CMS) is something that a large web site will use to automate the production, formatting, and storage of its content. If you've visited a news site, and seen in the URL "article=NNNN" where NNNN is some arbitrary number, you can be pretty sure that a CMS is being used. Weblog software is a simple Content Management System. So is the newsfeed software we use at ifeminists.net.

Large outfits can roll their own, but for most people it's easier to use a packaged solution. The best single resource I've found for searching for CMS software is CMS Matrix. This includes a very powerful search feature that lets you choose the functions and platform you need. (Hint: specify "0" for "Approximate Cost" to get open-source. You can also specify "GPL" for "License".) The gotcha is that if more than ten CMS systems meet your needs, the search engine won't give any results. In this case you have to specify more criteria to narrow the search.

A shorter list, strictly limited to open-source systems, can be found here. This is slightly out of date; e.g., it doesn't include the e107 CMS. The benefit here is that it gives a short description of each system.

Finally, there is OpenSourceCMS, a web site that actually lets you try out several CMS systems as administrator. (Each one is reinstalled every two hours.) What I find most useful about this site, though, is the "CMS Ratings" page, which has comments from users of the various CMS systems. (It also gives some idea of which are popular and which are relatively obscure.)

Before you decide, hop over to Secunia and check the prospective CMS system for vulnerabilities. One system which was recommended to me turned out to have a number of security flaws, and thus is frequently attacked.


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