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Content management systems (update)

September 8th, 2007

I previously wrote about my initial experience with choosing a content management system. I’ve now had a day or more working with Joomla, Drupal.org, and RadiantCMS . My conclusion: none of them is appropriate for a hacker like me. The answer has been in front of me the entire time: wordpress.org. Why?

Joomla has a lot of nice templates, and I was able to get a mock site up (eventually). It’s pretty damn complicated though. I wanted to embed some code and do a form submit and I ended up beyond my depth. If you are more tenacious or have slightly better skills than I have, this is a possible solution. But it’s just a little too complex for me.

Drupal was a complete disaster. For all the great attention it gets around the web, I couldn’t find a single practical guide for how to use it. Way too much touting its superior “framework.” In the end, I wasn’t even able to figure out how to post content in different categories. Not at all a solution for a hacker like me.

RadiantCMS is elegent, but it’s definitely targeted at programmers. It’s also new, so there are no cookbook or templates available. I got an installation up and running but that was it. If you are a ruby on rails nut, this for you. If that last sentence didn’t make any sense to you, forget about radiant. For my more advanced project, I finally caved in and hired a developer who may actually use this CMS as a framework.

WordPress is simple. And there are a nice number of easily installable plugins that so far have worked just as advertised. I recommend checking out this post for ideas. I used many of them (Akismet, Subscribe to Comments, WordPress Database Backup, WP-Cache, Add This, FeedBurner FeedSmith, Google Analytics, Google Sitemap Generator). I also found a template that I liked which is working adequately for me on this blog site.

If you are starting your own mini-site project or blog, hope this helps, and good luck!

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