My winter class this year (WDMD 346) is on Content Management Systems (CMS). What is a CMS you ask? It is a system for taking the everyday tasks of managing a website and simplifying it into something that is more manageable for more users. They are able to dynamically (create on the fly) create pages with content that you provide. The main benefit is that you can have a static template file, and the content changes for every page, but you only have to update the template file once and it is applied globally to all files on the site that use the said template.
A vast range of CMS’s have existed for a long time, but a few have stood the test of time, and have proven to be more useful. I have used a few CMS’s over time, mostly for blogging. The CMS’s that I have used are GreyMatter, MovableType, WordPress (This site), Drupal, Joomla and phpnuke.
Because most of the sites that I manage are mostly static content, and a few blogs, the blogging suite of CMS’s have gotten more of my focus. From my class work, I’ve used Drupal and Joomla. Both are very powerful, but have more of a learning curve than I have had the time for. Today in class, we took the time to compare a few CMS systems to another. The new CMS that my group and I played with was ezPublish, which is known as the “The Content Management Ecosystem”.
Our first thoughts of the sites that were produced with ezPublish were that they looked nice, and had a professional feel to them. However this is mostly just the templates that were used. From exploring the administrative options and the backend of the sites, we started to become less and less impressed as time went on. The Demo sites, including one that we locally installed, were sluggish, and the interface was just clunky. Our task was to evaluate the CMS on a range of features and compare them to Joomla, Drupal and WordPress.
While the above picture shows our results, one thing to note, is that ezPublish seems to focus itself on the ecommerce side of things, and not as much of the pure content systems that the others do. EzPublish works more as a media server, and Enterprise CMS system for intranets. While the other systems can be used in these environments, this looks to be the area that ezPublish shines.
I still plan on sticking with WordPress for my blogging needs, as its interface and plug-ins associated with it, tend to work the best and the quickest. For my other sites that aren’t a blog, I think that Drupal or Joomla might end up being a better choice. The scalability of adding more features with Joomla and Drupal seem to really catch my interest, and is something to keep looking into as time goes on.