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Top 10 Most Usable Content Management
Systems
by Glen Stansberry27 Aug 2009560 Comments

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There are plenty of options when it comes to picking a content management system for a
development project. Depending on how advanced you need the CMS to be, what language it's

The backend layout is streamlined and intuitive. Not to mention the fact that the newest versions auto-update the core and plugins from within the backend. For those users not familiar with HTML or other markup language. It's a great platform for beginners. it can be a nightmare trying to find the "perfect" CMS for a project. . Here are 10 of the most usable CMSs on the web to use in your next project. Some are just easier to install. and probably the most popular CMS overall. use and extend. some CMSs have a slight edge over the rest of the competition because of the usability of the software. thanks to their excellent documentation and super-quick installation wizard. as well the Plugin API. 1. the theming language is fairly simple and straightforward. Wordpres also comes with built-in image and multimedia uploading support. and who is going to be using it. WordPress What is there left to say about WordPress that hasn't already been said? The PHP blogging platform is far and away the most popular CMS for blogging. For developers. and a new user should be able to easily find their way around the administration section. without having to download a single file. However.built in. a WYSIWYG editor is provided straight out of the box. Five minutes to a running CMS is pretty good. thanks to some thoughtful planning by the lead developers.

3. Wordpress probably has the widest base of plugins and themes to choose from. It's trivial to create a site with social features with a simple install of Drupal. If you can dream it. user blogs.The WordPress Community is a faithful and zealous bunch. profiles and more. Drupal also has a very active community powering it. One of Drupal's most popular features is the Taxonomy module. Drupal is more of a pure CMS. A plain installation comes with a ton of optional modules that can add lots of interesting features like forums. Joomla! . Drupal Drupal is another CMS that has a very large. a feature that allows for multiple levels and types of categories for content types. In fact. and has excellent support for plugins and other general questions. Instead of focusing on blogging as a platform. chances are it's already been done with WordPress and documented somewhere. with a few 3rd party modules you can create some interesting site clones with little effort. 2. A great part about the Wordpress community is the amount of help and documentation online you can find on nearly every aspect of customizing WordPress. OpenID. active community.

Like Wordpress. the Joomla theme and extension community relies more on paid plugins and themes. so if you're looking for customizations. thanks to Joomla's installer. and is a very straightforward considering how configurable the software is.com.200 extensions. 4. be ready to pay. Joomla is very similar to Drupal in that it's a complete CMS. so you know the developer community behind the popular CMS is alive and kicking. That said. The CMS also has great support for access control protocols like LDAP. and might be a bit much for a simple portfolio site. ExpressionEngine . It comes with an attractive administration interface. you can add just about any needed functionality with an extension.Joomla is a very advanced CMS in terms of functionality. However. Joomla's installer is meant to work on common shared hosting packages. The Joomla site hosts more than 3. complete with intuitive drop-down menus and other features. getting started with Joomla is fairly easy. OpenID and even Gmail.

ExpressionEngine is packed with helpful features like the ability to have multiple sites with one installation of software. EE sets itself apart in how clean and intuitive their user administration area is. Textpattern uses textile markup in the textareas to create HTML elements within the pages. 5. It's fantastic for creating websites for less-thansavvy clients that need to use the backend without getting confused. Anyone who's ever managed a site or blog knows how useful it is to change lots of data without having to manually search and open each page or post to modify it. Designed to be extensible and easy to modify. TextPattern Textpattern is a popular choice for designers because of its simple elegance. The main goal of Textpattern is to provide an excellent CMS that creates well-structured. custom SQL queries and a built in versioning system. The code base is svelte and minimal. The pages that are generated are extremely lightweight and fast-loading. For designers. It takes only a matter of minutes to understand the layout of the backend and to start creating content or modify the look. and the commercial license costs $249.ExpressionEngine (EE) is an elegant. EE has a powerful templating engine that has custom global variables. . query caching and tag caching keep the site running quickly too. standardscompliant pages. Instead of providing a WYSIWYG editor. Template caching. ExpresssionEngine is quite different than other previously-mentioned CMS in that it's paid software.99. The personal license costs $99. flexible CMS solution for any type of project. One of my favorite features of EE that is the global search and replace functionality. Textpattern isn't a CMS that throws in every feature it can think of.95.

PHP is the most popular language for web development. Radiant doesn't come with a WYSIWYG editor and relies on Textile markup to create rich HTML. Radiant also has it's own templating language Radius which is very similar to HTML for intuitive template creation. Textpattern has an active developer community with lots of help and resources at their Textpattern. Radiant CMS is a fast. Radiant is built on the popular Ruby framework Rails.Even though Textpattern is deliberately simple in design. the backend is surprisingly easy to use and intuitive. Like Textpattern. New users should be able to find their way around the administration section easily.org site. but that doesn't mean we should overlook other popular web languages like Ruby. and the developers behind Radiant have done their best to make the software as simple and elegant as possible. Cushy CMS . mods or plugins. Radiant CMS The content management systems that we've listed so far are all PHP programs. with just the right amount of functionality. 7. minimal CMS that might be compared to Textpattern. 6. you can always extend the functionality by 3rd party extensions. While Textpattern may be very minimal at the core level.

8. Advertisement 9.Cushy CMS is a different type of CMS altogether. In fact. There are no downloads or future upgrades to worry about. Cushy CMS is free for anyone. While the development community isn't as large as other projects there are some modules. It also provides its own templating language to help with the design process. but it doesn't rely on a specific language. themes and widgets to add functionality. SilverStripe is unique because it was built upon its very own PHP framework Saphire. if need be. as well as other fine-grain customizations in the way Cushy CMS functions. like content version control and native SEO support. very simple. which in turn the developer or the designer can modify the layout. even for professional use. There is an option to upgrade to a pro account to use your own logo and color scheme. it has all the basic functionality of a regular content management system. as well as the posting fields in the backend. to give the designer more freedom. Also. SilverStripe SilverStripe is another PHP CMS that behaves much like Wordpress. just by changing the style classes of the styles. as SilverStripe doesn't provide much in terms of style. How Cushy works is it takes FTP info and uploads content on to the server. you'll want to modify the theme for each site. What's really unique with SilverStripe is that developers and designers can customize the administration area for their clients. the CMS is a hosted solution. Alfresco . except has many more configurable options and is tailored towards content management. Very. and not blogging. SilverStripe also has some interesting features built in to the base. Sure.

it certainly is quite usable given the massive power of the system. 10. it's an excellent choice for enterprise needs. While Alfresco might not be a great choice for most simple sites. A really useful feature of Alfresco is the ability to drop files into folders and turn them into web documents. Alfresco might be a little bit more work than some of the other CMS and isn't as beginner-friendly. TYPOlight .Alfresco is a JSP is a beefy enterprise content management solution that is surprisingly easy to install. The administration backend is clean and well-designed.

 Follow us on Twitter. and there are plenty of resources for learning more about the CMS. Even though the backend is thoughtfully organized. TYPOlight ranks with Drupal and ExpressionEngine. But if you're wanting to build a site with advanced functionality and little extra programming. You can read more tips on web development at his blog Web Jackalope or follow him on Twitter. Advertisement Categories: Web DevelopmentCMSWordPressDrupal Translations Available: Tuts+ tutorials are translated by our community members. TYPOlight could be a great fit.TYPOlight seems to have the perfect balance of features built into the CMS. it's that it has so many features and configurable options. In terms of functionality. If you'd like to translate this post into another language. Advertisement . Developers can save time with the built-in CSS generator. let us know! About Glen Stansberry Glen Stansberry is a web developer and blogger. or subscribe to the Nettuts+ RSS Feed for more daily web development tuts and articles. and even offers some unique bundled modules like newsletters and calendars. there are still a lot of options to consider. If there is a downside to TYPOlight.

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