I have been haunting a great site on the web – Open Source CMS .
It gives you the chance to try demo’s of many different CMS platforms – including blog specific and image management systems.
The demos include full administration access, so you can try out all the different engines from both a user and administrators view. I believe this is invaluable!
They reset the entire system every 2 hours, so nothing persists – understandably – and it also stops people from permanently destroying the access for others.
So far, I have had a long look at:
Mambo – a good looking interface but not overly intuitive. Seems to be a very complex/ complete system with easy (?) integration of other components – forums for example. I feel possibly better suited for a commercial site rather that a personal blog/site but over all very impressive. Just too complicated.
PHPNuke – A common CMS as far as I am aware, but their are a lot of comments regarding security of the system.. Possibly because it is so common – easy target. The interface is ok but – again- not overly intuitive in my opinion. AND I HATE an official site that pops-up a window advertising ringtones! Interestingly, this OPENSOURCE CMS – charges for the most recent release – confused!
PostNuke – Another PHP type CMS that I THINK evolved from PHPNuke. Less security issues. Slow to run and I get the impression that the support for it has dwindled over the years. Ok from the admin point of view but far from intuitive. I gather that themes are not easy to come by unless you want to pay for ’em. Not really a blog tool. Permalinks and trackbacks / pings seem unsupported as well. Not for me.
Xoops – Not a good sign when the main developer is apologising for not being around…… Not particularly for me.
WordPress – Essentially ‘touted’ as a Blogging tool but I suspect there is more too it. Has an active user base and support forums as well as a massive Wikki. I am surprised at some of the people who are using it on the web. Why surprised – well it is free for a start! The interface is clean and intuitive. Not surprisingly, it has excellent comment control/configuration with RSS trackbacks and pings as well. I was pleased to see that it is easily set up for other pages rather than like blogspot with a single main page and archives. Hundreds of themes – all free as far as I can see and a handy in-line theme changer. Will put this toward the top of my list to try.
Movable Type – A commercial blogging platform with a free non-commercial single user license. I am looking at it simply because it seems so commonly used (commercially at least) and I see quite a lot of sights using it – eg Geek News Central. As far as I am aware, MT’s parent company – Six Apart – established the Trackback protocol, so this platform is certainly up there. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find any demo’s for Mt so will probably have to do my own install and check it out. Worryingly, the company offers a PAID installation service for its customers as apparently many people have a problem installing it 😦 . Even so, it seems so prevalent, it must be worth a look.
This site gives you the option to compare various features between platforms. Also worth a look.
That’s all for tonight! More later – wish me luck!