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Essential FOSS Content Management Systems


As many people will tell you, in the nonprofit world, the big Content Management Systems in the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) world are

While every Plone evangelist and WordPress advocate can tell you why their CMS is the bee’s knees, they’ll all agree that it depends on what you’re doing. And while we won’t go into what each one does better today because, well, frankly I want everyone to play in the sandbox nicely, I did want to show you the gold standards for those nonprofits looking to put together a website.

Why go open source in your CMS travails, you ask? The key is community. Because these applications are open source, anybody can see the code and develop extensions, modules, do-hickeys and whozeewhatsits. Plone, Joomla, Drupal and WordPress are as good as they are and as popular as they are because their communities are large, dedicated and passionate about the tool. So one of the dangers of using a smaller, less-established CMS is that the community is smaller and therefore the wealth of knowledge (trouble-shooting, forums) and resources (extensions, themes) is smaller. Also, if the CMS never takes hold (no matter how cool it is), you’re stuck with a website built in a CMS that no one works in. Eek. But, that being said, there are definitely some interesting smaller open source content management systems out there that have small but vibrant and dedicated communities. A couple examples include Concrete5 and TikiWIki.

What are your thoughts on Drupal, Joomla, WordPress and Plone vying for FOSS CMS supremacy?

Know any smaller FOSS Content Management Systems that deserve a shoutout?

Let us know! We’re not tools. We’re just tool people.




  • http://openprogress.wordpress.com/ Wes Morgan

    WebGUI (http://www.webgui.org/) is a very feature-rich FOSS CMS written in Perl. While the community may be small, it’s active and helpful. And WebGUI contains so many features out of the box, it can get you up and running quickly, but is extensible too so it can grow with you.

    The Public Interest Network uses it for ~100 different websites for the organizations in our network.

  • http://openprogress.wordpress.com/ Wes Morgan

    WebGUI (http://www.webgui.org/) is a very feature-rich FOSS CMS written in Perl. While the community may be small, it’s active and helpful. And WebGUI contains so many features out of the box, it can get you up and running quickly, but is extensible too so it can grow with you.

    The Public Interest Network uses it for ~100 different websites for the organizations in our network.

  • http://blog.socialsourcecommons.org/ Matt Garcia

    Hey Wes, thanks for the note! Are you involved with the WebGUI community? I’d love to hear your thoughts on how WebGUI works to grow its community and developer base. Any thoughts?

  • Matt

    Hey Wes, thanks for the note! Are you involved with the WebGUI community? I’d love to hear your thoughts on how WebGUI works to grow its community and developer base. Any thoughts?

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