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March 13, 2008 7:39 PM   Subscribe

Help me pick a CMS, so I can GMOFB (among other things)

I'd like to pick a CMS to build a personal webpage off of; although it wouldn't be too difficult to put up HTML pages, I'd like to get some experience working with CMSes in case I need to do so in future.

I'm fairly proficient with X/HTML and CSS; I use mostly Coda to put stuff together (but have Dreamweaver CS3) and would like the following sections:
  • an about me page
  • multiple photo galleries
  • a portfolio section
  • a blog, mostly for detailing what I'm working on and/or interesting, work-related links
  • a fairly static colophone page
  • a contact page
As you can see, it's not really anything that would tax a CMS but it I would like something that is fairly flexible and tweakable because, frankly, I like poking around in the guts of things.
I've worked with Blogger before, and thought it was alright. At this point I'm leaning towards Wordpress but Movable Type also looks like an interesting option.
Thanks, folks.
posted by heeeraldo to Computers & Internet (16 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
You might also want to look into Textpattern. It's not just blogging software -- it does a lot more when it comes to content management. I moved from Wordpress to Textpattern and while I still really admire Wordpress I found Textpattern to be easier to customize when it came to putting an entire site together instead of just having a blog. Its learning curve is a tad steeper than Wordpress' but it only takes a while to grasp the basics and once you do you start to realize how powerful it is.
posted by LeeJay at 8:14 PM on March 13, 2008 [4 favorites]


I've used wordpress for similar jobs, and it's well supported and known. You probably want something closer to a blog engine than a CMS proper. A CMS indicates some programming customization capabilities that you probably will never touch. Wordpress gives you all the design customization you want, without all the setup headaches.
posted by cschneid at 8:15 PM on March 13, 2008


My site/blog and two of the other sites I maintain run on Wordpress, and I wholeheartedly recommend it. I've tried both Drupal and Joomla, and I can see them being useful for very complex sites, but it's way overkill for what you want. Also, I have several friends who are about to give up on Movable Type. For simplicity, ease of use, a huge amount of templates, and an extremely robust and supportive community, WP is certainly on top.

I think you will really like it, particularly if you wait until March 17, when WP 2.5 is due to come out. The one thing that the current version doesn't do well out of the box is image galleries, but the new version will have integrated galleries that look pretty snazzy. Check the new gallery feature out on this automattic blog entry from SxSW.
posted by gemmy at 8:39 PM on March 13, 2008


Seconding Wordpress, I thought i should try out movable type so I gave it a whirl. Never got it actually working, got the admin running but not the blog. This was on multiple servers. Wordpress, literally 5 minutes and your done.
posted by DJWeezy at 8:45 PM on March 13, 2008


Wordpress.
posted by Webbster at 8:49 PM on March 13, 2008


Wordpress.

I've developed some larger sites using Drupal, and have done about 5 wordpress sites in the last month (they're fun -- it takes like one day to slap together a template and you're off to the races). Wordpress has the BEST admin/editor UI I've ever seen; it's incredibly slick. Photo galleries might be the one sticking point; if you're flexible with how they're displayed, I'm sure you'll be able to find a nice plugin to handle them.

oop, and I see gemmy mentioning that they're integrating image galleries into the next release, which is pretty nifty.

I've also set up several MT sites in the past (last one was 2007 or so, so not sure what has changed), and I cannot recommend it, primarily due to its need for careful tuning so the static build or search functionality didn't knock over the server (but also because I generally dislike Perl. There, i said it).
posted by fishfucker at 9:25 PM on March 13, 2008


Blah, I mention the drupal stuff for comparison -- Drupal is a little overkill for your needs -- Wordpress should *just* about fit with some minor additions
posted by fishfucker at 9:26 PM on March 13, 2008


Just to be contrary, I do recommend Drupal for this, since you say you like poking around in the guts of things and part of your reason for doing this is to learn a CMS. I agree with the others that it's more than you need for creating the blog you describe, but if you want to develop some CMS skillz while you're blogging, Drupal's about as flexible and tweakable as it gets.

(Also, I just love Drupal and will recommend it at the drop of a hat.)
posted by kristi at 10:53 PM on March 13, 2008


Whatever you choose for your blog engine/CMS you should check out Gallery2 for your photo galleries and portfolio. It integrates well with WP and Drupal, though I favour the latter for its superior fiddleability.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 11:28 PM on March 13, 2008


I have had very positive experiences with Wordpress. Together with the right templates and plugins, Wordpress can do much the same job as a CMS but at next to no cost and with all the advantages of a blog.

I've also just started experimenting with their hosted service, which is completely free, unless you want to start going for more advanced features such as porting your own URL to the blog or editing the CSS. Even still, were I to start from scratch, I think I would choose to pay their hosted service rather than hosting the Wordpress myself - because all the updates happen automatically on their hosted setup and if there is a disadvantage with hosting my own Wordpress, it's the need to constantly update.

Check out WP Remix, which is a template designed to offer you all the pages you might expect to see in a site - it's a sort of Wordpress CMS system. The designer is just introducing a plugin enabling you to edit the CSS within the Wordpress WYSIWYG editor, and when the bugs are ironed out, I think this will vastly increase the flexibility and power of the setup.
posted by skylar at 4:15 AM on March 14, 2008


Textpattern if you want to build your own. It's great to start tweaking everything and creating the blog as you envision. It's what I use, and I love it. I can use content across sections - so photo posts can appear in blog posts as part of the design.

Wordpress if you like templates, and working off of those. Praised for its simplicity and abundance of plug-ins and templates.
posted by nemoorange at 8:28 AM on March 14, 2008


Xoops is what I use. I've noticed that most module development and support is more international than most CMS (if that makes sense). It has a bunch of plugins/mods, including a wordpress plugin if you don't like the standard blog modules. Also has a Gallery 2 plugin and a YouTube plugin. I tried Drupal, but didn't care too much for it. I've been using Xoops for several years (before WP was all the rage), and spent some time getting it how I wanted it, so i'm a bit lazy to migrate.

Considering that Drupal and WP are more popular, the support and dev is probably more active than xoops. on the same token, exploits for WP and Drupal are probably more common than exploits for Xoops or other less popular CMS.
posted by tdischino at 11:30 AM on March 14, 2008


ExpressionEngine. Completely customizable, with built-in weblog and image gallery. It's great, but not free. (Actually, there is a free version, but it doesn't include the image gallery.)
posted by kirkaracha at 11:40 AM on March 14, 2008


I completely second ExpressionEngine. Very capable and customizable!
posted by mac-way at 5:11 PM on March 14, 2008


I work with the Movable Type team, so I'm biased, but I think you should try them all out, if you're pretty web savvy. There are free versions of nearly all of these platforms, and a lot of people have responded positively to the feature comparison between MT and WP posted recently.
posted by anildash at 7:08 PM on March 14, 2008


I ended up going with Wordpress after giving Movable Type a try.

Next step... putting the actual site together.

Thanks, gang!
posted by heeeraldo at 10:13 AM on November 21, 2008


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