One website solution to rule them all
August 4, 2012 1:18 AM   Subscribe

Is there a open source or inexpensive (its for a charity) web based solution that contains a cms, a blog (wordpress), an extensible forum (phpBB), a digg like system for voting on submitted links (pligg), and less important an image gallery that allows members to upload their photos.

I have found good candidates in each fo the categories and they are all good application.

However making it into a cohesive experience for the user base will be difficult:

* Theming will have to be implemented for each spart independently
* Users will have to create an account in each system (no single sign on)

So is there something out there that provides
* cms
* blog
* forum
* votable news section
* Perhaps a photo section where users can contribute photos

The idea is to have an active and collaborative approach with the users.
posted by digividal to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Wordpress with plugins can do all of that.
posted by gregjones at 1:43 AM on August 4, 2012

Drupal is a free, open source CMS that has modules to do each of those things. The CMS, blog, and forum parts should be easy enough, but will depend on your exact requirements. For the votable news section, check out the Drigg module.
posted by Picklegnome at 1:51 AM on August 4, 2012

Seconding Wordpress + plugins.

* cms: built-in.

* blog: built-in.

* forum: the people behind Wordpress also make the forum software bbPress and you can of course use it as a wordpress plugin. There are other forum plugins available.

* votable news section: news are really blog posts in Wordpress so you can use a plugin like WP Voting to enable users to vote on posts.

* Perhaps a photo section where users can contribute photos: you can solve this in many many ways. There are generic form plugins where you can create a Submit Your Photos thingy. But if you want a more automated solution that takes care of photo submission, approval, publishing, you might want to look for a more specialized plugin.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 3:27 AM on August 4, 2012

Have you considered the benefits of purely online / fully hosted options?

I've helped a number of charities with their IT needs and the key challenges I find are

a) insufficient IT manpower, often entirely dependent on volunteers, which means lack of continuity and variable skills / experience - keep it simple!

b) low skills base amongst IT users - who are generally very busy doing things which have greater real world importance than learning to use fiddly computer systems... this may be a real consideration if you expect a large group of people to use the CMS (in my experience it's usually only a couple of committed individuals who can find time)... again, keep it simple!

With this in mind, I've generally promoted Google Apps (previously, Google Apps for Your Domain) based solutions. They're easy to use and require no tech maintenance.

The free (Standard) version has met our needs, but this will depend primarily on the number of users you need to cater for. Depending on the status of the charity, you might be able to get Business version donated. The consistent user experience extends to email and document sharing.

CMS: Within Google Apps, Sites (you can set up as many sites as you want) will give you the CMS. It's basic, but so easy to use that I'll happily live with the loss of functionality

Blog: use an Announcements page on a Google Site or Blogger

Forum: Either an open Announcements page on a Google Site, or a Google Group, depending on how many people / what functionality you have in mind.

Votable News: I confess I'm not quite sure what you mean by this - is this for user generated news / posts or voting on news from other sources...

Photos: PicasaWeb is available as part of Google Apps or consider Flickr (who offer discounted / donated pro subscriptions for charities).

Have you checked out the resources on You can also find out about software donations if the charity is eligible.

Best of luck with it!
posted by skippy_gal at 6:21 AM on August 4, 2012

Try Pinax – you'll have to code a little Python, but it's mostly settings. (and you can add DjangoCMS for a better CMS to the same project)
posted by floatboth at 9:26 AM on August 4, 2012

Why would you not want a single sign-on?

It could be implemented in Drupal, but I'm not sure why you would want that to happen?
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 7:30 AM on August 5, 2012

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