What's the best online content management system?
February 6, 2004 11:54 AM   Subscribe

Can someone tell me what's the easiest web-based website content updating scheme out there? I'm convinced that this is the way to go for most sites, and want to read up on it.
In a related question; What's the right way to refer to this technology?
posted by jpburns to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
It's called CMS - Content management system.

And someone asks which is best here almost everyday.
posted by y6y6y6 at 12:04 PM on February 6, 2004

Blosxom is pretty durn simple but a powerful CMS. It uses the filesystem as its storage system but adds plenty of useful features on top. There are several ways to update it in-browser or via email, and if you don't like what's out there, since the data is just regular old files writing your own little web based updater comes down to about 10 lines of PHP.
posted by majick at 12:09 PM on February 6, 2004

Open Source CMS provides live demos of most major CMS applications (though they omit some singificant ones, most notably Movable Type (my personal preference for most CMS tasks).
posted by oissubke at 12:24 PM on February 6, 2004

Blogroots has a nice section with "resources."
posted by terrapin at 12:28 PM on February 6, 2004

The simplest is probably Blogger. They pride themselves on having a five-minute setup time for a new blog. You can have the static files hosted wherever you want (though many people use blogspot). Nothing for you to install.

Of course, Blogger is kind of primitive, gives you only limited control, and has had uptime problems in the past. Typepad is a for-fee hosted blog system (sort of like a combo of Blogger + Blogspot) with most of the bells and whistles in Movable Type, plus a few that aren't in MT.

I use Movable Type. Wordpress is the hot new contender everyone is talking about. Nucleus and B2 are other popular systems as well.

I second the suggestion for Open Source CMS (many of the CMSs featured there are really for big community sites, and may not be appropriate for your needs).
posted by adamrice at 1:01 PM on February 6, 2004

Wordpress = b2 and I can say without a doubt it is CRAP. I run b2 on one of my sites, and then decided to run WP on another. I was so disappointed. They had obviously clanged the two together (some of the files start with "wp_" and some are still "b2") When I tried to use their tool to convert Blogger to WP it completely screwed my site. That was the straw.

pMachine rocks my socks. PHP based. Only needed to add 1 or 2 things about the MySQL path, username, password and then log into the web-based backend and I was up and running in under 10 minutes. My wife, who has never done web work before in her life was able to set up pMachine nearly as fast.

But, check for yourself though by reading the reviews at Blogroots.
posted by terrapin at 1:21 PM on February 6, 2004

people, the question isn't which blog is best. jpburns wants to make an actual site.

jp, what type of site do you want to make? do you want to make a portal, or just need to easily update?

typo3 is the best cms out there, but it has a steep learning curve.

if movable type were close to open source then they would probably feature it at opensourcecms.
posted by the aloha at 1:24 PM on February 6, 2004

Movable Type *is* close to open source: the Artistic License is hardly restrictive. And they would *not* feature it at opensourceCMS, which is exclusively PHP-based systems. MT is perl.
posted by adamrice at 1:29 PM on February 6, 2004

true, adamrice.
php and not have to be installed at root.

still, mt is not. the artistic license is not good enough for me. if mena were not as cute as she is, i would make a bigger stink.
posted by the aloha at 1:39 PM on February 6, 2004

this is a hot market ... i'd put a few chips into the startup that has a quality modular, standards based, CMS system, in the pipes.

even though i dont agree with some of the cats over there... 37signals has a pretty nify new web based project management system - perhaps a cms system is next?
posted by specialk420 at 10:50 PM on February 6, 2004

posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:07 AM on February 7, 2004

Response by poster: jp, what type of site do you want to make? do you want to make a portal, or just need to easily update?

Easy to update.

I guess I'm trying to educate myself for future web-design work for commercial sites that are updated regularly, so that I can suggest a workable scheme. A lot of my clients want a design set up so that they "can change the content easily."

Thanks for all of your suggestions.
posted by jpburns at 7:16 AM on February 7, 2004

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