PHP-based CMS’

This is a quick overview of the different Content Management System’s (CMS) I’ve used and my thoughts on them.

I always choose a CMS based upon ease-of-use, personal feel and what I want to use it for.

  • WordPress (5/5)
    Although it isn’t isn’t an out-right CMS, it’s still one of the best CMS’ out there and sets the benchmark for blogging
  • Drupal (3/5)
    Everyone swears by this CMS. Even the Onion and major newspaper houses use this CMS. It’s said that even the New York Times uses Drupal (I still think they use DragonFly). Even though its a true CMS in the classical sense, I still find it very user-unfriendly. WYSIWYG is not installed by default and there is quite a learning curve. Assuming you can get over this, and the bad user back-end user interface it’s a good little CMS that has lots of potential
  • Expression Engine (3/5)
    Created by the same people who brought us the PHP4 MVC framework CodeIgniter this CMS packs a punch but has a very, very steep learning curve. Version 2.0 is built more on CodeIgniter and is a little more intuitative.
  • Website Baker (3/5)
    Website Baker is a simple straight forward CMS that is designed for very small websites only. Produces everything in valid XHTML/CSS and is very simple to learn, pick and play.
  • MODX (4/5)
    My personal favorite CMS, and winner of the most promising CMS award 2007. MODX is highly programmable but has a steep learning curve. Once you get your head around chunks, snippets, plugins and modules it becomes a very, very powerful CMS. The only problem I found with MODX is that it is very limited in how many pages you can create. On a plus side the CMS is AJAX/XHTML/CSS ready and has a fantastic array of plug-ins and a fantastic help forum, which is more than I can say about Drupal
  • Typo3 (3/5)
    Very large CMS library. Very large indeed. I’ve only ever used it once and overly wasn’t impressed by it.
  • Joomla/Mambo(2/5)
    I just don’t like Joomla. Yes it is a CMS, and yes you can make webpages, etc out of it. But why is it so bloated? Why is the backend overtly confusing?
  • Textpattern(2/5)
    I don’t get the fuss over Textpattern. Yes it has a good architecture, framework and is a good blogging tool, but comparing it to WordPress is like comparing Apples and Oranges. Textpattern has very few plugins/modules, etc for it, and although has a good foundation it has a long way to go for me. Still a lot of programmers, designers swear by TP. If you’re a programmer you’ll probably like Textpattern.
  • eZ publish (2/5)
    EZ Publish (or eZ publish) is one of the most bloated CMS’ I’ve ever seen. The download is huge and although you get bang for your buck. I still think using drupal, wordpress or MODX is more prefable than EZ Publish.

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