[CALUG] Recommendations for a CMS

Joe Tseng joe_tseng at hotmail.com
Tue May 10 10:58:31 EDT 2011

Thanks for the options; I'll keep it under my hat.

We already have a site hosted with Netsol.  In fact I just renewed the service contract with them so I don't see moving away from them any time soon.

The service we use gives us access to PHP/MySQL so that's why I'm focusing on CMS packages that use that stack.  There are two things I'm trying to keep in mind: 1) nothing will do everything I want 2) I'm trying to minimize the amt of support I need to provide since this is only volunteer work and I've got better things to do (like sleeping).  So that's why it's taking so long for me to figure out if I want to use a CMS, write one from scratch, or extend a CMS to create custom features.

I'm going to try out Joomla for now...  Wish me luck!  :)

 - Joe

If you type "Google" into Google, you can break the Internet.  -- Jen Barber

> Date: Tue, 10 May 2011 07:46:04 -0700
> From: b.j.smith at ieee.org
> To: calug at unknownlamer.org
> Subject: Re: [CALUG] Recommendations for a CMS
> Understand your delima.  There are Enterprise CMS solutions which are geared 
> towards regulated entities such as corporations and agencies, let alone are 
> typically powered by a J2EE compliant application server for all sorts of 
> support.  Then there are plenty of Web CMS solutions that vary greatly, from 
> J2EE down to a simple LAMP store and presentation.  You just want a solution, 
> not a support nightmare.
> As in many cases of "introducing/breaking down" a technoloyg, Wikipedia articles 
> are actually very good at covering various concepts, and helping one know the 
> terminology to use when looking for a solution.
> - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Content_Management_System  
> - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enterprise_content_management  
> - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_content_management_system  
> And is often the case, Wikipedia does have a good (even if incomplete) 
> list/survey of solutions, broken down in several classifications:  
> - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_content_management_systems  
> Additionally, I want to point out one more aspect of any solution ... the 
> cloud.  Yeah, I know, hate the buzzword as well, but CMS is one area where it 
> actually applies well.  If you want to avoid a fixed infrastructure you have to 
> maintain, then you might want to consider a cloud deployment, especially for low 
> traffic where costs are minimal.
> The Wikipedia article also lists a few options and providers for Software as a 
> Service (SaaS), but it's largely incomplete.
> The biggest problem with cloud deployments is that once you write for one, 
> you're locked into that API, possibly even that provider.  Although there are 
> different options, even some standards out there, everyone should be following 
> what Red Hat is up to with DeltaCloud.  It's one of the reasons why Red Hat is 
> getting very popular with major industry partners, both traditional solution 
> providers and solely on-line ones -- from HP to IBM, from Amazon to Rackspace.
> Red Hat's DeltaCloud is the only abstract API that lets you tap several, major 
> on-line providers, as well as support a number of HyperVisors on internal 
> systems.  I.e., you can use external or internal clouds as you see fit.  So you 
> can start with a small, on-line implementation that doesn't cost you too much, 
> but then move internal when the bandwidth charges start to rack up.  Although 
> some portions of DeltaCloud are still Red Hat emerging technologies (ET), there 
> are already several providers fully supported (using HyperVisors that vary from 
> VMware to Xen) along with Red Hat's own KVM-RHEV for internal (with other 
> HyperVisors in various stages, even Hyper-V).
> Which brings me to Red Hat's free, on-line cloud for developer prototyping, 
> OpenShift (fka Makara):  
>   http://openshift.redhat.com/  
> OpenShift a generic Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering that costs nothing, 
> and lets you try out various options on top of Linux, and migrate later to any 
> internal/external PaaS with a DeltaCloud connector.  The idea is to develop and 
> prototype on OpenShift, then move to what you want -- even non-Red Hat is your 
> final choice of platform (i.e., there are even DeltaCloud connectors and related 
> components in development for Windows, if you can believe that).  So if you're 
> just trying to "get something running," check out Makara.  Again, still ET here, 
> but it's usable today, and will let you "play with options" and get running now.
> Just an option, if you don't have hardware lying around, and something you can 
> build and move to another PaaS thanx to DeltaCloud when you do find something 
> you like.  Red Hat is definitely not trying to lock anyone in, quite the 
> opposite -- trying to address a major issue with prototyping in clouds right now 
> (where other on-line options do lock you in).  Those who know anything about Red 
> Hat's history on on-line ET it has created, but left to other providers to take 
> up (e.g., Mugshot anyone?  A social network concentrator well before its time, 
> its technologies now leveraged by others), should know this.
> -- 
> Bryan J  Smith       Professional, Technical Annoyance 
> Linked Profile:     http://www.linkedin.com/in/bjsmith 
> ----- Original Message ----
> From: Joe <joe_tseng at hotmail.com>
> To: calug at unknownlamer.org
> Sent: Tue, May 10, 2011 7:38:03 AM
> Subject: Re: [CALUG] Recommendations for a CMS
> "CMS:MS sites take us two or three days to develop, Drupal sites take about 
> a week but require less maintenance in the long run."
> Can you recommend any online resources or books that can help me understand 
> Drupal and make my time getting started in the muck down to a week?
> -----Original Message----- 
> From: Michael Orlitzky
> Sent: Monday, May 09, 2011 9:30 PM
> To: calug at unknownlamer.org
> Subject: Re: [CALUG] Recommendations for a CMS
> On 05/09/2011 11:24 AM, Joe Tseng wrote:
> > I recently took over management of a website for a youth
> > sports/activities league/nonprofit from the original maintainer.  There
> > are a number of activities for boys and girls and sometimes both;
> > currently I am the one who takes updates from the league's commissioners
> > and post them on the site.
> >
> > I have been looking at various possibilities of rolling out a
> > PHP/MySQL-based CMS and all of them seem to have some kind of
> > shortcoming.  I had considered Drupal but it looked way too complicated
> > and was completely unintuitive.  Right now I'm considering Joomla
> > because it can allow for contextual viewing/editing of content (e.g. a
> > football parent can look at public and football-related content, but
> > they can't see anything else; a football commissioner can see public and
> > football-related content but can only edit football content).  It
> > doesn't seem like it can create a contextual scheduling calendar.  I was
> > also considering phpBB, not only as a forum, but also to have it drive
> > the user management authentication and management.
> >
> > Has anyone done anything like this before and do you have any
> > recommendations?  Is there a CMS that can do alot of what I'm looking
> > for; if not, is there one that's easily extensible so I can make my own
> > features?  Or am I simply better off designing my own portal from the
> > ground up?
> We use two: Drupal[1], which you've already met, and CMS Made Simple[2].
> CMS Made Simple is perfect for small sites where there's a bunch of
> content, and you just want to edit it. It's easy to edit pages --
> there's a place called "Pages," and there's an edit button that does
> what you'd expect. You can also create new users and set up permissions
> pretty easily. Forms can be installed even by non-technical users, and
> news, themes etc. can all be configured through the CMS with a little work.
> Drupal on the other hand doesn't do a goddamn thing out-of-the-box, and
> the things it does do are unintuitive. But, it's easy to extend, and the
> idea of content/views is really useful once you figure out what they
> actually do.
> With content/views, you can e.g. create a content type called
> "newsletter" that has fields for title, date, file, and so on. When the
> user goes to create a newsletter, he's presented with a form that has
> fields for title, date, file, etc. This turns out to be *much* easier
> than having him edit the "newsletters" page, add a new bullet item in
> the correct chronological order, put in the title, upload a file, and
> link the title to that file.
> In essense, CMS:MS will do most of what you want simply and
> out-of-the-box. But the things it doesn't do are harder to implement.
> Drupal is the exact opposite. CMS:MS sites take us two or three days to
> develop, Drupal sites take about a week but require less maintenance in
> the long run.
> Both have decent core dev teams.
> For what it's worth, we had to do exactly the same thing a few years ago
> and wound up going with Drupal for the tac_lite module[3] which limits
> access exactly how you described.
> [1] http://drupal.org/
> [2] http://www.cmsmadesimple.org/
> [3] http://drupal.org/project/tac_lite
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