Finding a Content Mangement System

It should be easy as there are many about, but it hasn’t been.

I had narrowed the choice down, and even asked for help, but in the end I decided to actually install some of the locally and see how well they did. For a few of the others I used an online demo instead.

PostNuke

Out of the box it didn’t look good. Although the basic installation validated, I was already having doubts. On getting into the administration area the graphics used looked old, and some of the link text used didn’t make sense – Xanthia for templates!

When I eventually found out how to add content(well ok it was fairly easy to find) I found the interface confusing and not particularly intuitive. As such I went no further with the testing.

XOOPS

Maybe the online demo was limited, but I couldn’t even see a way to enter content. Not only that but the pop up menu was extremely irritating and made it difficult to navigate around the admin area. So once again i went no further.

Drupal

This came highly recommended, and initially looked very good. However I had a major block in getting my head around categories. Taxonomy and vocabulary are not terms I have come across when setting up categories before! This was extremely confusing. I struggled due to the high recommendations, but in the end started to look elsewhere.

Drupal may be good, but only if you are knowledgeable about… drupal! If not then I wouldn’t recommend it. If I had more time to learn the system then it might be useful, but personally I think that section in particular is overly complicated, and maybe they should consider adding in a simple alternative.

As such I never took testing any further.

Typo3

Not installed, or tested. I read up in the documentation, and they actually suggest spending a month learning how to use it! Not good, if it isn’t usable out of the box then the usefullness decreases substantially.

Joomla

Possibly the wrong time to test it, just before a complete rewrite and the release of 1.5, but test it I did. I tested 1.5, then 1.0.12, and finally back to 1.5. In amongst the testing I also checked out Mambo, which is virtually the same as 1.0.12.

Now 1.5 was definitely better, easy to use and understand, fairly accessible with some good building blocks. However it has some major accessibility, and usability, flaws that need addressing.

If you haven’t got javascript enabled, then the admin side is not navigable. therefore no keyboard navigation.
Even when javascript is enabled, it is not clear when you can, and cannot, use the main navigation!

I went with…

Well nothing as yet. I have actualy written a CMS myself which has been used quite successfully in a number of places, but it doesn’t have some of the benefits that a large user base and development team etc etc have. Plus addons(extensions, plugins etc) were not a primary objective for it, but accessibility and usability was. So even my own isn’t really suitable for the needs for a particular project, *sigh*.

I am guessing that Joomla will be chosen, as I don’t have the final say, I just hope that they will sort out the javascript issues. Javascript should be an enhancement, not a requirement.

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