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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

To Manage Content Or Not Manage Content? A CMS Is The Question

Lately there have been a number of discussions on CMSes (Content Management Systems) at several popular blogs that I read regularly. I would guess that most of these bloggers are saying that they either wouldn't use an OpenSource CMS or would write their own package. My take on software is usually "why waste time reinventing the wheel".

As such,I have been evaluating about 10 CMS packages, some specifically for blogs, for the past week and I have to say that I am impressed. Let me clarify: I am hard to impress when it comes to CMS packages. I have evaluated literally dozens of very high-end CMSes and met with vendors while working on gigantic web site redesign projects costing my employers several million dollars. Some CMSes only 6 years ago started at $100,000 for a site license. Throw in actual functionality and cost per seat for client software and you could easily spend $500,000 on a "complete" package. It was my job to mercilessly demo and review these packages to find the most appropriate one for several clients over a period of 3 years. I lost track of the number of team reports I've written on CMSes.

Vendors had their own definitions of what a CMS was back then. CMSes sure have changed. Honestly, I have to tell you that packages like WordPress and TextPattern are really quite elegant, and yet so simply and cleanly put together. These two and other packages are modular, skinnable, and OpenSource. As a programmer of 28+ years who likes to do things his own way, I've drawn the line at CMSes. For managing one or two blogs, you may not need a CMS, especially if your posting frequency is low. But I have a planned 20+ blogs for myself and some charitable organizations, all of which will be hosted on my consulting website's server. I need a reasonable CMS package, so I'm evaluating features over a 2-week period.

So far, while I'd like to say I'm leaning to one or another CMS, I would in fact like to combine the functionality of WordPress, TextPatterns and some others. Once I am done evaluating, I'll blog here about what I picked and why.

The beautiful part about most of these packages, since they run on PHP scripts and a MySQL database, is this that you can add your own plugins, templates, and other functionality - something that often wasn't possible in large CMS packages. This should satisfy the codelust for most programmers.

(c) Copyright 2005-present, Raj Kumar Dash, http://blogspinner.blogspot.com

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BlogSpinner-X serves two primary purposes. Firstly, it houses the original version of my Blogspinner blog, and contains the full-text of my older entries. Secondly, the more recent entries are excerpts of the full-text entries posted over on Blogspinner V2.0. In other words, the "X" stands for "eXcerpt".

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I'm a geek/ philosopher/ composer/ artist/ cook/ web programmer/ consultant/ photographer/ blah-blah-blah who is also a published writer and author. This is one of several blogs that I write.

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