So after a couple of years of strictly being a CMS user it looks likely that 2011 will be the year I get properly sucked back into the web content management system(s) black hole. There is every chance I’ll be leading a project to implement a new CMS and subsequently take the opportunity to refresh a major public sector website – with a mind to making some more radical changes to the site in a potential phase two.
There are alot of hoops to jump through (plus the fact it would need to be done on a tiny budget) and a number of other directions that the project could take but I have my own, quite public, preferences of the strategy I’d like to see us adopt.
For a while now I have been talking about the idea of working on building a website using ‘open’ technologies from the ground up. It seems to be there are enough mature open source CMS products and communities out there now to make this possible and the fact that Defra (WordPress) and the Cabinet Office (Drupal) – not to mention the increasing list of US .gov sites now on Drupal – have opened the doors for this kind of project in the public sector means now seems the time to try.
I want to look wider than just WordPress or Drupal though. I’m familiar with Plone – particularly as the community is pretty major in Bristol – and I know Joomla has many fans but are there other options I should look into as well if I do get the nod to go in this direction?
Inspired by a post by Daniel Greenfeld on his blog about picking a Django CMS I have come up with a short list of basic requirements that any CMS I looked at would need to offer;
- Would be (genuinely) open source.
- Would run in a Linux environment.
- Would be extensible.
- Have a user friendly user interface.
- Renders humanely in FF, Chrome, Safari, and IE 7, and 8.
- WAI AA compliant or at least pretty close.
- Have an active community. Which means that commits to the CMS need to have happened within the last two months (from more than one person/company).
- Would have extensive documentation.
- Must have an example sites list.
So does anyone have any other CMSs they think are worth looking at? I’m assuming that there must be some Ruby on Rails products by now and I am now aware there are a couple of Django CMSs out there. Let me know!
I’m also hoping to implement a search solution based on Solr as well as do things like make use of Universal Subtitles to handle video captioning. Fingers crossed that the powers that be buy into my ‘vision’.