All the major CMSs are excellent. They all can make about any kind of website. For any limitation in a CMS, there is usually some extension or some info on the web. So it comes down to: what works for you.
The best CMS comparison i have read on the web, with explanations of how to compare CMSs, is at http://www.newlocalmedia.com/files/CMSfeaturecomparison.pdf
We are going to try here, to compare on a practical basis, based on the needs of the non-technical site builder as well as the technical view of the back-back end developer. Joomla and WordPress are the most used CMSs by Tibetans in India today (AFAIK!). The information here is from James' experience, what he has heard from others, and what he has found on the web, as of 1 September 2009.
|focus of the CMS project||Open source, web community||Business web developers, and businesses which make money from supporting Joomla (selling templates and plugins, providing install and programming services, etc.)||Open source, web community||Open source, web community|
|focus of the CMS app itself||
All kinds of websites;
especially suited for ... ??
|Websites for businesses or organisations, with a flat content structure.||Websites for information, with many articles linked together.||
All kinds of websites;
especially suited out-of-the-box to sites with time-based content, such as news, blogs, and videos.
|build||Installs the bare minimum, lets you grow the site how you want with plugins.||Installs many features; it assumes what kind of website you want to build.||Installs all you need for a wiki.||Installs somewhat of a mininum, lets you grow the site how you want with plugins.|
|Highly configurable, so you need to know more to take advantage of it.||You can end up with a bloated system that locks you into functions you don't want or need,||Installs ready to make a Wiki — which is what you want from it.||Fairly configurable, so you need to know more to take advantage of it.|
|documentation||Excellent online documentation.||The online documenation is not much, not clear, not easy to find, not well organised, searchable, or saveable. Luckily there are very good books which you can get as PDFs.||Excellent online documentation.||
Totally excellent online documentation.
Organised, readable, searchable, saveable.
Has a whole separate website for excellent video tutorials.
|A lot of the documentation is only in videos! This can be very nice as an addition. but is not useful as main documentation.||It leads you from beginning up to advanced, without confusing you at the beginning, or wasting your time at the advanced levels.|
|The Front End – the website appearance|
|the site itself||As excellent as you want to make it!||As excellent as you want to make it!||As excellent as you want to make it!||As excellent as you want to make it!|
|html/css||Clean html and cms standards, and the WYSIWYG editor is clean as well.||The CMS itself makes things with pretty clean html and cms standards, and is getting better. but the additional plugins and WYSIWYG editors make bad code.||Clean html and cms standards. and the WYSIWYG editor is clean as well.||Clean html and cms standards, and the WYSIWYG editor is clean as well.|
|newsfeed||Probably good.||Makes newsfeed link for front page only, is not configurable.||Don't know.||Excellent built-in.|
|An excellent extension bca-rss-syndicate adds newsfeed link to all pages, ability to put icon on the site pages, configure for what you want in the newsfeed.|
|SEF urls||Probably good||Tricky, not clean: Item # may be in the url; no date; only goes two levels deep: section and category; difficult to figure out where and how to arrange things (menu? article) so that url will make sense.||Excellent. Automatically part of the creation of the article.||Easy to set up, clean. Article date is automaticaly part of url. Goes many levels deep.|
If SEF is not built into a component,
the url will not be pretty.
If you write your own component, you have to write the router yourself.
|Error pages||Probably good.||
Can't incorporate error messages into the error page template.
The default error page is downright scary to a normal web user.
Harder to customise error page design.
Can incorporate error messages into the error page template.
Easy to customise error page design.
|The Back End – website editing and admin|
|interface||Don't know yet.||Graphically pretty to look at, but some concepts are confusing – for example, you do settings for an Article in the Menu Manager (!).||Clear and easy to understand.||Clear and easy to understand.|
|multiple editing||Don't know yet.||Article is locked when any one person is editing.||Article is not locked; It will tell you that other edits are made, and enable you to merge the edits.||Article is not locked; It will tell you that other edits are made (if i remember right).|
|display edits||Don't know yet.||It displays the article only; will not get all the stylesheet goodies, so not really useful.||Displays edited article as it will appear in the page.||Displays edited article as it will appear in the page.|
|Customising the template (the page design)||Good||Good once you figure out their system.||Good||Easy.|
|The Back-back End – customising and programming|
|customising||Yes.||Yes – You can do anything once know how to do it – but it is more difficult, because of:||Fairly easy.||Yes – accessible and clear, you can customise easily.|
|programmer-friendly||Yes – it was made for programmers!||Yes if you are very experienced and don't need much documentation. It is complex, uses abstract concepts (high-end OOP, MVC, etc.) and the docs don't step you through it but throw you right in. Again, there are good PDF books - but that's money.||Yes.||Very, with clear documentation, step-by-step, from simple things up to the high-end programming.|
Site builder: Experienced, who know html/css code.
Site builder: Beginners, who don't know coding and don't want to.
Programmers: very advanced.
Site builder: ...
Site builder: Beginners, and people learning html/css coding.
Programmers: Beginners, and people learning programming, as well as advanced programmers!
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