Heal Your Church WebSite

Teaching, rebuking, correcting & training in righteous web design.

In Search of the Perfect CMS

CMS, short for Content Management System, or as I prefer to call it “Content Manglement,” are systems designed to take the work out of maintaining a website. Provided you can do all the work to get them installed

With varying degrees of success, and in no particular order I have installed, and for the most part removed, the following Bloggers &/or Content Manglement Systems …

  • B2
  • BackEnd
  • Blogger (duh)
  • Cascade
  • ezPublish
  • Grey Matter
  • Mambo
  • Moveable Type (used here)
  • Nucleus
  • OpenCMS
  • OpenEffect
  • PHP CMS (auf deutch)
  • PHPortal
  • PHPNuke
  • PHPWebsite
  • pMachine
  • PostNuke (RYM site)
  • Radio User Land
  • scraper:ware
  • Sitellite
  • SiteSeed
  • Spine
  • SupaSite
  • Typo3
  • Webgenerator-X
  • WebGUI

And I’m sure there are a few I missed, or whose install I’m repressing.

Why do it? In part it’s a hobby, in part it’s a quest for the perfect CMS that will help me automate the some charity sites I manage, such as RedlandBaptist.org so I can turn over the management of the site to non-technical types.

And there is the rub. Many of these systems are designed by geeks like me, who have advanced degrees in their applied field along with decades of experience. Which is great, if you’re me, but which sucks if you’re someone like Vincent Flanders, or the church secretaries at RBC, who shouldn’t have to become rocket scientists to either install or use the application.

This is why Vincent is so hot on RadioUserLand. He runs the install on his PC and Viola … content. I don’t like how that particular program lays out it’s RSS/XML content, but it does what it’s says for a very low price.

The entire scope of CMS and Blogger systems, especially those that charge $$, would do themselves a BIG favor if they’d consider the following issues:

  1. stop assuming everyone has root privs on their web server
  2. document your systems, with SEVERAL accurate examples for SEVERAL server configurations
  3. don’t assume everyone knows or understands tar -zxvf
  4. don’t assume everyone has access to, or understands cmod and chown (especially the later for you nobodys out there).
  5. not everyone has telnet/ssh access, and those who do … might have restricted accounts … and/or might not be familiar with bash$,
  6. don’t assume users have root access to MySQL
  7. don’t assume everyone has MySQL (start using the DBI or ADOdb)
  8. don’t make us have to chmod 777 (or 666) all our directories … security does count
  9. make your systems more secure
  10. some of you should really offer an RPM version for your Linux installs (for the sake of those of us who do have some privs)
  11. please check YOUR permissions before creating a tar/gzip file (yet another warning to nobody)
  12. it is NOT impossible to write a simple shell &/or perl script to handle the bulk of the install … do it !

BTW, I’m trying to work it out with the provider of Redland to install HTML::Mason … mostly because I’ve come to the conclusion that too many of those developing Blogs &/or CMS’ are basing their functionality off of existing Nuke-like systems.

However, for those of you wandering in the wilderness of installs, I’ve compiled and article entitled “A generic approach to installing CMS’ and Blogs … which I will soon move ovr to THIS site.

Hope it helps.

There will be more later when I have the time … until then … BUY THE BOOK.


  1. A handy comparison of blog tools…

  2. Thx for this list. Lemme add one more suggestion to the vendors: provide lots of links to good implementations of your CMS. I’m amazed at how many time this links to the example site are dead or no longer using the CMS. What does that say about usability?

    Speaking of links, any chance you could update your list of what you’ve installed and tested to your installations? I’m looking for a CMS to help a non-profit re-do their website, and would love to see more examples of significant working sites.