Before we embark upon the top 10 Content Management Systems available to us we need to consider the points that should to be taken into account. These points are some of the main considerations we tend to examining when trying to choose the right CMS.
1. You should understand the clear scope of the CMS project you are about to undertake (Simple Blog, Device Review Site, etc.)
2. Understand the exact problems to be solved when approaching your project. Are there areas where a CMS will help you clear certain hurdles?
3. Understanding the content management issues.
4. Under-estimating the number of products available for the purpose.
5. Having a clear idea of the requirements and selection criteria. Basically what you will need the system to do for you. (Although with some modification of open source CMS apps you can overcome some of their limitations).
6. Risk management. Simply put you want to keep your CMS program as close to your needs as possible. Basically you want to keep it simple and spend economically.
7. Focus clearly on ‘what’ needs to be done rather than saying ‘how’ it needs to be done. This can help guide your choice.
8. A perfect line of demarcation needs to be drawn to separate the CMS project from other hyped websites.
9. The selection of the CMS should be done reasonably and not over-hyped like a million dollar IT project. Basically think of the CMS as the "ground structure" for which the larger build can be completed upon. By simplifying your project you can grow it out as the project progresses.
10. Avoid writing down too many requirements. This goes back to the idea of "ground structure" support. If you start simple you can create the foundation and then build upon that foundation as you build your project.
Now that we have our basic flow of information in hand lets examine the top 10 CMS programs that will work for most projects.
With a tagline ‘Truly simple’, anyone would expect a truly simple CMS in form of the CushyCMS and it definitely has done justice to its name. What makes it hassle-free is its “plug-and-play" feature that does not require you to install it, to get started. So, time spent in developing and maintaining is greatly reduced. With this, you can determine which areas are editable making it easy for even the most novice users. And more importantly, it is free. Currently being used by 10,000 websites, it is gaining popularity quickly and for good reason. brinex.com is a good example of a blog with CushyCMS.
Known for its flexibility and intuitive Template Engine, ExpressionEngine is a powerful and easy-to-use tool that gives much of flexibility to the developers to customize it for the intended use. The built-in caching feature reduces the server load too. However, this is a programmer intensive CMS since modification is almost a guarantee in order to "mold" this CMS for greater use. Check out abbottlittle.com to see a good example of a site managed by ExpressionEngine CMS.
3. TYPO3 CMS:
Mainly focused upon providing solutions for websites and company intranet site, Typo3 is an open source tool. With major advantages for those purposes such as providing complex features and the ability to integrate with other applications. You would be shocked to hear that the biggest of industry giants like CISCO, Air France-KML, UNICEF, Audi and the likes of them use TYPO3 CMS, so you can visit any of their official websites to get a better feel of what TYPO3 can be used for.
4. Concrete5 & MODx:
With a robust administration panel and a built-in system for gathering statistics, there is no necessity for an additional plugin or use of a third party application for traffic control. Concrete5 boasts of the “edit mode" that enables you to edit a web page even while it is live. On the other hand, MODx couples CMS and a PHP web application framework. This gives more emphasis to the web standards and for the beginners a GUI installer is also available. Check out a free hosted demo of concrete5 at getconcrete5.com/demo
5. Wordpress: One of the best and most popular Open source CMS available today. The Wordpress dev and user community is next to the Wiki, and you can literally expect anything and everything out of this CMS, thanks to hundreds of free plug-ins and widgets. Wordpress for the novice user is most popularly used to create "Blogs." Take a look at latest-technews.com and c-cplusplus.com, too see Wordpress blog sites live in action.
Targeted at the geek group, Symphony utilizes XSLT to provide flexibility for customization. Thanks to Overture tutorials, which help you out just when you badly need them. For the not-so techy folks, this is not the right one for you! Get a live demo on : http://demo.symphony21.com/symphony/
An extremely robust open source CMS, which has got a full fledged documentation to help you in getting rid of any sort of issues. There are lot many customizations available, though it is a bit complex, and you won't find too many plug-ins like you would, for Wordpress and Plone. You can look at whyJoomla.com to take a look at what a Live Joomla blog really looks like.
Targeted at the smaller user groups, RadiantCMS is designed as a simple and elegant CMS serving the sole purpose of providing an interface for creating and editing content on websites. Check the live demo on: http://radiantcms.org/demo
Railfrog is built on the top of the Ruby on Rails web application that powers the infamous web applications such as Twitter and BaseCamp. This has been developed to design deploy and maintain websites with ease. Ruby on Rails is also a "lite weight" web application which typically means pages will load faster and that new modules and other add-ons can be added in the easiest ways possible. Quite frankly, nobody needs a better example than twtter.com to check credibility of a CMS.
10. Plone CMS:
If you require a good amount of assistance with developing your website this CMS is for you. Te app is supported by an active developer community where you can get easy fixes, while Plone also has extensive documentation to help you during the typical frustrating errors that can occur with any website build. It is also built on the Zope web application framework and is loaded with top quality features. The likes of Columbia University and Brazilian Government make use of Plone CMS. Ex site: ChicagoHistory.org