Jan9
Content management systems review

The expanding galaxy of Content Management Systems (CMS)

One of the biggest boons to a website owners (and developers) has been the rapid rise of content management systems like Drupal, Joomla and WordPress. They speed up site building, streamline user administration and inject some sanity into what can often become a complex development cycle.

At the upcoming 2012 CMS Expo in Chicago, United States, several CMS packages will be participating. Let’s take a quick look some of them, including a few lesser-known players.

Wondercode

Developed by Increo, a team of 24 people help crafted the CMS from their offices in Norway.

Their system allows direct edits in the live website. It has a drag-and-drop interface to handle content sections and positioning.

It also offers automatic file conversion for both text and video. A simple file upload gets automatically converted to flash files, documents and to pdf in the background. It also scales the images to an appropriate web-viewing size.

Like Joomla it offers a wide range of modules, which can be deployed depending on your customization requirements

“We hope that others would like to be a part of Wondercode by using the software together with their local businesses in developing their strategy, design, content, SEO and project management,” said Increo.

Sitefinity

Developed by Telerik, which has a user base of over 100,000 customers, Sitefinity is marketed towards developers, marketers and IT managers.

It offers a module builder for customization and further extensibility through .NET controls. It is marketed as cloud-ready and highly scalable with unique features like Site Sync, custom workflows and the ability to connect to Enterprise systems.

In one case study, Telerik describes the value of the system in building a user-friendly “Teacher Builder Society” website:

Using the Telerik Rad Slider control, our developers were able to leverage the extensive JavaScript and Server side APIs to deliver a very interactive and quick way for users to “tweak” the parameters of the mortgage product selector helping them find the right mortgage product.

Typo3

Billed as a small to midsize enterprise-class content management system, it offers shrink-wrapped modules and a high-performance architecture that supports a wide range of customization options.

The project-based CMS is directed by Typo3.org and will be merged with Typo3.com later this year.

The product is billed as being user-friendly and intuitive and allowing content editors to produce & maintain web pages, using sophisticated functions in just a few clicks of the mouse.

It includes an internal messaging and workflow communication system for shared authoring and collaboration.

MODX

Developed in 2004, this open-source CMS consists of two platforms: MODX Evolution and MODX Revolution. Their site claims to have a user and developer community of over 31,000 members. They also recently surpassed the 1 million mark in software downloads.

Largely built on PHP, it excels at web content management (WCM) and content management framework (CMF) duties.

It was developed in response to frustrating experiences on other CMS products which MODX claims were restrictive and difficult to use.

The core features aim at providing a simple template system using standards-based XHMTL/CSS. It also focuses on quick development of login-based site content. It features a robust API and works well for both simple and complex sites.

Mura

This is a free open-source package geared towards marketing & communications, designers & developers, and web programmers. On December 20, 211, the developers released version 5.6 which features new document management capabilities and a new revamped site managers which allows new search & filter capabilities.

“We’ve eliminated proprietary code and rigid templates while creating built-in extras that simplify and expedite webpage creation,” said Mura.

Mura also said that if you can design it in CSS, you could build it in Mura CMS. It features a number of dynamic CSS hooks and direct access to the markup output. It also features image galleries, calendars and content objects like comments, ratings, share with a friend and full SEO Support. It also supports JQuery and Scriptaculous javascript libraries.

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