Fwd: [WEB4LIB] Content Management System for web/intranet

Anna Wheeler awheeler at UNITEC.AC.NZ
Mon Oct 15 18:31:20 EDT 2012

thanks to everyone who has replied so far - this is very helpful
information :)

>>> "Degler, Roy" <roy.degler at OKSTATE.EDU> 16/10/2012 8:49 a.m. >>>

Roy Degler

roy.degler at okstate.edu
Digital Library Services

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Degler, Roy" <roy.degler at okstate.edu>
Subject: Re: [WEB4LIB] Content Management System for web/intranet
Date: October 15, 2012 11:11:37 AM CDT
To: Web technologies in libraries <WEB4LIB at LISTSERV.ND.EDU>

I have three recommendations:

Modx- is my personal favorite for several reasons: templates are
html/css/js(template design is very simple), displays site layout just
like Windows explorer folder view(makes is to train users), while open
source it is managed by a real company, i have a great deal of
experience w/ Modx making all projects easier for me.

Drupal- is flexible and powerful, many libraries use Drupal, large

opensourcecms.com-  Go to this site and they have a very large number
of CMS's installed and you can log in to each one to discover how it
fits your style of development and work.  pick the one you like.  (This
is how I discovered modx- originally an etomite fork my first cmd)

Good luck with the selection of a cms

Roy Degler

roy.degler at okstate.edu
Digital Library Services

On Oct 15, 2012, at 10:21 AM, Alnisa Allgood
<alnisa at NONPROFIT-TECH.ORG> wrote:

Actually, my statements come from direct experience with more than
fifty or so nonprofits who have chosen primarily Drupal, secondarily
WordPress as their content management system. We are frequently brought
in to help them access on-going cost, security issues (my sites been
hacked), adding new features and functionality etc.

My statement isn't a blanket statement, it's a reminder statement,
'free is rarely free'. If you don't have a Drupal or WordPress person
(someone who knows more than just how to install a theme and make minor
modifications to it) on staff and if you are using typical hosting, then
the issue isn't is the system problematic to keep up to date; it's the
frequency of updates and care. With WordPress and Drupal, we recommend
either you select a host that automatically applies updates for the
software for you or you invest in having someone on staff dedicated to
doing so.

The problem is most organizations don't do either. Someone came in,
suggested the software, installed a few themes, then left the
organization to manage and maintain it themselves. This eventually
results in chaos. Yes, a good developer can update WordPress, Drupal,
and ExpressionEngine pretty rapidly, and not consider it much of an
issue. They can ssh in, do database backups, apply security updates and
more. But typically that means, paying for a good developer to maintain
the system or having an in-house staff person do it. 

People seem to overlook the cost involved, and end up in situations
that end up costing them more. We've worked with organizations who had
no one to apply security updates to organizations who've hired part-time
staff to maintain their Drupal installation. We've had to rescue
organizations who worked with developers who not only insisted that
Drupal or WordPress would be free, but the organization could run it on
the computer under their desk. Good hosting and good developers can take
care of that for you, but both communities have more than their share of
individuals who just install themes and make minor CSS modifications.
They suck at recommending proper hosting and proper on-going
maintenance. The problem is most people don't know command line and
don't understand that a good web host can reduce security and
maintenance costs.

I only mentioned ExpressionEngine as a comparison on that front,
because we literally have installs, where they receive not a single
update for more than a year-- and we aren't worried about security or
other issues even in shared hosting situations. With WordPress and
Drupal, I typically recommend the installation of security updates
pretty immediately, and someone needs to do them. That's not an insult
to Drupal or WordPress (it's true for a lot of things), they need
regular care and feeding. EE works better with it as well, but it can be
left starving for sometime, if need be.

There are always 'ideal' situations*you got a good host, you had an
awesome developer, and you have someone how can run updates, patches,
etc. But most organizations end up in less than ideal situations,
because they didn't know.

That's my statement, not that Drupal and Wordpress are by their nature


Alnisa Allgood
Executive Director
Nonprofit Tech
t. 608.241.3616
e. alnisa at nonprofit-tech.org


On Mon, Oct 15, 2012 at 9:35 AM, Cary Gordon <listuser at chillco.com>

I love hearing great stuff and good results that you and others get
with ExpressionEngine and other systems. What I find tiresome are
blanket statements about the difficulty and cost of maintaining a
WordPress or Drupal site. These are, for the most part, nonsense coming
from folks who know little, if anything about the systems they are
berating. I installed and played with ExpressionEngine two years ago,
and that qualifies me to say that I don't know enough about it to offer
any criticism, comparison or advice.

Working from the command line with Linux or Windows, I can perform all
updates on a Drupal system with two words: "drush up". This command
makes a backup of everything it replaces, loads the new code and runs
the update scripts. It takes two commands to load and install a new
module or theme.

Drupal, in particular, is frequently tarred with a lable of being
difficult that goes back over seven years ago, when the Drupal community
had a very strict and largely whacky interpretation of its GPLv2
license, and required folks to setup and configure the database in a
separate, and poorly documented operation. At that time there were about
300 modules and themes available for Drupal. Now, there is a streamlined
install process and there are over 10,000 contributed modules, themes,
profiles and translation sets available, all of them free. There are
another 13,000 modules and themes available as sandbox projects. Few of
the public libraries using Drupal (or Wordpress) have programmers on
staff, nor do they need them.

Drupal requires no special maintenance or monitoring in library usage,
and has relatively modest hosting requirements. We recommend that
libraries do not use commodity shared hosting * the $6/month variety *
but that leaves many inexpensive options like LISHost starting at about
$140/year. We provide fully managed hosting starting at $900/year
including unlimited support.

As I said in an earlier post, community is important. You should check
out the software and the community as part of your evaluation.



On Mon, Oct 15, 2012 at 6:51 AM, Alnisa Allgood
<alnisa at nonprofit-tech.org> wrote:

I vote for ExpressionEngine  http://expressionengine.com  

I've yet to use a more flexible CMS, and that includes Drupal and
WordPress. You'll need a website developer/design to properly sketch out
and get the project up and running for you. While ExpressionEngine (EE)
is template driven (separated content from design), it was also designed
more so for developers, which means unlike Drupal and WordPress, there
aren't a lot of free standing templates for it. The reason is two-fold:
(1) the community prides itself on its design and development skills,
and (2) technically any design can be placed inside an EE CMS, so long
as you have access to the HTML, CSS, and other related files.

Content re-use, version control, relational data, distributed
publishers, workflow management, etc are all available and can be
configured (another reason to have a developer work with you is
publishing permissions and workflow management), version control,
relations, and permissions are all built-in, but the best combination of
who has access to what, when, and who get's notified of what when,
generally requires some plotting out if the structure is more
complicated than group A can publish to section's A and B. This is
probably true of all complicated permission and workflow structures,
having someone help you plat out degrees and levels of access is good
practice, especially if you want to increase the number of people who
can directly publish content using the system (great for removing
content road blocks, where only 1 or 2 people can official publish to
the site).

Polls, forums, feedback this would all be third-party add-ons. EE2
comes with a forums module, but I know a number of developers who work
intensively with forums typically use a third party forum module. I
believe there are more than a few of them, but none of our clients use
forums, so I can't really discuss pros and cons of individual ones
in-depth. But there are polling modules, survey, analytics (though
Google Analytics is frequently used and then integrated into the system,
other services and systems can be used).

I'm not certain if you were primarily using ShadoCMS due to the
translation services offered by Stalker, but EE can handle multi-lingual
sites very well. The handling can simple or complicated depending on
your needs. We set-up a system for a few clients that is what we call
just a step above simple. They needed the ability to add translations of
particular publications, say an English, Spanish, Chinese and Korean
version of the same publication. Our goal was to just allow each version
to be published, related back to each other, and then when ever someone
pulls the document, it always links to the alternative languages. 

That's not super complicated, but isn't as simple as pure one to one
translation, either. EE handled the situation very well, the
complication is more in the planning it out first, and making sure
language handling is added for end users in a very simple manner. Drupal
and WordPress can also handle multi-language requirements, as I said
it's more about the designer/developer than the system itself, though
Drupal/WordPress do present some complications for full on translations
versus just partial content translations.

Drupal/WordPress start free. ExpressionEngine starts $150 (there's a
freelancer's version that's cheaper, but I wouldn't recommend it for a
library usage). The $150 non-commercial license is probably best
starting point or the $300 commercial license. If you plan on a lot of
e-commerce go for the commercial license, but basic commerce stuff,
accepting donations, processing memberships, or selling things can be
handled under either license. The software is the same for both
licenses, its more about intent.

Now that said third party add-ons can add more costs to basic
ownership/license. I believe most of the Drupal modules, I've heard of
are free; WordPress has free and paid module; as well as

I tend to use a number of paid ExpressionEngine modules, developer
companies I like are Pixel & Tonic: https://pixelandtonic.com, Solspace:
http://www.solspace.com, Exp-resso: https://exp-resso.com, Andrew
Weaver: http://brandnewbox.co.uk. ExpressionEngine provides a great deal
of flexibility for handling issues or needs internally. You can do
custom queries, add php directly to the template, create a plug-in,
extension, or module, etc. All these options are free. But sometime you
want to think about, will you need more functionality for that feature
in the future and do you want to be in-charged of doing it.

There are also a number of free modules and add-ons for EE, as well. 

Cost wise, I'd probably say everything mentioned will be less expensive
than ShadoCMS, my memory could be wrong, but it use to start around
$3-$5,000. There are far more free to under $1,000 CMS solutions
available these days and many are very good. If you plan on getting or
have already have an in-house web developer, then going with Drupal or
WordPress can be a good option, but the cost of maintenance and
management exist and can require a full-time staff member for some

An internal web developer can learn EE just as well as WordPress or
Drupal, and EE generally require far less on-going maintenance and
management issues. If you're constantly modifying the structure, you
want someone around continuously, but for many of our clients, once the
projects done, it's done. We come around once a year, and offer to do a
version update for free. But security updates aren't nearly as much of
an issue.

Alnisa Allgood
Executive Director
Nonprofit Tech
t. 608.241.3616
e. alnisa at nonprofit-tech.org


On Sun, Oct 14, 2012 at 6:24 PM, Anna Wheeler <awheeler at unitec.ac.nz>

Just a quick question. We are helping our institution  find a new
Content Management System CMS to manage both their website and intranet.
Currently they use Shado
What CMS do you think are worth considering?  
They would like to use system for intranet and website
and it will have ability to integrate discussion forums, polls,
feedback forums - with voting eg like uservoice
and it will have some kind of alerting or reporting system to remind us
to update information and manage distributed publishers
good analytics, reporting, content re-use, version control etc
Any light shed would be appreciated
many thanks
Anna Wheeler, LLB, DipLibr
Manager, Electronic Library Services
Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand
email: awheeler at unitec.ac.nz
ph:    +64 9 8154321 ext 8601 ( tel:%2B64%209%C2%A08154321%20ext%208601
web:  http://library.unitec.ac.nz
twitter: http://twitter.com/elibraryUnitec

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Cary Gordon
The Cherry Hill Company
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