I have been looking into several content management systems lately. It is bizarre that I have been developing and maintaining sites for a few years now but have only just got around to investigating applications that can help make that happen!
There are certainly a huge amount of open source content management systems out there. I found that the CMS Matrix was a great help in narrowing down my options. You can specify your requirements and it will return a list of applications that fit the bill. It lets you quickly compare all the suitable content management systems at a glance. Another life saver was Open Source CMS which lets you try out demo installations of a large number of content management systems which saves you the hassle of installing them all yourself.
On my travels I came across all sorts of content managers, ranging from extremely basic tools to the likes of Typo3. That seems to be the king of Open Source CMSs, but naturally its power and flexibility comes at a price: complexity! Their site is excellent though, and it is refreshing that they admit that if you don’t have at least a month to invest in learning the system, you should look elsewhere! I hope to delve into Typo3 a little deeper someday, to at least get an idea of what it is capable of. Then there were the popular portal friendly solutions like Joomla / Mambo and Drupal. These certainly seemed far quicker to get up and running with, but they did not seem to lend themselves to easy to the more corporate sites I was seeking to manage.
At last, I came across something special by chance. MODx is a PHP based CMS that was born out of another CMS called Etomite. It has not been around too long but already has a growing avid community following. I am particularly impressed by the following features:
- Strong support for web standards
- Facilitates creating search engine friendly websites
- Back end navigation tree mirrors front end structure
- Quick edit functionality enabling on the fly updating via browsing the front end
- Clean CSS navigation menus embraced!
What I like most about MODx is that it is relatively easy to get up and running, yet it is an extremely flexible CMS that packs a lot of power into its small core. Unlike many content management systems, there is no such thing as a typical MODx site. It is just as suitable for a corporate site as for a blog. Its functionality is being extended all the time thanks to the ever growing collection of plugins developed by its loyal developer community. This expansion is facilitated by the clean, elegant approach that the development team took in designing the application. It really is a pleasure to work with.
It’s not perfect! It’s young and it’s open source, so it’s not fully there yet. Documentation is lacking fin placings, and some common functionality, notably e-commerce capabilities, is still in the works. Bugs are present, but it is amazing how quickly they are fixed. The developer community is very special. No matter how many questions you have, someone is always happy to help at the forum.
I’m delighted that I found this gem of a content management system and if you are looking for a CMS that is quick and easy to get up and running but won’t hold you back, give MODx a try!