Content management systems – which do you use and how is it?

I’ve been teaching my student journalists how to use the content management system for our new news website (more about that in a later post). We’re using Joomla – it does a lot, but it’s not exactly user-friendly, which ironically makes it a very good experience for anyone who’ll have to use newspaper CMS’s.

And this begs the question: what CMS do you use – and what does it do well or badly?

14 thoughts on “Content management systems – which do you use and how is it?

  1. Kerim Satirli

    I use ExpresisonEngine for both my personal knowledge base and a number of corporate sites.

    The system is so flexible that you basically can build 75% of the things you want without even developing any addons, yet at the same time it is so modular that you will the feeling that you are using a behemoth like TYPO3.

    ExpressionEngine simply works for what I need, it is user friendly and can output data the way I want it, be that HTML, PDF, plaintext, RSS or as Flash Animations.

    Reply
  2. James Robertson

    Why are CMS’s NEVER easy to use?! – I have used and specified many and they never seem to give you what you need!

    I am looking around at all available options at the moment – and so I might be hassling you for recommendations Paul!

    And another questions; why do CMS’s never handle ecommerce well? – why are they always two seperate systems where each task has to be handled seperately?

    I know – this is a young field and this is a nascent suite of software… – I just needed to vent a little that’s all!

    Reply
  3. wicak hidayat

    At our organization (detikinet.com) we use a custom built CMS. Around mid-2007 we begin to use WYSIWYG tekxt box, which really (in my opinion) helps journalist embraces some ‘new media’ concept like hyperlinking and sub-header.

    Reply
  4. Alexandre Gamela

    I’ve been using Joomla for a couple of years, and built a few websites with it. It has it’s quirks but i like it a lot. I even started a small
    Joomla tutorial (Part 1) at my blog. Though Drupal seems quite interesting and more visually compelling, Joomla is quite complete and versatile, as soon as we get into the logic.

    Reply
  5. Steve Yelvington

    At Morris Communications we’re increasingly using Drupal, but equally importantly, we’re contributing to the Drupal community by contributing modules, patches and financial support.

    I have to disagree with James Robertson’s statement that this is a young field. We build a Web-based CMS back when I was at the Minneapolis Star Tribune in the mid-1990s. Relatively little real progress has been made since then in areas such as flexibility and usability.

    I think part of the problem is that technologists waste energy chasing the latest tech fads, constantly reinventing the wheel to incorporate the latest buzzwords rather than really getting to understand the tasks that editors and producers are trying to perform.

    One way publishers can combat this is to stop commissioning bespoke solutions that they discard after 24 months and put energy behind a few open-source collaborative efforts.

    Reply
  6. Bas Timmers

    For my personal site I use WordPress. Very intuitive, highly adaptable and extendable with plug-ins. Basically does everything you want, especially if you run it on your own server through http://www.wordpress.org.

    At work at de Volkskrant newspaper in the Netherlands, the biggest quality daily here, we use Escenic. It is robust, widely used in the news media business, but not as easy to use as you might hope.

    Reply
  7. Will Strauss

    We use a CMS from Tridion for Broadcastnow.co.uk (Emap). I think we’re the only publishing company using it at the moment. It has lots of advantages, in that you can create, change and move homepages, indexes and sections very easily. But publishing news stories at speed and in the quantity required for a rolling news service is bloody hard. It would be a wonderful system if it was a marketing site that was only updated daily. But as we add content pretty much all day every day it can be a little, um, sluggish.

    Reply
  8. kus

    We use Typo3 as a plattform for our German local-social-network “fudder.de”. Though the set-up was quite a tough work, daily business is fine now. It takes about 2 hours to introduce new authors in the basic features – and most of them are able to use Typo3 quite well.

    For our second site, the regional news-portal badische-zeitung.de, we will use two systems, when we relaunch the portal in summer. The more important tool (for the editors) will be NGen, which is also used to producy the daily paper. Editors will use one system to fill two media (print / online). The second tool is a cms, which is developped in-house exactly for our needs. We start testing both systems in a couple of days.

    Reply
  9. kus

    by the way: in the early days of fudder.de (JAN 2006) we also used WordPress to run the site. WordPress is brillant for doing online-journalism. But at a certain point, it’s not powerful enough.

    Reply
  10. Nico

    I use wordpress. I never use another CMS (just test Blogger), but i think the best in WP is the community, is possible find a lot of recourse for everthing. (Sorry for my bad english :P)

    Reply
  11. David Black

    We use a custom-built CMS for most of our larger newspaper sites. It’s a bit of a swiss-army sledgehammer, but gets the job done. We use Movable Type for some of our smaller newspaper sites, our community sites and our blogs, which is pretty popular with our editorial and product development teams and has lots of hidden power under the hood. My own blog runs on WordPress – quick and easy to use.

    Reply
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