Objective: To find a CMS which meets my needs that is easy to customize BUT requires the minimum amount of customization possible. Oh, yes, and it must be open source - for both the money and the freedom.
What my site needs now:
Blog, Articles or some such which can be sorted alphabetically
Integrated Login for Everything
What I may want for the future:
Classifieds (For Sale, Job Postings)
Real Estate Listings
Member Profile Search (Dating/Match Making)
What I've Considered:
Drupal - Very powerful and flexible, but I rejected it because the calendar is not functioning properly (when i last installed it about 3 weeks ago for something else) and nearly everything else will require creating content types, taxonomy, views, etc ad naseum. However, if all else fails it is possible I will revisit Drupal, since I already know that it IS capable of doing everything I want if I can get a functional version of the calendar.
I would like to say here that Drupal can more or less do anything you want it to, without doing any coding. This is mostly because just about any function you can think of is already available as a user contributed mod. Additionally, the CCK (Content Creation Kit) and Views Modules and their offshoots let you create any content type you like, and then display it or manipulate it any way you like. If you're not a coder but want extreme flexibility, it's worth the time to get to know Drupal.
That being said, out-of-the-box it doesn't do nearly everything that I want, and even using contrib mods it would take a lot of work to do what I want. I'm convinced that I will find something which will come closer. Plus, I'm too curious to allow myself stop at just one CMS.
Wordpress - With apologies to Yannis , I didn't try this route. I have used it for a single blog, but felt it would require too much modification to use for this site. Like Drupal, though, it does have the advantages of a strong user community and a wide range of available mods.
Xaraya - I didn't install this. I did explore several Xaraya-based sites, but didn't go further because the stars wouldn't line up. The demo on Open Source CMS wouldn't let me in, the demo on xaraya.com kept trying to redirect to itself in an infinite loop, and several links on xaraya.com likewise redirect to the wrong page, back to the home page, etc.
Boonex - Dolphin/Ray/Orca - I actually installed this on a subdomain and played with it, and really thought this is what I would use. It would do everything I need, it literally lets you drag n drop which sections, menu items, page items, etc you want, and it is supposedly very simple to customize the theme (although it kept telling me my css files weren't writable when I could see very well through my file manager that they were). Unfortunately, the whole licensing mess (they switched from commercial to gpl THEN to cc-by), and a lot of other negative press scared me off.
At this point I used a couple of helpful sites which are probably familiar to most of you: opensourcecms.com for demos and cmsmatrix.org for feature comparisons.
WebGUI - Of course CMS Matrix led to WebGUI (since it's theirs, that's not unusual;)). I liked the feature list, but set it aside for now because 1)from what I understand the support is only done for a fee and 2)it's written in Perl - at least with php I can play in the code when I need/want to. It is, however, totally point and click, right down to the colors, so if that's what you are looking for, it might be a good pick.
Typo3 - This one was also in the final half dozen or so when I searched for features on CMS Matrix. Unfortunately, I already tested it a few weeks ago for something else, and the admin interface is (IMHO) horrible. I fought with it for hours, finally figured out how to make things work, but decided pretty fast that it was simply more trouble than it was worth to me.
Bitweaver - After spending more time with the feature lists and demos mentioned above, I settled on BitWeaver as a likely candidate. The installation process is a bit longer than some of the others I've experienced, but that's because it takes the time to explain everything it's doing, do some basic setup, check your server for things like php extensions which may be used by various bitweaver mods, etc. The UI is very intuitive, both front-end and admin. There don't seem to be a lot of styles available (although it ships with almost 20), but it does come with an extremely well documented and commented blank style which tells you what every single class and id is for, so creating a style should be pretty quick. Layout can be further modified within the admin panel, or in the template files directly if one is so inclined.
So what's the downside thus far? No classifieds, although those sorts of things can sometimes be handled through the forum. Also, I'm not positive I can get the alphabetical listing I desire; I'm off to test that now.
I will post another update when I've explored some more.
P.S. Not sure whether Autocrat deserves :thankyou: or :whip: for getting me into this! At least I'll have a record of my reactions the next time I go searching for a CMS.
Edited by ccera, 14 December 2007 - 11:55 PM.