Choosing a Content Management System in 2011

Technology is changing so rapidly that choosing what new media tools to teach in J-school is no easy task. This is even tougher with publishing software, where a whole semester’s work hinges on selecting the correct content management system. It used to be that raw HTML, Dreamweaver and FTP were the only tools you needed, but everything has changed with the advent of many top notch open source content management systems.

So the question is, what CMS should I teach in the journalism classroom?

I’ve used the “big three” of Drupal, WordPress and Joomla in the classroom setting and each one has its positives. My brief take: the more you think you need to “graduate” from WordPress to something more sophisticated, it keeps getting better and more impressive. Drupal’s best for its community plumbing and customization, while Joomla has sophisticated and mature front-page layout features. Decide which one’s the most important for your project.

At the University of Southern California, for beginning and advanced classes, I’ve stuck with WordPress for most projects, with many of the plugins and themes suitable for most tasks. This is not to say Drupal and Joomla don’t have their appropriate roles, but WordPress is the Willys Jeep of the CMS world — you keep finding it does more and more things well.

But for those who want to dive deeper, there are lots of reasons to consider Drupal and Joomla:

Usability. From an administration viewpoint, WordPress has practically obviated the need for FTP and requiring shell/command line access for maintenance and customization. This is no small feat, as this makes training much easier, while keeping systems more secure. Don’t underestimate the headache in having to teach folks FTP and UNIX basics.

Scalability. Joomla and Drupal were built from the ground up with the ability to gracefully degrade their performance. That is, if the load on a server gets too much, they can automatically shut off intensive features so visitors can at least read the site quickly. If you think that you may need this capability, take a long look at these two.

Community plumbing. This is where Drupal shines, in that it’s a flexible system for building community-oriented features, like collaborative filtering, and even e-commerce. With little effort, you can create policies that allow your audience to each have their own blog streams and allow folks to collaboratively rank content up/down. Think DailyKOS or Digg. In 2004, I taught a class with Dan Gillmor and used Drupal to have get students to create a community blog site to gather contributions from the community. Only Drupal could have done it so easily.

Layout and Customization. Joomla has some nice “front page” features right out of the box. I used it in a 2005 project where students covered the WTO Ministerial conference in Hong Kong. You could reshuffle and re-rank stories quickly that re-flowed the front page 3-column layout in a snap.

User roles and workflow. Joomla and Drupal have better support for “workflow” and multiple user roles if you need to have a draft-review-publish cycle with different type of editors. (In recent years, though, WordPress MU and other extensions have made WordPress similarly capable in this area).

Themes and extensions. It’s hard to out-do WordPress in this area which has perhaps *too* many to choose from. Drupal sports a number of firms that specialize in customization and programming. In terms of numbers, Joomla is more popular that Drupal though there are many high-end, high-profile sites out there that help boost Drupal’s profile beyond the raw numbers.

We are spoiled for choice and that’s a good thing. Eager to hear how other schools have used these CMS’es.

[This post originally appeared as a response to the ONA Educators group on Facebook.]

55 thoughts on “Choosing a Content Management System in 2011

  1. Have you considered wiki software like Dokuwiki or Mediawiki? They are becoming very popular even for “closed” websites. Ease of use is basically unmatched and with a couple of plugins they can do almost everything “real” CMSes do.

  2. Hi Arthur, yes and actually I run WordPress and MediaWiki side by side and each has its uses. I should have made clear that my recommendations were for CMS’es for publishing news sites. For that reason, MediaWiki is great for collaboration and quick content, but not robust for presentation and layout.

  3. Hello, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your blog site in Chrome, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, superb blog!

  4. I was very glad to locate this site on google.I wanted to say many thanks to you with regard to this excellent article!! I definitelyappreciated every little bit of it and I’ve you bookmarked to take a look at new stuff you post.

  5. Do you have a spam problem on this website; I also am a blogger, and I was curious about your situation; we have created some nice methods and we are looking to exchange methods with other folks, why not shoot me an e-mail if interested.

  6. Excellent blog you have here but I was wanting to know if you knew of any forums that cover the same topics talked about here? I’d really love to be a part of community where I can get suggestions from other experienced people that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Thanks a lot!

  7. Thanks for the marvelous posting! I certainly enjoyed reading it, you can be a great author.I will make sure to bookmark your blog and will eventually come back sometime soon. I want to encourage yourself to continue your great writing, have a nice evening!

  8. Most of the things you assert happens to be supprisingly precise and it makes me wonder the reason why I had not looked at this in this light before. This particular piece truly did turn the light on for me personally as far as this specific subject goes. Nonetheless at this time there is actually 1 factor I am not really too comfortable with so whilst I try to reconcile that with the core idea of the position, permit me observe just what the rest of the subscribers have to say.Well done.

  9. Hello, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your blog in Ie, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, very good blog!

  10. Hey There. I discovered your blog using msn. This is an extremely neatly written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and return to learn extra of your helpful info. Thank you for the post. I’ll certainly comeback.

  11. It is a wonderful really feel fantastic story, and indicates that people inside the car community appear jointly for the good cause.

  12. you are really a good webmaster. The web site loading speed is amazing. It seems that you’re doing any unique trick. Also, The contents are masterpiece. you have done a excellent job on this topic!

  13. Nice post. I used to be checking continuously this blog and I am inspired! Extremely useful information specifically the final part :) I take care of such info much. I used to be seeking this particular information for a very long time. Thanks and good luck.

  14. A further issue is really that video gaming became one of the all-time most important forms of excitement for people of every age group. Kids have fun with video games, and also adults do, too. The actual XBox 360 is amongst the favorite video games systems for individuals that love to have a huge variety of video games available to them, in addition to who like to experiment with live with some others all over the world. Many thanks for sharing your opinions.

  15. At this time it seems like Movable Type is the top blogging platform out there right now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using on your blog?|Good post however , I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this subject? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit more. Kudos!|Hi! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could get a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having difficulty finding one? Thanks a lot!|When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get several emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Many thanks!|Hello there! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a collection of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us useful information to work on. You have done a outstanding job!|Good day! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this site? I’m getting sick and tired of WordPress because I’ve had issues with hackers and I’m looking at options for another platform. I would be great if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.|Good day! This post could not be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my previous room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this write-up to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!|Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You clearly know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your blog when you could be giving us something enlightening to read?|Today, I went to the beach front with my children. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is completely off topic but I had to tell someone!|The other day, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iphone and tested to see if it can survive a 25 foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now destroyed and she has 83 views. I know this is completely off topic but I had to share it with someone!|I was curious if you ever thought of changing the structure of your website? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or two images. Maybe you could space it out better?|Hi there, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam remarks? If so how do you protect against it, any plugin or anything you can suggest? I get so much lately it’s driving me crazy so any help is very much appreciated.|This design is wicked! You obviously know how to keep a reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Great job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!|I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your website. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme? Fantastic work!|Hello! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but after checking through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely glad I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back frequently!|Hi! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter group? There’s a lot of people that I think would really appreciate your content. Please let me know. Thanks|Hi, I think your website might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your blog site in Firefox, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, amazing blog!|Sweet blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News. Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Thank you|Hello there! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog. Is it difficult to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick. I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Thanks|Hello there! Quick question that’s completely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My website looks weird when browsing from my iphone 4. I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to fix this issue. If you have any recommendations, please share. Many thanks!|I’m not that much of a online reader to be honest but your sites really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back later on. All the best|I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz respond as I’m looking to construct my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. many thanks|Amazing! This blog looks just like my old one! It’s on a completely different subject but it has pretty much the same page layout and design. Outstanding choice of colors!|Hi there just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the pictures aren’t loading properly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different web browsers and both show the same results.|Hello are using WordPress for your site platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and create my own. Do you require any coding expertise to make your own blog? Any help would be really appreciated!|Hi there this is kind of of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding expertise so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated!|Hey! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any issues with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing a few months of hard work due to no back up. Do you have any methods to prevent hackers?|Good day! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay. I’m absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward to new updates.|Hello! Do you know if they make any plugins to safeguard against hackers? I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on. Any suggestions?|Hi there! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with SEO? I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good results. If you know of any please share. Many thanks!|I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was curious what all is required to get set up? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very internet smart so I’m not 100% sure. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks|Hmm is anyone else having problems with the images on this blog loading? I’m trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.|I’m not sure why but this website is loading very slow for me. Is anyone else having this issue or is it a issue on my end? I’ll check back later and see if the problem still exists.|Hello! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my new iphone 3gs! Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the fantastic work!|Wow that was odd. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyways, just wanted to say great blog!|Hi excellent blog! Does running a blog such as this take a lot of work? I’ve very little knowledge of coding but I was hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyhow, should you have any recommendations or tips for new blog owners please share. I know this is off subject nevertheless I simply had to ask. Kudos!|Hey! I realize this is kind of off-topic but I needed to ask. Does operating a well-established website like yours require a massive amount work? I am brand new to writing a blog however I do write in my diary on a daily basis. I’d like to start a blog so I will be able to share my experience and thoughts online. Please let me know if you have any kind of recommendations or tips for new aspiring blog owners. Appreciate it!|Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates. I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this. Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.|I do not know if it’s just me or if everyone else encountering issues with your site. It appears like some of the written text in your content are running off the screen. Can someone else please comment and let me know if this is happening to them too? This could be a issue with my internet browser because I’ve had this happen before. Kudos|First of all I want to say superb blog! I had a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind. I was interested to know how you center yourself and clear your mind before writing. I’ve had a tough time clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts out there. I truly do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually lost simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or tips? Thank you!

  16. Thank you, I have recently been hunting for facts about this subject for ages and yours is the best I have located so far.

  17. Great post but I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this subject? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Thank you!

  18. An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker who has been conducting a little research on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast simply because I discovered it for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending time to talk about this matter here on your web site.

  19. I am really enjoying the theme/design of your blog. Do you ever run into any browser compatibility problems? A couple of my blog visitors have complained about my blog not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Safari. Do you have any recommendations to help fix this problem?

  20. Hopefully, this post will make some people reflect on how much they suck. When I come accross a nice spot abused by pigs, there are many thoughts going through my mind, and they are all evil…

  21. Beres took hundreds of these measurements, putting them into a database created by Mitchell International that includes about 3,500 vehicles. It will become part of the 67-year-old San Diego’s company’s software products sold to auto collision repair shops and insurance companies to make sure repairs are done right.

  22. I really found this article , “Choosing a Content Management System in 2011 | Andrew Lih”, particularly entertaining
    and the blog post was indeed a terrific read. Thanks for the post,Jolene

  23. hi-ya, A brilliant blog you have! Come and see my latest dirty website. Iguarantee you will love it. Lots of naked girls for you.

  24. I experimented with the1st recipe and it didn’t get the job done. From reading the comments I believe I did not cook it extended enought. Can I place it within the microwave to try and make it thicker or recook it? Or do I have to start throughout?

  25. botte ugg grise ugg enfant pas cher ndcTp Auf der Bank kann die
    Falcon an Bruce Denton 8. UGG Bottes Sienna Miller 5816 Ch?taigne
    ugg botte hIKPQ Es gibt einige, cad Honig in Orlando Standorten gebacken, und speichert die gesamte Thanksgiving-Essen mit einer Pre gekocht Türkei kornbread Sauce, Süßkartoffeln geblasen, Türkei Suppe und
    einem klassischen 9-Zoll-Torte mit Walnüssen aufnehmen Pecan Süden. ugg australia
    femme pas cher ugg australia boots UKRyj Eine 38-jährige Mann von Vandalismus
    vermutet, die von Streifenpolizisten von der Polizei von Los Angeles in Balboa See erschossen wurde am frühen Freitag hatten Stöcke in ihren Händen, warfen Steine
    ??auf die Polizei und warf sich auf ihn vor erschossen wurde, sagte
    ein Sprecher Dienstag Touren. UGG Bottes Classic Tall 5815 Framboises ugg porn uFQFc Nun, wenn Sie
    ein Chick Flick Art von Film Gore sind, ist dies nicht Ihrem Film, aber die Leitung hat seinen Weg in fast allen Segmenten der amerikanischen Bevölkerung hat funktioniert!

    In der Tat, niemand spricht yakoatshing viele Mädchen werden soultvo Umriss einer Person des Schauspielers Tom Hanks hanxtom testen bekommt doppelt Abrechnungs hier,
    einmal, dass das Leben ist wie eine Schachtel Pralinen von Forest Gump 1994,
    basierend auf dem Roman von Winston Groom Und es gibt kein Schreien im Baseball-Liga 1992 ihren eigenen, von Lowell Waffen und
    babaloo geschrieben Mandel (schrieb auch Stadt-Aufkleber, kein Fieber, Splash ).Ich fand
    den zehn schicksten Flix aller Zeiten, für diejenigen von uns, die wollen auch einen Film,
    der einen Zweck und eine Bedeutung. bottes type
    ugg UGG Bottes Bailey Button Triplet Phoenix873 Sable ikSgi Country Club produziert und vertreibt original funktioniert moderne lokale und internationale Künstler,
    wie viele Galerien, es beschleunigt auch die Exposition durch Senden von Teilen der Museen, Galerien und Kunstmessen weltweit.

  26. You must make sure that you hire the best web hosting company
    India to get the best deals and offers for web server hosting.
    Figure out what it is you need and want and from there shop
    around to see what web hosts matches these expectations.
    The amount of space required by a website should also be considered while choosing a web host.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>