Good CMS?

I’m hunting for recommendations on good CMS programs. Obviously, it needs to run on DH. I’ve looked at some, but a lot of them have a blogging focus, and I’m not interested in that. I don’t need comments and it isn’t articles - just a way to manage the content on a site!

Help? This is a case of too many choices!

I was hoping someone else had a suggestion, since I’ve been on the same hunt.

I’ve had the same issue with most CMSs–they seem targeted at people doing either news or blogging, where I just want something to manage structured content with a couple of levels. Categories, with sub categories under them, and content-filled individual articles/whatever under those. Is that really so much to ask?

Here’s some things I’ve been checking out; maybe you’ll have luck with them, or maybe somebody else is using one and can offer a suggestion (links at the bottom).

*Typo3: This is one huge, beefy piece of CMS software. Multi-tiered content, massive flexibility in format and types of content, integrated database tools, multiple data types, image manipulation, multi-user/usergroup-based editing privleges, the works. I got it running just fine on my DH account, but I’m seeing three issues:

  1. At least during editing, it seems to hit the MySQL server very hard, so conueries might be an issue.

  2. I haven’t yet gotten it to publish static pages properly, which it can do and would deal with the conuery issue.

  3. It’s very, very powerful, and as a result very complicated–it does way more than I’d ever want, so it’s hard to get used to and probably overkill for a lot of people.

*BolinOS: Very cool-looking software, but at least as of the version I tried the stupid installer required a root MySQL password so it could set up a database, when just letting you create one would suffice. Perhaps in a future version this will be fixed.

*Midgard: Very powerful, but you usually have to compile this one to run it on a server (which might well be possible on DH if you know what you’re doing). A project has apparently started to offer a PHP version so that it’ll run standalone. Haven’t tried it yet, though, and I can’t find the link right now.

*Glossword: This is designed as dictionary software, and does a spectacular job of that, but it could also be useful for any sort of content that has a number of different entires and is alphabetically organized; you can create multiple heierarchical categories, with the unit of content being “dictionary” sections, each of which can have entries that are automatically sorted alphabetically. Very nicely written, runs great on DH, but obviously not for all uses.

*Firesite: Looks promising as a very simple CMS, runs on DH, but currently way too early in beta to be worth using.

*Webmake: This is one worth checking if you’re a hacker type, or really like to see local files; it’s not exactly a CMS, but a Perl module that’ll take structured data from files and automatically build static HTML pages from it based on templates, regular expressions, Perl code, or whatever. You can run it locally on your own computer (which I’m doing), or I think there’s a CGI version that you can run remotely. Downsides are it’s lack of fancy network integration/management features, and it’s hard to get started with (assumes a pretty good knowledge of basic Perl concepts). I’m liking it a lot for generating tidy HTML pages without having to hand-paste into templates, though.

That’s about all I’ve got so far, past the usual Nuke-spawn and variety of simple Blog-style CMSs. What I really wish I could find is a nice program that’ll allow flexibly formatted hierarchical content like Typo3, will build static HTML like Webmake, and let me use my own directory structure so I don’t have massive ammounts of mis-linked traffic pouring in. So far, no joy unless I write one myself. Oh well.

Useful links:


Thanks for the links, I’ll have to check some of that stuff out. I was in Typo3 hell, which is why I posted about CMS in the first place! :slight_smile:

I also enjoy the features of Typo3, but as a non-programmer, it’s very overwhelming. And thanks for the warning about the conqueries - I’d been running it locally while I learned it, and wasn’t keeping track.

If I do find anything, I will post it here. Or I’ll start recruiting programmers for yet another CMS app - but one that actually does all the things that normal people want in a CMS! :wink:

[quote]I was in Typo3 hell, which is why I posted about CMS in the first place! :slight_smile:


Hell indeed–I liked everything about it, the way it set stuff up, and it’s featurelist, but using it feels like driving a massive, experimental airplane–huge, moves slowly, and has such a dizzying array of controls and options that it makes your head hurt just thinking about it.

Also reminded me of one other issue I have with these very complex CMS systems–absolutely no easy way to extract your data from one if you ever feel like changing. Short of copying, pasting, and rebuilding from scratch, you’re just not going to be able to port things without writing a very complex translator, and that’s if you’re lucky. I sure don’t want to spend the rest of my site’s life locked into a single CMS.

Anyway, enough of the ranting. I did find a couple more interesting options:

A promising one for vey simple sites is Nether-Template:

It’s very simple–basically lets you create page templates with a few variables, create page body texts and define the variables for the pages, and build a static site from that (and you can define the directories that it will build to). Doesn’t have any organizational features, really, but for pleasingly simple template-based stuff, it’s not that bad.

Two others that look promising are PHPWebsite ( and maybe eZ Publish ( The former in particularly looks pretty clean, but I haven’t given either a spin yet.

City Desk isn’t exactly a CMS, at least not on the web end of things; aside from being commercial (which I’d rather not deal with), and being Windows-only (which I, at least, can’t and won’t touch), it’s entirely user-side; if I wanted that, I’d just use Dreamweaver or a better known product.

I ended up using pMachine, just for now. Took literally 5 minutes to install and their documentation, while totally blog oriented, was of excellent quality and helped me figure out how to get things up and running. I did write them and they are moving more towards a CMS product in the future, so that’s something to look forward to. In the meantime, their userbase is quite active and there’s lots of hacks available.