Mailbag: Sitemasher

I spent part of the weekend clearing my emails.  Ron Moravek sent me an email about his company's all-inclusive Sitemasher.

Hello, we are a relatively new product that includes both a professional design tool and a full featured CMS. We would like to get evaluated when you get a moment....:)
www.sitemasher.com

Ron, to be honest, I have quite a few CMS related articles to write about and I'm not sure when I'll get a chance to review your Sitemasher.  However, this is a good chance to give readers the opportunity to hear more about Sitemasher.  From the overview page:

A complete website solution. One online platform.

Website builder + content management + analytics + search engine optimization + managed hosting!

Top CMS in the top 100 blog sites

CMS Wire recent took a look at Technorati's Top 100 blog sites and determined which CMS the sites were using most.  They concluded, not surprisingly, that Wordpress was the most popular CMS with 34% of the top sites using the blogging application.

Simply put, we found that WordPress dominates the list, that Movable Type comes in with a respectable second [16%], and the rest are either custom jobbies or a smattering of other platforms which are, relatively speaking, eating dust.

Probably more interesting, is that full-fledged CMS barely made a dent in the top 100 list.

Wider scope Web CMS technologies are not used much by the top blogs. Drupal scores 5 sites, with Plone used by 1. Other popular Web CMS platforms are conspicuous only by their absence.

Judging five most promising Content Management Systems

This year, I was given the privilege of sitting on the judging panel for Packt Publishing's 2008 Most Promising Open Source CMS Award.  Judges on the panel were required to select their top three CMS based on a number of factors including performance, usability, accessibility, ease of configuration and customization, scalability and security.  These top three CMS were to originate from the five finalists in the most promising category which included: CMS Made Simple, ImpressCMS, MemHT Portal, MiaCMS, and SilverStripe.

As I promised earlier, I'm posting online my notes and comments on how I ranked all five finalists in the most promising category.  For better or for worse, Packt Publishing also gives their judges a lot of flexibility in how they rank a CMS.  While I wouldn't consider this a complete analysis of the CMS, it should provide enough information on the impression each CMS left me when reviewed.  While the methodology for determining the best CMS may be subjective, I do try to design my ranking of the CMS to be fair and non-biased.

The order in which I ranked the top "most promising" CMS were:

  1. SilverStripe (my highest ranked)
  2. ImpressCMS
  3. CMS Made Simple
  4. MiaCMS
  5. MemHT Portal (my lowest ranked)

In order to come with the above rank, I chose to use factors such as performance, usability, accessibility, ease of configuration, ease of customization, scalability, the the amount of support/documentation offered through the project's site/infrastructure.  I did not use security as a factor in my ranking.  Since the CMS must be less than two years old to qualify in the most promising category, it seemed unfair to rank these CMS by security since by definition they're not fully matured projects.

Change is Coming: Government Portals

I'm always interested in stories of how content management systems are being used in government.  Government Technology has a lengthy article on how government portals are evolving into Web 2.0 sites.  They put special focus on sites hosted by state governments.

The latest iteration of the Virginia.gov home page is a testament to the technological progress of the past 15 years. It's a veritable playground for Web 2.0 connoisseurs: Links to podcasts, live help chat, really simple syndication (RSS) feeds and YouTube videos are featured prominently in an on-screen menu. It also offers alerts, traffic updates, weather conditions and a Flash menu of most popular online services, which include everything from fishing licenses to a dangerous dog registry.

Virginia's site looks to be custom made and a mash up of static/dynamic content.  Please, correct me if I'm wrong.

Drupal ahead of the Packt as 2008 Overall Winner

For the second straight year, Packt Publishing has announced Drupal as the recipient of its Overall Open Source CMS Award.  Drupal was also the winner this year in the award category for Best PHP Open Source CMS.

Packt’s annual Open Source Content Management System (CMS) Award reached its climax today with the announcement that Drupal has won the Overall category, collecting a first prize of $5,000. Three months after it was launched and a staggering 20,000 votes later, Drupal finished ahead of Joomla! and DotNetNuke to retain the Award it won in 2007.

Joomla! also placed second in the Overall category followed by DotNetNuke for third position.

SilverStripe is 2008's Most Promising Open Source CMS

SilverStripe was announced as the winner of Packt Publishing's 2008 Most Promising Open Source CMS Award.

SilverStripe is today exclusively revealed as the winner of the 2008 Most Promising Open Source Content Management System. The SilverStripe project receive $2,000, holding off strong competition from CMS Made Simple in the first runner up position with ImpressCMS and MiaCMS finishing joint second runner up.

Packt Publishing notes that SilverStripe's core team is heavily involved in not only their product but also with SilverStripe's users.

It received universal approval from the judges for its features and was praised as an excellent option for companies who want a powerful open source website that is professionally created and well supported. The judges were complimentary about SilverStripe’s scalability, use of Ajax, its healthy community and the impressive levels of input on the forums from its developers.

I had the honor of being one of the judges on the panel for Packt Publishing's 2008 Most Promising Open Source CMS Award.  My vote also went for SilverStripe followed by ImpressCMS for second place and CMS Made Simple for third place.  Since I wasn't sure how the other judges on the panel were going to vote, I'm always a little nervous of being too far off from the consensus.  Needless to say, I feel validated.  In a few days, I'll throw my notes online for how I ranked all five finalists in the most promising category.

Best PHP Open Source CMS: Drupal wins, Joomla and CMS Made Simple tie for second

Drupal was announced the winner in Packt Publishing's 2008 award for Best PHP Based Open Source CMS.

The Award for the best Open Source Content Management System written on a PHP/MySQL platform is today announced as Drupal. Receiving $2,000 as the judges’ and publics favourite, Drupal finishes ahead of Joomla! and CMS Made Simple, who finished on equal points as joint runners up and collect $500 each.

As Packt notes, this has become an annual tug of war between Drupal and Joomla! for top spot in these awards.

Windows 7 and HomeGroup

Gizmodo published their first impressions of the Windows 7 operating system currently being developed by Microsoft.  Microsoft allowed developers and reviewers get a sneak peek of this Vista replacement during this week's Professional Developers Conference.  Gizmodo and other tech blogs have indicated Windows 7, although still incomplete, looks to be a better version of Windows than Vista.  Improvements in boot-up time, work-flow, performance, and user interface all take center stage with this new version of Windows.

In the Gizmodo article, one new feature listed for Windows 7 hopes to improve customer experience with home networking.  As I read how the new feature, HomeGroup, is described...I'm sort of disappointed.

Best Open Source non-PHP CMS: Plone Wins, followed by dotCMS and DotNetNuke

Packt Publishing announced the winner of their 2008 Best Open Source Other CMS Award and it is Plone.

Packt is delighted to exclusively reveal the first category winner of the 2008 Open Source CMS Award as Plone. Run[ning] on the Zope application server, Plone wins the Best Other Open Source CMS Award and receives $2,000. Also recognized by the judges were dotCMS and DotNetNuke who finished second and third respectively, both picking up $500.

Although I'm not a Plone user, I've been quietly rooting for Plone to come out on top as the best non-PHP content management system.  This looks to be Plone's moment to shine.

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