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Mirror, mirror on the wall, which is the best CMS of all? We may not have enchanted mirrors to tell us what the deal is, but Idealware has done nonprofits the favor of compiling an updated report that compares four major Content Management Systems and assesses their different strengths and weaknesses. The report, an update of the popular report that came out in 2009, takes into account the latest version of each of the tools. Even if you’re not with a nonprofit, this is likely one of the best sources of information comparing these tools!

IdealWare uses fourteen criteria to evaluate Drupal, WordPress, Joomla and Plone. Each system had its strengths and weaknesses but we were pleased to see that the CMS that we most often use, Plone, came out on top in a number of ways. The report noted that Plone was the CMS of choice for many major newspapers and large businesses. When measured against WordPress, Drupal and Joomla “Plone’s functionality is as strong, or stronger, than the other three systems in every area we reviewed except for one.” Go Plone! Below is a closer look at some of the strengths, and points of improvement for Plone

Securityplone logo
One aspect of Plone that is operating very competitively is website security. The report found that Plone’s architecture made it difficult for security issues to present themselves through add-ons or themes. There are also generally few vulnerabilities and errors. Plone beats out the rest hands down.

Accessibility and SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) determines how highly ranked your website is for specific keywords and Plone has several features built in that enhance how highly ranked a website is. Things like having an automatic header page and being prompted to use alt-tags on images is standard SEO practice that someone who’s not tech savvy could implement seamlessly. Plone also automatically populates metadata fields from the content of a page.

Ease of Use for Content Managers
While Plone can be used for complex websites, it excells as being easy to use in terms of the interface for managing the content. It is easy for anyone to keep their site updated with editing tools that are in the same place that you view the content, as opposed to a backend area. The report notes how intuitive Plone’s dashboard is, and how simple it is to perform cornerstone tasks in website management like adding pages and editing text. Plone was one of the stronger CMS in making it easy for users to achieve their daily tasks.

So what didn’t Plone do so great in?
Plone is a complex system built on a different architecture than the other systems compared (a main factor in why it is more secure!). As a result, it is a little more challenging to install and set-up without the expertise of consultants who know the system and tools. Even so, Plone has made huge improvements in the last two years to provide great ease of installation experience. While we are confident that tech-savvy self-starters can figure it out, ifPeople is also happy to do the heavy lifting when it comes to taming the technology for your use! Contact us if we can help you evaluate Plone for your website or sign up for one of our monthly Plone demos (free webinar). The ease, organization, and security your website will get will be well worth it.

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The report aims to help nonprofits make decisions on open source CMSs, buidealware-cms-comparisont would be useful to anyone evaluating a content management system. Idealware, who provides objective information on software for nonprofits, has released a new version of its report comparing Plone, Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress. This report is more detailed than ever and encompasses 60+ pages of content and contains a consultant directory to help nonprofits find service providers. We at ifPeople work in the Plone CMS though also serve clients with consulting that does not depend on the platform being used.

Get the report:

Comparing Open Source Content Management Systems: WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and Plone

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Targeted at nonprofit organizations, Idealware is planning a new research report comparing the open source content management systems (CMS) Plone, Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress.Idealware produced a similar report in 2006 entitled “Comparing Open Source CMSs: Drupal, Joomla, and Plone“. The new report will update the review of each system and also include WordPress in the evaluation.

According to the Idealware site:

This Open Source CMSs for Nonprofits report will apply rigorous qualitative research techniques to understand the features that are important to nonprofits in Content Management Systems, and will include a detailed, feature by feature comparison of WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and Plone systems, and an easy-to-understand analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of each platform for typical nonprofit needs. This report is scheduled for a February 28th 2009 launch date..

Keep an eye on idealware.org for more.

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