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  1. #1
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    Question which free open source cms fits my needs?

    hi all:

    I'm doing this for non-profit for my friends and classmates, but i have no idea which free cms best fits my requirements, i have listed following what i needs:

    i'm paying for the hosting plans, please also list what kind of hosting required linux or windows for the suggested cms, or any good hosting company suggestions, thanks all in advance:

    1. multi site management
    2. user can choose either to have subdomain under like user.xxx.com or register and use their own domain
    3. every user created will have certain limit disk space and bandwidth (so no over-usage)
    4. front end layout and content "drag and drop" editing (very important)
    5. advertisement management (able to set up google ads for all sites)
    6. themes/skins (be able to manage themes/skins available for all sites at once)
    7. site add-ons and functions (should be able to add once for all sites)

    already took a quick look at:

    1) express engine: they have a fee for every additional site installed, no point for me since i'm doing all these for free
    2) dotcms: don't see front end drag and drop for theme layouts
    3) wordpress: took at look at front-end editor, they have to go into admin to drag and drop, i would prefer front-end.
    4) opencms: front-end drag and drop is okay, desire a better one

    thanks all in advance~

  2. #2
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    You need to consider what you want the cms to do eg are you looking for a wiki, a forum, a blog, etc. Some CMS can be "bridged" so that logging into one logs you into the other and with work on the skinning they could be got to look like the same app
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  3. #3
    SitePoint Member Belafaiez's Avatar
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    Advertisement management is not easy way.I can not create any account in cabolist site.because there confirm with phone verification.that why i can not do.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Belafaiez View Post
    Advertisement management is not easy way.I can not create any account in cabolist site.because there confirm with phone verification.that why i can not do.
    lol, i just putting "one" small google ad on the page, and what do you mean phone verifications lol, not necessary, and not required!

  5. #5
    SitePoint Member Belafaiez's Avatar
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    can you tell me details about this.I know that there need phone verification of USA or it just do with IP hide that I was can not do. how can you do this?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by elaohu View Post
    hi all:

    I'm doing this for non-profit for my friends and classmates, but i have no idea which free cms best fits my requirements, i have listed following what i needs:

    i'm paying for the hosting plans, please also list what kind of hosting required linux or windows for the suggested cms, or any good hosting company suggestions, thanks all in advance:

    1. multi site management
    2. user can choose either to have subdomain under like user.xxx.com or register and use their own domain
    3. every user created will have certain limit disk space and bandwidth (so no over-usage)
    4. front end layout and content "drag and drop" editing (very important)
    5. advertisement management (able to set up google ads for all sites)
    6. themes/skins (be able to manage themes/skins available for all sites at once)
    7. site add-ons and functions (should be able to add once for all sites)


    already took a quick look at:

    1) express engine: they have a fee for every additional site installed, no point for me since i'm doing all these for free
    2) dotcms: don't see front end drag and drop for theme layouts
    3) wordpress: took at look at front-end editor, they have to go into admin to drag and drop, i would prefer front-end.
    4) opencms: front-end drag and drop is okay, desire a better one

    thanks all in advance~
    This is a big project.

    I don't see Drupal in your list which is weird because it would be a natural for this... I'd run Drupal in multisite mode (http://drupal.org/documentation/install/multi-site).

    What is meant by: "front end layout and content "drag and drop" editing (very important)"? Do you the site manager want to be able to drag-n-drop elements like navigation menus and other blocks in different regions or do you want to allow your mini-site owners to be able to do that... Or, do you mean something else?
    Andrew Wasson | www.lunadesign.org
    Principal / Internet Development

  7. #7
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    You may find that the lastest version of Joomla fits your needs. Although I have worked with the top four CMS's Joomla is my favorite because it is robust enough along with a very active community. There are many discussions of which is the best however for those that get a grip on it right away usually stay loyal to it. There is virtually no website you cannot build with it. If you can think of it you can build it with Joomla.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by awasson View Post
    This is a big project.

    I don't see Drupal in your list which is weird because it would be a natural for this... I'd run Drupal in multisite mode (http://drupal.org/documentation/install/multi-site).

    What is meant by: "front end layout and content "drag and drop" editing (very important)"? Do you the site manager want to be able to drag-n-drop elements like navigation menus and other blocks in different regions or do you want to allow your mini-site owners to be able to do that... Or, do you mean something else?
    I mean something like impresspages cms front end editor

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by elaohu View Post
    I mean something like impresspages cms front end editor
    Ah... Ok, I get what you mean. I think any of the open source CMS packages (Drupal, Joomla, Wordpress, etc...) can be configured to do this particularly those that are integrated with jQuery (or one of the other "ajaxey" libraries) but it will be up to you to configure how much or how little you are going to expose this to your audience. I find from an administrative point of view, pretty much everything is drag-n-drop these days but on the user side because you tend to permit less administrative actions, they will have less of those abilities.

    You may have done this but if this were my project, I would spend a bit of time in project manager mode to chart out all of the activities I want available for the whole project and then I would a list of 'roles' like Master Admin, Admin, Site Owner, Editor, etc... and chart out what these individuals would have access to so that I could figure out in definitive terms what all of the activities are and who can access them and how detailed or granular their abilities would be.

    I would also figure out how scalable I would need the site to be. Some CMS packages are very simple to set up and launch but when you want to scale them right up you run into limitations so you definitely need to balance ease of development against scalability, dependability and security.

    I think what you as the developer or project manager will need to do is look at the project in broad strokes as find out which multisite CMS will provide you with:

    1) Scalability to easily spawn x number of site where x is the maximum number of sites you anticipate in spawning

    2) Provides you a user management system interface to create the number of user roles you need with adjustable permissions

    3) A dependable, secure and well documented code base with a security team to keep on top of and release timely security patches. Nine times out of ten, you want to be able to extend the CMS to achieve your goals and if the CMS has a rough API or poorly documented API, you could run into trouble extending it.

    4) A knowledge base, forum, IRC, etc... where you can search for answers and post questions

    I don't think there is one particular open source package that does that perfectly so you'll have to assess and make up your mind on which one does the best job and then commit yourself to either learning how to achieve your goal or find developers to work on the project for you.

    In my mind this is a big project. There's an 80/20 rule that comes to mind when thinking about it:
    It will probably take 20% of your time to get 80% of the functionality to work and 80% of your time to get the last (but most important) 20% of fine tuning and tweaking.

    Good luck!

    Andrew
    Andrew Wasson | www.lunadesign.org
    Principal / Internet Development

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mittineague View Post
    thanks!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by awasson View Post
    Ah... Ok, I get what you mean. I think any of the open source CMS packages (Drupal, Joomla, Wordpress, etc...) can be configured to do this particularly those that are integrated with jQuery (or one of the other "ajaxey" libraries) but it will be up to you to configure how much or how little you are going to expose this to your audience. I find from an administrative point of view, pretty much everything is drag-n-drop these days but on the user side because you tend to permit less administrative actions, they will have less of those abilities.

    You may have done this but if this were my project, I would spend a bit of time in project manager mode to chart out all of the activities I want available for the whole project and then I would a list of 'roles' like Master Admin, Admin, Site Owner, Editor, etc... and chart out what these individuals would have access to so that I could figure out in definitive terms what all of the activities are and who can access them and how detailed or granular their abilities would be.

    I would also figure out how scalable I would need the site to be. Some CMS packages are very simple to set up and launch but when you want to scale them right up you run into limitations so you definitely need to balance ease of development against scalability, dependability and security.

    I think what you as the developer or project manager will need to do is look at the project in broad strokes as find out which multisite CMS will provide you with:

    1) Scalability to easily spawn x number of site where x is the maximum number of sites you anticipate in spawning

    2) Provides you a user management system interface to create the number of user roles you need with adjustable permissions

    3) A dependable, secure and well documented code base with a security team to keep on top of and release timely security patches. Nine times out of ten, you want to be able to extend the CMS to achieve your goals and if the CMS has a rough API or poorly documented API, you could run into trouble extending it.

    4) A knowledge base, forum, IRC, etc... where you can search for answers and post questions

    I don't think there is one particular open source package that does that perfectly so you'll have to assess and make up your mind on which one does the best job and then commit yourself to either learning how to achieve your goal or find developers to work on the project for you.

    In my mind this is a big project. There's an 80/20 rule that comes to mind when thinking about it:
    It will probably take 20% of your time to get 80% of the functionality to work and 80% of your time to get the last (but most important) 20% of fine tuning and tweaking.

    Good luck!

    Andrew
    thank you very much,
    all of that was my consideration in the beginning also,
    i think i might go with cms, because of its recent updates and security patches, and there is already lots of plug ins available.
    thanks again

  13. #13
    SitePoint Member daledupree's Avatar
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    i would stick with wordpress period, and add all the plugins needed.

  14. #14
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    It sounds like you want to create a web application that can be used to build out other websites like 1&1. If that is the case than everything said by awasson applies. There isn't one CMS that exists out of the box that would be adequate to competing with a business like 1&1 or some of the several other ones. Any way you slice it creating something on that spectrum is going to take several hundred hours of work perhaps more depending on pickiness. Not something I would offer to do for free. I mean perhaps your blinded by ambition to realize how naive you are being but you would essentially be handing over a business to these so called friends. What exactly is their role in this business.
    The only code I hate more than my own is everyone else's.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by oddz View Post
    It sounds like you want to create a web application that can be used to build out other websites like 1&1. If that is the case than everything said by awasson applies. There isn't one CMS that exists out of the box that would be adequate to competing with a business like 1&1 or some of the several other ones. Any way you slice it creating something on that spectrum is going to take several hundred hours of work perhaps more depending on pickiness. Not something I would offer to do for free. I mean perhaps your blinded by ambition to realize how naive you are being but you would essentially be handing over a business to these so called friends. What exactly is their role in this business.
    i'm asking all these because my friends don't know how to create a website,
    and we are just making our portfolio websites.
    that's why i was saying front end editing is very important.
    but wtever.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by elaohu View Post
    i'm asking all these because my friends don't know how to create a website,
    and we are just making our portfolio websites.
    that's why i was saying front end editing is very important.
    but wtever.
    What oddz is getting at is that to do this right according to your list of requirements it will take 100's of hours for a professional developer and I have to agree with that assessment. As I mentioned, it's very quick to install any one of the CMS packages, even full featured ones like Drupal are simple to install but to configure a multi-site installation that allows for spawning full domain or sub-domain websites with drag-n-drop design tools and all of the features you mentioned... It's a huge undertaking even if you do this day in and day out professionally.

    I think there has been a lot of good information posted but it may be too advanced for where you are in the website building arena. I would suggest revising the scope of your project. Based on what I've been reading, you don't have the resources to build what you have listed out in your first post and although it might be nice to have something that will do that, it's a complicated undertaking, specifically to create a self-serve system that creates blank sites for the user to "choose either to have subdomain under like user.xxx.com or register and use their own domain" as noted in your second requirement.

    Based on what I've read, I would suggest that you get a reseller account or Virtual Private Server account and set up a multi-site installation of Drupal or WordPress. This will allow you to "spin up" as many sites as you need and manage them from one spot. It won't be automatic, someone has to manage it and make sure that the system is patched up to date and someone has to create each sub-site when they need to be created but you can create a workflow to make it easier to manage.

    As far as design goes, you'll need to learn how to apply the designs that your friends come up with to the sites. This is called "theming" and it can take some time but it's necessary unless you want the sites to all look the same.

    The only other thing you'll need as far as I can tell is a method to display the portfolio items... There are hundreds of variations for doing this so again, choose the platform and do some Google searches for it.

    Taking baby steps, I'd figure out which platform you are going to use and then create one prototype website so you can figure out what you're doing. That will give you an idea of the whole project.

    Edit: On further thought I'd definitely build it in Drupal because I could create an "installation profile" with all of the modules and configuration I needed for each site and creating the blank sites would be much faster.
    Andrew Wasson | www.lunadesign.org
    Principal / Internet Development

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by elaohu
    i'm asking all these because my friends don't know how to create a website,
    and we are just making our portfolio websites.
    that's why i was saying front end editing is very important.
    Well that is much different than creating a web application to spawn other sites. That is unless you are referring to building a web application like coroflot. However, that doesn't seem the case. It sounds like you have a few friends which you have offered to build portfolio web sites. In that case I would argue that you don't need a CMS. The average portfolio site can be created without dynamic web pages. That isn't to say you couldn't use a CMS to do this. I mean you could. Though it would be much easier for someone new to the game to avoid the complexity associated with dynamic web sites and CMS packages. I don't think you need to concern yourself with inline editing. If you must use a CMS I would probably recommend Wordpress. I know awasson recommended Drupal and someone else Joomla but the learning curve on those systems is very steep. For building out some simple portfolio sites you're probably better off with something that has much less of a learning curve like Wordpress. None the less, I believe Wordpress offers the most advantages given the requirements and budget. Though professionally speaking I hate Wordpress.
    The only code I hate more than my own is everyone else's.


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