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  1. #1
    SitePoint Addict Xeliber's Avatar
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    The best CMS for community driven sites?

    I am in a middle of CMS research and testing for the community site i am about to start, but whenever i search for 'the best cms' or even 'the best community cms' i got nothing relevant. I am aware that there's no best cms, but best for your situation. However, i am still asking myself and now..yourself what is the best cms for comprehensive community building? What are your experiences and opinions.

    It's easy to put up a forum and start a community by that, but i am searching for something more around that forum. I want to provide my visitors more options than one forum can give.

    What my CMS needs is:

    - full phpbb integration
    - blogging capability
    - articles section
    - ability of exporting 'hot topics' on other pages from phpbb forums
    - polls and petitions
    - RSS news agreggator
    - great scalability for future growth (multi server setups)
    - best possible performance and speed, stability
    - very good overall reputation
    - ease of use both by admin and users

    I made the above list more on the fly, but that sums up generaly what is most important to me.

    Just to mention, i heard that drupal has some special reputation and is known by its taxonomy, but misses phpbb integration and i don't like their built in forums (newbb if i am not wrong) Also i know that mambo is by many considered the best, but i got the impression that it just isn't meant for these kinds of community driven sites. Typo3 has everything, but that everything may turn to be too much, and it's requirements are too much which may result in lower performance. As for nukes.. i don't know what to say really.. there are simply too much clones that i end up confused.. CPG nuke sounds good, PHP nuke is very popular and all have phpbb integration. Are nukes good for community driven sites?

    Please, post any experiences you may have with establishing a community with a CMS. What is/are the best CMS for community driven sites?

    Thank you very much!
    Daniel

  2. #2
    SitePoint Addict Hero Doug's Avatar
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    With the exception of a forum, this is fairly close to what you want.

    http://www.midgard-project.org/cms/

  3. #3
    SitePoint Addict Xeliber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hero Doug
    With the exception of a forum, this is fairly close to what you want.

    http://www.midgard-project.org/cms/
    Thank you Doug!

    I checked Milgard site and it surely seems to be a nice CMS, but the lack of forum integration (even any other like newbb besides phpbb) is a major thing to what i am about to start. Everything should somehow rotate around those forums and the services the site would have would be community services like blogs, article submits etc.
    Also, milgard seems to be less known, even cmsmatrix.org sites does not list it, and i am searching for a good and high reputation.

    Thank you for your effort anyhow!

    Daniel

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard subnet_rx's Avatar
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    why not just code the integration in? MX-System is phpBB integrated and there are other hacks that take posts from phpBB and put them on your main pages, so just look at the code and code it in your CMS. Or wait a while, I see so many people asking for this integration, that it will soon appear.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Member big_k105's Avatar
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    hey check out storyteller. it has integration with phpBB2, invision 1.3, vb3, vb2.2, and for one more so i think it would work pretty good. im goin to do some looking into it more and see if i would like it for my site here is the link

    http://www.esselbach.com/

    you will have to register to beable to download it but it is free to download it youhave to go into the members area good luck and if you decide to use it let us know how it works

  6. #6
    SitePoint Addict Xeliber's Avatar
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    Thank you for responding!

    As for coding the integration myself i am not that advanced user and i still don't know how to code php having troubles even with CSS. However, i saw alot of people asking for that phpbb integration so i would expect it from all 'major' cms's at least in form of some kind of module. Anyway, i am somehow starting to like this xoops newbb, it actualy is similar to phpbb. The only thing i may miss is the admin interface which is in xoops newbb forums the same as the interface for the whole cms. However, the whole Xoops looks great. Does anyone uses it for community sites? What do you think about it's scalability?

    As for storyteller, i actualy ran into it before and checking it out again now i must say it looks promising and your site runs the speed of light. Also the forums seem nice. I will save the homepage for reference. Thank you for mentioning it big_k.

    More closely looking, the site i am about to develop would actualy be a combination between a community portal, forums and blog enabling users to not only discuss, but to write blogs, articles, read and even submit news.. Shortly said, i want to provide them every communication, information sharing ability possible. And i want users to be my editors and publishers also.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard subnet_rx's Avatar
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    My team site uses Xoops I like it so far.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Member big_k105's Avatar
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    xeliber, could you let us know how well storyteller intergrated with your site as i am working on it but having gotten working like i would have like to thanks
    that is if you go with storyteller

  9. #9
    SitePoint Addict Xeliber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_k105
    xeliber, could you let us know how well storyteller intergrated with your site as i am working on it but having gotten working like i would have like to thanks
    that is if you go with storyteller
    Hah, big K, i am not still sure for any cms and while storyteller seems nice i just don't like the idea of it having it's commercial version that is more advanced than this free version, and since the site i am starting is heavily open source advocating site, a future community (with any luck and much work) i would want to go with a full open source cms. I am sorry to dissapoint you big_k if i made you anyhow think i am going with storyteller, but that's just my elimination and choice game (whatever it's called). But thanks for mentioning it.

    One more thing i'd like to add is search engine friendly URL's which are very important for getting all of our pages indexed by google. I saw xoops fails this test on it's own, you have to install a hack that i found to do the job. Any experiences?

    Thank you!

  10. #10
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Here's a new one I've been looking at http://www.subdreamer.com/

  11. #11
    SitePoint Member big_k105's Avatar
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    no problem as i have given up on looking into it as the free version doesnt integrate well

    Subdreamer is looking pretty promising to me i mite have to give it a try it seems to integrate well
    and it only costs 35 bucks which is pretty damn cheap for unlimited use but it still means they are charging for it

  12. #12
    SitePoint Addict Xeliber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_k105
    no problem as i have given up on looking into it as the free version doesnt integrate well

    Subdreamer is looking pretty promising to me i mite have to give it a try it seems to integrate well
    and it only costs 35 bucks which is pretty damn cheap for unlimited use but it still means they are charging for it
    Yeah! I ran into subdreamer before, i remember now when i visited their site. But i am definitely no accepting anything that isn't open source, even if i would be ready to pay some money it is just not right for me to power my open source related site with non-open source system. That is just not an option!

    But thanks Billiousness for response!

    I may post a probably final list of all features i need so that any experienced knowledgeable mind outhere can shout out if they know exactly what i am looking for. If i don't find it myself.
    For now, xoops seems like the best choice, but i only mind it being originaly search engine unfriendly as i said before and that is a major issue. The only salvation to that would be the performance of this hack that is meant to make it engine friendly!

    Daniel

  13. #13
    SitePoint Member big_k105's Avatar
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    here is a list of open source cms i dont know if any of them integrate with phpbb but you can check
    http://www.oscom.org/matrix/index.html

  14. #14
    SitePoint Addict Xeliber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_k105
    here is a list of open source cms i dont know if any of them integrate with phpbb but you can check
    http://www.oscom.org/matrix/index.html
    Thank you big_K, i am on it!
    ---------------------------------
    Also, here is the full list of needed features, maybe i am a little too requiering, but hey, maybe there is something to fulfill all those needs, and maybe you are the one to know just about that one (so i remember you)!

    Here it is:

    FORUMS (preferably integrate PHPBB or at least some alike, with the same or similar features)
    'HOT TOPICS' FROM FORUMS, BLOGS, ARTICLES (CHOSEN TITLES)
    ARTICLES (with rating ability, commenting system, signature and ability to turn off/on those options for each article posted)
    MULTIPLE BLOGS (with rating and maybe commenting system)
    NEWS (with commenting)
    RSS CAPABILITY (get's fed from multiple sources, total control)
    FAQ
    POLLS
    PETITIONING CAPABILITY ( if possible, we need ability to create petitions by signatures))
    LINKS (prefferably with rating ability)
    DOWNLOADS (prefferably with rating too)
    SEARCH ENGINE (and search box )
    'HOT TOPICS' FROM FORUMS, BLOGS, ARTICLES (CHOSEN TITLES)
    SEARCH ENGINE FRIENDLY URL's
    EASY TEMPLATING AND SKINNING SYSTEM (wysiwyg if possible )
    STABLE, FAST, RELIABLE
    GOOD OVERALL REPUTATION
    GREAT COMMUNITY, SUPPORT AND DOCUMENTATION

    That should be all!

    Now, i am gonna research all of the interesting systems and one must meet these demands! If you already know it, save me!

    Thank you very much!

    Daniel

  15. #15
    SitePoint Addict Hero Doug's Avatar
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  16. #16
    Are You There? KDesigns's Avatar
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    Not to hot on Xoops. It's a good script but I think it's kinda buggy. Have you tried Mambo? Can't remember if that has the forum mod or not?

    Xoops is definitley good for that though... modules.
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  17. #17
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    The thing I like about drupal is that it seems to have a well laid out modular design.
    It has many of the features you need and it has a number of submitted modules for extra functionality.

    Your needs are pretty diverse, so I imagine whatever solution you go for you will have to get some modifications done.

    If your site is new, phpbb integration may not be as important. You can choose a system which has A forum module/capability and use this because it will be naturally integrated with other parts.

  18. #18
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Let's see... I'd say that phpBB would be a very good choice. It can do all of what you want (if you modify it a bit - and believe me, it's a breeze to modify compared to some other systems). For phpBB, ezPortal is probably the quickest and most adaptable solution. ( http://smartor.is-root.com/ ) Articles might be a little tough to pull off.

    Drupal could also do everything you want, but it's very hard to modify, a little buggy, and somewhat difficult on the user side. It can, however, handle forums, user blogs, rss feeds, and articles natively.

  19. #19
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    This is a great resource for CMS. They've set them all up and let you play with them.

    http://www.opensourcecms.com/

    Hope that helps.

  20. #20
    Custom User Text tonyskyday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by virtuaffinity
    This is a great resource for CMS. They've set them all up and let you play with them.

    http://www.opensourcecms.com/

    Hope that helps.
    And they use Mambo for their own site.

    Mambo can do everything on your list, though not straight out-of-the-box, as the developers keep the system fairly lean (read "not bloated").

    There are two fully integrated forum options (SimpleBoard and LoudMouth are their names), a phpBB integration component, and a beta version of SMF integration which seems to be going well.

    -Tony

  21. #21
    SitePoint Zealot patrikG's Avatar
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    Mambo is very easy to set up, change, update, upgrade and maintain in general. There are plug-ins (they call them "components" or "modules") which allow you to update your site via email. Multiple server admin is, I think possible - I remember seeing it something about it on their site.

    http://www.mamboserver.com/

  22. #22
    SitePoint Wizard Rick's Avatar
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    The best phpBB intergration into a CMS I have seen has been phpBB ported into phpNuke...

    Another way to go would be to use phpBB as your CMS.

    I've used phpBB and creative use of the templates system and permissons system (i.e. to stop your 'content areas' displaying as forums, stop random users posting to the front page etc etc) to provide a full CMS before - if done well the articles / blog side of things can appear totally seperate from your forum despite being part of the same install.

    I went down this route because it seemed the best way to have the login system, permissons system, Private messages system etc all seamlesly intergrated.

    Be warned though - it involves writing an alarming number of MySQL join queries (something i hate at the best of times)

    The site I did the phpBB mod for is long gone unfortunatly (was a bit of a one off for the origanal series of the Big Brother TV show in the UK) but I'm planning to do this again for a Theatre realated site i'm working on at the moment - although i'm waiting for a stable release of phpBB2.2...
    Rick

  23. #23
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    Some pointers or suggestions here would be good.

    I've always come to the point that using phpBB as CMS would be great. However, the fact that I will be customizing it so much, to make it very CMS-like and to the way I like it might be a trouble when it comes to new releases of phpBB (thus wanting to update it?).

    I haven't looking around for a long time now, but I guess here's a good place to start. I've been thinking of doing some new projects lately, but kinda still in the "research" process, trying put everything in place before starting off anything.

    Anyway, again, some comments or suggestions would be helpful. Thanks.
    signature goes here..

  24. #24
    SitePoint Addict Xeliber's Avatar
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    Hi!

    Thank you people for a good response!

    This choosing the right CMS game is tricky and whichever you finaly choose it wouldn't cover all of your needs perfectly and just the way you want it.

    BUT, after some snooping around and testing i always somehow came back to XOOPS. However, their newbb and lack of real phpbb integration always turned me down, until i discovered that there actualy is a module that allows phpbb integration and people say that it works really fine. I checked sites that had that kind of integration and i was impressed because it indeed works very fine.

    That's why i finaly decided to go with xoops. It may not be the perfect option, but then again there are no any perfect options and with xoops, you can always find a workaround since there are alot of useful modules and hacks and the community is very high responsive. I can get an answer to any of my questions in minutes.
    Funny thing is that after some testing on my site and asking about phpbb integration on their forums, i got convienced to use newbb instead since that is more stable option and there is a new and highly improved version coming out soon as i heard so i may actualy regret going with phpbb if it turns out newbb was a better option. However, both possibilities are open.

    I can say that except petitions, all of requirements i listed there are fullfilled with xoops or can be easily added by modules and hacks. For petitions i may just open a back-end subsite meant just for petitions and the problem would be solved.

    Thanks again for your response and help!
    Daniel

  25. #25
    SitePoint Wizard Rick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by enzy
    I've always come to the point that using phpBB as CMS would be great. However, the fact that I will be customizing it so much, to make it very CMS-like and to the way I like it might be a trouble when it comes to new releases of phpBB (thus wanting to update it?).
    Well the way i did it didn't actually need modifying the phpbb code very much at all - other than the hacks i added for the forums.

    I wrote a set of templates to use for the site, and then wrote some php scripts that included the phpBB files and used the phpBB functions to get the required data from the database and output it into the templates, as well as putting in the usual features like logins, posting (for comments) etc from phpBB. this just ran along side the main phpBB installation.

    To upgrade phpBB would just need you to update the phpBB files and keep an eye out for any changes to the structure / functions your using in your site.

    There is also an articles hack for phpBB that allows you to put an articles / content section into your phpBB installation. I think it's here: http://phpbbhacks.com/download/1237

    At the moment i'm keeping an eye on wordpress - if a way to run multiple blogs in the same installation appears, & the ability to use the log in system to allow people to log in and comment / post a new story, it would be very feasable to use this as a forums system. Would only really need some creative templating to work as well. Not as feature rich as phpBB would be, but you'd have the simplicity and elegance of wordpress on your side
    Rick


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