Bedno.com Andrew  Do  See
CMS Review
Review of Website Content Management Systems
NOTE: This should be considered archival, pre-dating major new primaries which emerged such as Drupal, Joomla, Ning, ...

This is a review of two of the most significant Website Content Management Systems commonly available today.
I've downloaded and reviewed "PHP Nuke" ("Nuke" - phpnuke.org) and "MovableType" ("MT" - movabletype.org).

MT is written in object oriented Perl with a high degree of technical excellence and a design philosophy. The downside is that content must be shoe-horned into its elegant format. There is no real photo gallery feature because as a simple system it doesn't include a thumbnailed tabular gallery format or similar. That's why MT users do photo galleries with the fully zoomed images right up front. This may eventually change.

Nuke is in PHP, which I love, but it's not necessarily better then the best Perl, and may have a slightly higher hacking risk. Nuke is heavy-duty and capable, well supported, and probably the best free CM system available, competing with the likes of proprietary commercial ASP systems. It is the most likely solution for getting every possible feature (backup/restore, e-commerce, games, ...), and for comprehensive and well integrated administration capabilities.

MT probably has more users, but this may be due largely to a lean install process. Both have some degree of top-level formatting inflexibility, but adequate defaults and samples. MT has integrated XML (not sure about Nuke), Nuke probably offers better mobile extensibility. Bottom lines, I'd recommend MT to advanced individuals, and Nuke for commercial sites.

Several other solutions are worth consideration, possibly as a later review.
Forum engine based systems: phpbb, phorum, vbullentin, etc. Best possible community features, can accomplish photo galleries similarly to MT. Simplest maintenance.
Site builder type systems: Comprehensive but simple web-based maintenance tool suite, as made available by some ISPs, check SourceForge.
ASP: MicroSoft advanced site maintenance tools such as FrontPage and VB.net.

2003.09.29