Content Management Systems

  Donna C 12:27 30 Nov 2006


I was wondering if anyone could recommend a good Content management system that i could use to create a new local government website? I work for a town council and their current site is out of date and not very accessible.

There is a tight budget for this project and whilst i have asked for quotes from a few local web design companies i fear they may be too expensive.

My main requirements are:
- A system that is not too technical as i do not know much about webdesign
- A system geared towards producing medium/large websites (we have quite a lot of info to go on)
- one that is easy to use with good functionality
- ideally one that will sort out the domain name etc for me
- one where i can try out a free demo before i buy.
- A system that addresses web accesibility requirements.

There will be no e-commerce on the site. Ideally the system will be suited to local government websites.

As there are so many systems out there i thought it was best to go on recommendations so your suggestions would be very helpful.


  tomleady 13:30 30 Nov 2006

mamboserver is meant to be pretty good. And it's free.

I can't say for certain if it will meet you needs, but it's a start :)

  Donna C 13:48 30 Nov 2006

Ok, thanks to both of you for the recommendations that's really helpful. I will check those out and see how i get on.

  JJCUK 15:12 30 Nov 2006

plenty info on the net about this

cms comparisons

click here

click here

  phil 19:32 30 Nov 2006

I had a bash at this one click here the other day after trying countless, complicated, others. Its a cinch to install but sadly I couldn't run it because of the lack of space on my database (20mbs)

I already have a massive message board on there and have only 8mb left.

It needs 16mbs to run, allowing future proofing as it fills up, so could be worth looking at.

  PurplePenny 21:46 30 Nov 2006

APLAWS was specifically developed for UK local e-government:
click here

The official UK e-government web site uses Voice:
click here

  PurplePenny 21:50 30 Nov 2006

There is info on registering a domain on the Cabinet Office's e-Government Unit site:
click here

  Donna C 09:40 01 Dec 2006

Your suggestions are much appreciated. I think i have a lot to learn as i was sturggling to understand a lot of the Demos of the various systems yesterday!

I think i am getting to grips with CMS made simple.

Penny - good to find some systems that are ideal for .gov sites, will have a play with these.

I am doing a school website as a voluntary learning exercise and for this I have used Dreamweaver and the client 'CMS' Contribute. At the early stages but seems to work fairly well.

Next I have offered to have a go at a local charity's website and now looking for a server side CMS solution. Not being an experienced web designer (and as I'm on my own need to ramp up on all technologies at once!) it is somewhat daunting. One thing you must study well is accessibility guidelines from the (WCAG) - but I guess you have already seen the advice on government sites about gov. website reqs. Friends-of-ed do a book which I have purchased.

One suggestion was to use Wordpress and I am looking into whether this blogging tool can be used for a traditional looking site.

It looks as if you and I are running on similar lines. Is there a way of direct contact for exchange of views as we go along? I think if you put an email address on these pages the webmaster zaps them. Anyway, barley(fullstop)twist2(commercialATsymbol)btinternet(fullstop)com - I think you should be able to correct this one!

I am looking at Drupal and Wordpress at the moment. I hear that Drupal is not suitable for a website run on a shared hosting arrangement (only a dedicated server).

Would Wordpress have the same problem?

Where are the blogs on this?

What a waste if you did all the work and fall at the last post!

  matto 11:41 02 Dec 2006

Hi, you'll have no problem with Wordpress (click here) running on a shared server, or even a shared mysql database. It's not a demanding platform at all and will install in a few very simple steps.

WP is a content management system, although it started as a blogging tool and that's where it's heart still lies. It's certainly not as suitable for local gov sites as, say PP's suggestions or even my fave, ezPublish, but that's in part due to security but also because there are some good products specifically geared towards that use. Also, many agencies must use specific systems to qualify for support or shared resources.

In order to increase the sophistication of WP, you'll need to add plugins or code your own changes. Most users won't need find this a problem as there is plenty of choice and a very active support/plugins community. Some of the plugins can bloat the site and increase download times, others are written and not supported. It's a bit of trial and error when you first start to see what you actually need, if anything.

As with any project, it's wise to list the way users will need to use the system. For Donna's question it's likely going to be a more full-featured CMS, for cantthink's, WP seems to be superb.

Matto (click here)

Let us know how you get on.


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