Open source CMSes prove well worth the price
We look at five free offerings boasting solid Web publishing features that challenge their commercial competitors
Stepping back and looking ahead
After my intensive test schedule with these five products, there were a few surprises along with verification of what I generally suspected all along.
The lightweight Drupal has a decent following and special features, such as taxonomies, but comparatively weaker CMS functions (lacking rich-text editing, for example) and a somewhat unfriendly development environment mean Durpal is playing catch-up. Joomla, after breaking from Mambo, swept up many core developers and swayed community members to switch, too. Collectively, they've turned Joomla into a very relevant project. With improvements planned for Version 1.5, I'm optimistic about this CMS.
DotNetNuke (the .Net reincarnation of PHPnuke) wasn't originally on my short list, but I'm glad I reconsidered. Although it's Windows-only, this ASP.Net application proved scalable and has a real affinity for handling midrange commerce activities. Plone is a step above, combining multilingual features, workflow, and automated navigation.
With a strong organization behind it and a slew of features, Alfresco's Community Edition stood out in this comparison. That would be true solely considering its content management, but as these applications branch out into document and records management, Alfresco has already staked a claim in the extended ECM space.