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What Website CMS / PHP Framework would you recommend for active B2B company website?

Posted on 2010-03-23
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I am looking for advice on PHP website content management systems and PHP web frameworks for use with an active B2B company website.  We create a fair amount of web content for a company website and aim to push the edge on how we leverage our website (lead generation, social media integration, blogs, resources such as whitepapers/etc, online video, photos, email marketing, ppc, seo, mobile friendly, etc, etc).

The current site:
* On LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) framework using subversion
* Has a custom built CMS for a few sections of the website (about 25%)
* So, about 75% of the site content is managed through one person, creating a bottleneck
* Has information available behind a cookied-form wall (provide your info and access our whitepapers, etc.)

What I am looking for:
* Stay with LAMP, MVC
* Site managed by intermediate PHP web developer
* Ability for many non-technical people to edit website content, with varying access privileges
* Move well beyond a brochure website and become more a part of the conversation within the industry
* Social media friendly (hooks/integrations)
* Ability to revert to a previous content version if we have an issue
* Integration with solutions like Salesforce.com and Eloqua
* Ability to reskin and change layout without moving platforms -- change the view
* Ideal combination between flexibility and having enough framework to save time and enable content updates by non-technical staff
* Flexible enough to allow active marketing and product marketing teams feel like they can do what they want (within reason) with the website
* Basically I am looking to push the limits of what a B2B company website is, without having to funnel all web changes through a few people.  Our mindset is closer to the perspective of: If it is possible, we want to try it (pave the way on the web, for a company website).

At present I am looking at: Drupal, CodeIgnitor, Zend.  However, your new ideas or reinforcement of this direction would be great.

Key questions I have:
* What web framework/CMS solution(s) would you recommend?  Why?
* What key factors should I consider when weighing my options?
* What mistakes should I avoid? (within scope; more emphasis on the first two items since this list could get long)

Thanks!
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Question by:pingbat
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joomla_php earned 1336 total points
ID: 28385246
HI - Joomla along with some of its extensions can do most of what you require. I don't know about Salesforce. JAcl and Juga are great for extending and limiting roles and privileges. Docman or one of its competitors is great for the white papers. I did a nice client-access-area with Docman for a site that sells its info for very big $ to its clients.

* Stay with LAMP, MVC - check, check

* Site managed by intermediate PHP web developer - check or even less talent for many items you need a good secretary/administrator (not system administrator)

* Ability for many non-technical people to edit website content, with varying access privileges - check

* Move well beyond a brochure website and become more a part of the conversation within the industry - depending on the type of conversation you want you can add chat, video, social networking "friending," forums...  See community builder and Jom Social.


* Social media friendly (hooks/integrations) - check. I'm building a pay per view video and audio site right now that requires some thought, but public video streamed locally or from any content provider is very easy. See All Videos Reloaded.

* Ability to revert to a previous content version if we have an issue - check though this is very much a procedural issue and not an automatic outcome of a simple installation. You have to make sure your file and database backups make sense for this goal

* Integration with solutions like Salesforce.com and Eloqua - not sure

* Ability to reskin and change layout without moving platforms -- change the view - check

* Ideal combination between flexibility and having enough framework to save time and enable content updates by non-technical staff - check

* Flexible enough to allow active marketing and product marketing teams feel like they can do what they want (within reason) with the website - that depends on their computer comfort. My clients all do their own marketing and many are computer phobic. It's a very bad combination. Those of us comfortable with photoshop and setting up banner advertising scripts take for granted how hard these skills are to attain without help or context

* Basically I am looking to push the limits of what a B2B company website is, without having to funnel all web changes through a few people.  Our mindset is closer to the perspective of: If it is possible, we want to try it (pave the way on the web, for a company website). - check, Joomla is one of the largest communities in this area

At present I am looking at: Drupal, CodeIgnitor, Zend.  However, your new ideas or reinforcement of this direction would be great. - Drupal is an excellent contender. The Joomla - Drupal question is very much a question of taste. Codeignitor and zend will not get you near as far without a lot more custom code than you need to build.



Key questions I have:
* What web framework/CMS solution(s) would you recommend?  Why?
* What key factors should I consider when weighing my options?
* What mistakes should I avoid? (within scope; more emphasis on the first two items since this list could get lo
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by:joomla_php
joomla_php earned 1336 total points
ID: 28385515
Sorry i hit submit before I was done

I'd go with a CMS over a framework, i..e., a CMS built on top of a framework.

Drupal is definitely a contender. I just don't know it to tell you its good points but I know people love it.

factors to consider - who is your audience?

What content needs do they have?

Who will maintain the "roles" and their rights?

Will you have people adding entire menus of navigation (delegate this up the technical ladder, don't let users do this part).

 Content is one thing for users to glom onto - easy. But features (aka modules and plugins in joomla) will require some one on one training so people understand the joomla way of doing things. It's not that hard once you get it but it's impossible until you dig your head into really hard OR someone shows you.

Do you need a content chain of approval?

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by:lazysheepmedia
ID: 28961206
I read your question and as I read through it I had Joomla in mind. With every requirement Joomla was satisfying it everytime - I would go with Joomla every time

* What web framework/CMS solution(s) would you recommend?  Why?

Because it has thousands of components so you are sure to find what you are looking for

* What key factors should I consider when weighing my options?

ease of use along with time and money saving options

* What mistakes should I avoid? (within scope; more emphasis on the first two items since this list could get long)

Joomla's community will help you avoid all the basic setup errors and use.

Hope this helps

Mark
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by:pingbat
ID: 29365455
Some good stuff on Joomla.  Wondering if there is any Drupal or Zend/CodeIgnitor feedback out there.
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by:silvera21
ID: 32678813
Drupal is good, but it is very expansive and powerful. There are a ton of modules you can choose from to customize. As with any systems that can do a lot, it can be harder to work with than smaller systems.

I looked at Joomla a long time ago, and I didn't like it, but it was several years ago, so I don't know how it has changed.

So, I would look at the content contributor interface for both. The simplest and easier user interface is the one that I would go with. I have worked with a TON of CMS's in a variety of industries and the ease of use for the content editor is almost always what determines the success of the system. For this reason I prefer wordpress on smaller sites. Actually, wordpress can do most of what you are after - not sure on the salesforce bit though.
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by:lenamtl
ID: 33368071
I recommend Expression Engine http://expressionengine.com for a CMS it is based on CodeIgniter http://codeigniter.com framework.
This is flexible, easy to use and code is clean and secure.

Otherwise you could create your own application that will suit all your specific needs using PHP & MySQL
or if you want a secure base Codeigniter framework is a very good choice.

I don't recoomand Joomla there is a lot of security issue, lot of update maintenance to do... but the good thing they have plenty of component and very good support forum.

Good luck!
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by:birwin
ID: 33449350

Most hosts have a few CMS that they will install for you for free. If you are dealing with a smaller host, that offers some management, then ask them which CMS they use the most and which one they are most familiar with.
If your host can help you when you run into problems of a particular CMS, then that is the one you should use.

All are quite good, but the ease of support for some is better than with others. Joomla seems to have the most active new user base and most hosts offer to automatically install it for free.
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by:Mark Gilbert
ID: 35221467
Personally speaking Joomla can prove clunky at times. But remember, that's just my personal opinion. I would recommend Wordpress. It's well supported, installs on most hosts, has a lowish overhead, and isn't resource hungry like Drupal. I've found that hitting the ground running with Wordpress, plugins and custom templates produces the results that I need every time. Hope this helps.
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by:p_nuts
ID: 35349027

To be honest.. I would find a good local company that handles setup and hosting for you.. if you trust them use whatever method they are using.. Joomla / Wordpress

LAMP is always a good way to go.. but i'm not against Ruby either..

Frameworks are good and fun when you are a developer.. but your more looking at a functional application rather than a development platform.

We've had a good relationship with a provider here.. and they switched to ruby for certain applications as they were 100% custom and ruby would make development faster and thus cheaper whilst they could ensure the stability ..

 I always have the default cms route for normal projects (this sounds like normal website with some enhancements to me) for most of my clients..

and start to deviate only when it's necessary.. (and usually it isn't)
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by:yesboss
ID: 38508779
wordpress.
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by:Mark Gilbert
Mark Gilbert earned 664 total points
ID: 38511458
Yikes guys, a lot of mentions of Joomla. The following page gives a good comparison of joomla vs drupal vs wordpress. http://cms.about.com/od/cms-basics/a/Pros-And-Cons-Of-Joomla-Wordpress-And-Drupal.htm

wordpress is the easiest CMS system to use out of the box. It's learning curve is very shallow. second in line would be Joomla--talking from experience though Joomla is clunky, and customizing takes a while. It's would be second in the learning curve. Drupal is a beast with the steepest learning curve.

Nice to see the mention of Zend Framework. ZF has a lot going for it, however it still has it's own quirks. It's best ran on a Zend Server so you can get indepth debugging information, and the Zend IDE plugs in really well. Again though fairly steepish learning curve.

If you want to build an application from scratch but using a framework then use CakePHP. Cake can help you bake all the CRUD code you need, leaving you to then customize behavior, but then again it's down to personal preference.

If you need a cms and want to hit the ground running: wordpress. If you want a massive application that will last for a few years, and you can afford a few really good developers go with Drupal.

Stay away from joomla. All Joomla sites look like joomla sites (and this includes mambo). It's learning curve is steeper than wordpress but isn't as flexible as wordpress.
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by:lenamtl
ID: 38571968
Any news?
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by:Tocacar
ID: 39345417
This question has been classified as abandoned and is closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See the recommendation for more details.
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