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Which content management system should I use for a school system?

Posted on 2014-10-01
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Last Modified: 2014-10-13
Hello,
     I need to find a content management system for a school system and it's different campuses.  With so many CMS systems out there I'm needing to decide on one here in the near future that will give me options for different colors and menu options based on which campus is selected.  For example, the main page you visit at xyz.com will most likely show the initial page for the board of education and should have a header with a logo at the top and a menu below it where I can link to the different sub-sites that would contain a different logo and different colors/backgrounds if possible.  obviously the body of the page would contain the content for images/videos/links etc etc.  uploading of all types of media should be supported but the main thing would be the ability to have a different color scheme, header logo image and menu for each different campus that would be determined by which campus was clicked in the menu system.  

Does anyone know of a WordPress or Drupal theme or configuration that would allow this?  Again, this would be an educational type of look...not anything commercial.

thanks!
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Question by:linuxrox
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chilternPC earned 250 total points
ID: 40355564
are you the developer for this or just want some direction for your developer?
I ask as if you don't know the CMS you choose you'll have a steep learning curve.

one set up you could use is Wordpress and multi-site configuration.

so each campus could be a separate site but all controlled from one admin

more details here:

http://codex.wordpress.org/Create_A_Network
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by:linuxrox
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I am a developer yes.  Been writing PHP for years and have written a custom CMS system for a specific business but my daily job routine doesn't involve coding much at the PHP level so I don't have time to create something like this.  Thanks and i'll have a look at that link.
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by:chilternPC
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by:Jason C. Levine
Jason C. Levine earned 250 total points
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I agree with chilternPC that WordPress in Network (aka Multi-site or MU) is probably the way forward here.  What WordPress does in Network mode is allow you to control a top-level master site (domain.edu) and also create and manage sub-sites (domain.edu/department or department.domain.edu depending on configuration).  The top level administrator still controls which themes and plugins can be used on the subsites but each subsite can have its own admins, editors, and other users and develop its own content.  If you relax restrictions a bit, you can even allow the subsite admins some leeway in adding their own plugins or theme configs.

It's not the easiest thing in the world to set up (not the hardest, either) but it's one of the best solutions outside of custom coding or paying for an enterprise solution (e.g. SharePoint) that I have ever seen.
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by:linuxrox
ID: 40359767
very awesome!  so is http://www.bbcamerica.com/ all based on wordpress multi-site?  i see that the different menu links like "earth night" and "doctor who" have different menus and backgrounds.  that's exactly what i'm looking for...not a domain based but directory based solution.  if that site is using wordpress then that is precisely what i'm needing!
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by:Jason C. Levine
ID: 40359905
It's definitely WordPress but I can't tell you if it's in network mode or something else.

You can get the exact same effect as multisite with a single admin/content team by using custom page and post templates to change headers, menus, etc depending on what page is being viewed.  The big advantage of Network mode is that you can effectively silo off each sub-site from other sub-sites and treat them as semi-independent entities.
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by:linuxrox
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Jason, that is very cool!  Do any of you know if it's possible to lets say....have different levels of administration?  like lets say i have xyz.com/teacher1 and xyz.com/teacher2.  in wordpress i would just want teacher1 to be able to edit his/her teacher page and same thing for teacher2.  basically what we want is to have different accounts setup to administrate their own school page and beyond that individual teacher pages within each school link.
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by:Jason C. Levine
ID: 40360372
Do any of you know if it's possible to lets say....have different levels of administration

Yes and no.  WordPress has roles (Authors and Contributors specifically) that can only see/affect their own content.  So if you went with a normal WordPress install and just used the built-in roles, those users would be able to manage their own Posts or Custom Post Types.  The problem with the built-in roles is that they don't extend to Pages.  Those permissions start at the Editor role and Editors can see everything from everyone.  

To be successful, you would have to throw a new set of permission-extending plugins into the mix and make pages work more like posts or declare a custom post type that more or less works like a Page.  It can get a little complicated but it's not a show-stopper.
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by:linuxrox
ID: 40365020
Gotchya Jason.  Thanks for that info there dude.  do those types of plugins exist or are you talking about developing those types of things.  I'm not too worried about the complexity of the initial groundwork involved as it won't change once it's setup.
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by:Jason C. Levine
ID: 40365069
No, they exist already but I caution you to go slowly with this and really think it through as it would be both mission-critical to your plans and hard enough to undo that I would invest time into getting it right.
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by:linuxrox
ID: 40375363
I understand.  It is possible to do a virtual machine separate from the normal working environment so at least i could maybe test out an installation before we make it go live!
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