I'm trying to find a decent (ie cheap / free) .NET content management system. DotNetNuke is not an option as far as I am concerned.

Wish list:

  1. Works out of the box
  2. Easy to install
  3. Simple clean interface
  4. Skinable / template driven
  5. Free or cheap
  6. Open source preferred

Or is is just better to PHP for this kind of thing? If so, what should I be checking out?

Thanks :D

+8  A: 

I don't think you can beat DotNetNuke.

It ticks all of the boxes you mentioned - why is it not an option?

I too highly recommend DotNetNuke, it might take a little getting used to but it is powerful and the price is right.
Mitchel Sellers
I used an early incarnation and found it to be pretty unusable, maybe it has improved....
I have no experience with the other suggestions but I have found DNN easy to use our of the box and easy to extend as well. My opinion but if you are going to compare various systems then I would not discount DNN.
I think you should reconsider DotNetNuke. It has made huge strides with each new release and there's a module out there for just about anything not already "in the box" for relatively cheap.
I will second the recommendation you take another look. They have consistently made large improvements on each major version and it might be a lot different than you remember. Cool fact (as I've been told): When DNN needs to test, MS shares test labs and people so DNN can make big improvements.
Chris Porter
+1  A: 

I really like joomla (

It's written in PHP.

Why are you voting this down? He also asked for alternatives in PHP.
As a followup, I took a look at Joomla! and I'm pretty impressed. It may not do as much straight out of the box as DNN but there are so many extensions for Joomla it looks like it can turn it's hand to almost anything. Upvoting!
+3  A: 

Graffiti CMS is simple and relatively cheap, based on your needs. It's written in .NET as well.

I'm with you on DotNetNuke, steer clear of that mess.



Having worked with DotNetNuke and Drupal. If you have the time - go with Drupal. The learning curve is on the steep side but in the end you get a clean looking site accompanied with clean code.

+2  A: 


Or look at this list.

Marcin K

You might check this post and this post for answers to similar questions about CMS options.

+1  A: 

You might give Telerik's Sitefinity ASP.NET CMS a quick look. It isn't open source but it is pretty cheap. The community version is free & fully functional; although it does display a "Powered by Sitefinity" logo.

Sitefinity is really easy to customize & extend using normal ASP.NET technologies. For example, normal UserControls become web-based drag & drop tools in Sitefinity. You can visually style Sitefinity using normal Master Templates and Themes.

Best of luck!


I did not yet have the time to check it out, but is on my list. It's not open source, but free.



I had to turn down .net nuke when it came to hosting it. It has problems working with the Medium Trust permissions level. Apart from that, it still has a few downsides - such as one when you have to restore the installation from a backup it fails at any time. Joomla is much easier, simpler and friendlier CMS but written in php. Would be nice to get a .net based cms similar to Joomla. Anyone knows of such?

Nikolay Has a fairly good list, along with hints on finding more answers to the same question...
Zhaph - Ben Duguid

AxCMS is open source if you check it out properly.



Ed Bishop

All I could advise would be to definitely not use Umbraco, at least the version. The user interface is horrible and unless you pay for Courier, development -> testing -> production is an insanely painful process.

Recently, I've also come across many problems with the DB becoming corrupt when updating master pages and CSS.

I wish I could suggest a better open source alternative, but as yet, none of the .Net CMS's really seems to stand out.