I currently maintain 3 websites all revolving around the same concept. 2 of them are WinForms applications where the website gives a few basic details, and download links. The third is a web application to query data. I also have a forum (SMF/TinyPortal) that has been serving as a tech support/news hub for the three sites. The download traffic is decent, but I don't get a lot of hits on the support forums

I want to consolidate these three entities so that I don't have to duplicate announcements, upload data library updates to multiple locations, and also provide a unified look to the sites.

Fortunately my hosting account has both .NET and PHP support, so I've been looking into Drupal, Graffiti, DotNetNuke, Joomla, Community Server, and more. However, it has been hard for me to discern between what features included, supported, or just not part of the framework whatsoever.

Does anybody have a good evaluation of these projects (and others too) and can evaluate them for features/expandability/customization/etc.? I'm not necessarily looking for a "what's your favorite" but more of a feature set / target end user type evaluation.


DotNetNuke out of the box contains a lot of features, content management, link management, documents list modules, forum modules, and items of that nature. There is also a very good third-party module and skin market out there for getting the enhancements needed to really get a full solution implemented.

With a little bit of time DNN can serve as a great foundation for a collection of websites. It also supports a multi-portal system that allows you to host more than one site off of the same code base which is very helpful.

The best part of all is that it is Free!

Mitchel Sellers

As you mentioned, there are plenty of options available, most of them have all the basic features. If you are looking for a simple setup, most may even be overkill for what you are trying to achieve. Which CMS you choose, may best depend on your preference for the programming language the CMS is using.

For some websites I maintain, I have used Typo3 ( The reason for my choice was the flexibility of Typo3, with its many (many!) plugins for all sorts of features, and for the ability to develop plugins yourself.



+1  A: 


  • very flexible
  • lots of community around it
  • community tends to be fairly technical and can be hard to find useful end-user support
  • can be difficult to upgrade and to keep current versions available
  • fairly easy to program basic modules for
  • 100s of available modules (free and pay)
  • documentation can be difficult to find and sparse in detail
  • easy to skin so your sites can have a unified look
  • 1000s of pre made skins available.

hopefully this is along the lines of what you are looking for.

Jeff Martin
Exactly the type of details I was looking for. I am marking the CMS matrix as the "answer" since it does have a decent grid. Hopefully others will follow your lead and post more answers like yourself to get a good outline.
+4  A: 

If you want to quickly compare features on CMS's, then take a look at CMS Matrix - has practically every cms known to man on there.

Edit To be a little more precise, from the site

CMSMatrix is the number one content management system comparison site on the Internet. It allows users to evaluate over 950 content management systems in 135+ different categories.

that site is generally a little out-of-date but it is a good place to start
CAD bloke

Assuming you're going open source, strong considerations are:

An active and knowledgeable community. <-- You don't want to be the only person able to support this CMS in 10 years time.

regular and simple updating techniques.

Your skill sets.

Steve Perks
+2  A: 

Go with N2 if you want to get up and running in no time with a couple of nice features packed. Also, it is really targetted against extensibility and clean code.

+2  A: 

"Open Source cms" has tons of them, and running demos with admin logins

+1  A: 
CAD bloke

As a vendor, I find CMS matrix to be daunting. Its basically a list of every CMS under the sun, with a few generic ratings and reviews. Before selecting a CMS, I'd commit to a model first, then I'd investigate the various options that are available.

  1. Open Source...has lots of user generated support, but often requires the assistance of outside developers for software maintenance and add-on installation.
  2. Private installed solutions...can be easier to work with, but lock you in to one vendor for maintenance.
  3. SaaS Model...still locks in to one vendor, but all updates are included and initial costs are minimal.
Neil Lancia