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The Top Five PHP Content Management Systems - Page 2

by: W. Jason Gilmore
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February 18, 2010

SilverStripe

Although a relative newcomer to the CMS ecosystem, SilverStripe managed to turn quite a few heads when it was chosen to power the web site for the 2008 Democratic National Convention. The historic interest in the 2008 Presidential Campaign meant big traffic for the site, with 2.6 billion pages being served during convention week alone.
Like most of the other CMS solutions discussed in this article, the SilverStripe project is backed by a namesake corporate entity that offers a variety of design, hosting, and integration services. To learn more about what SilverStripe Ltd. has to offer, check out silverstripe.com.

Prominent SilverStripe Deployments

  • City of Melbourne Public Transport System: The City of Melbourne public transportation system web site, better known as Metlink, provides comprehensive information regarding the train, tram, and busing services in and around the Melbourne area. Complete with interactive route maps, the ability to purchase tickets, and news regarding the latest service disruptions and changes, the Metlink web site is a great example of the breadth of content management capabilities offered by SilverStripe.
Check out the SilverStripe demo.

WordPress

Originally conceived in 2003 as a blog management tool, WordPress has since become one of the most successful open source projects in the world, with an estimated 202 million WordPress-powered web sites hosted worldwide. Note the reference to 202 million web sites rather than blogs, as over the years WordPress has evolved from a blog-specific solution to one capable of managing even the most ambitious web site endeavors.
The core WordPress engine is a tad sparser than the other solutions discussed in this article, with the developers choosing to focus primarily on the key features that make any community- or team-driven web site successful. Among other features, you'll find a content commenting solution, support for user registration, the ability to manage multiple content authors, and a well-designed themes solution.
Developers seeking to go beyond the core features can browse the WordPress Plugin Directory, which as of this writing contains over 8,200 plugins capable of performing everything from basic yet useful tasks such as tracking the total number of published comments to revamping your web site's look-and-feel for viewing on the iPhone or other mobile device. Additionally, the themes directory contains more than 1,100 themes suitable for skinning everything from a user group blog to a Fortune 500 web site.
WordPress has also taken care to provide users with ample opportunities to update and manage their sites while on the go, thanks to several native mobile applications. Applications for Android, BlackBerry, and the iPhone are currently available. These mobile options alone could be enough to seal the deal with prospective clients who are concerned about their ability to monitor and manage web site content while facing hectic travel schedules.

Prominent WordPress Deployments

  • WSJ. Magazine: A sister publication of the popular newspaper daily The Wall Street Journal, WSJ. Magazine boasts a regular publication schedule, with articles often including companion videos, the familiar WordPress commenting feature, and a well-integrated set of tools for e-mailing, printing, and sharing content.
  • Tasty Kitchen: Tasty Kitchen is a very impressive community web site tracking favorite cooking recipes from members around the globe. Supporting Windows Live Login, an active member community, and an interactive recipe-preparation interface, Tasty Kitchen is a highly inspirational example of just how far WordPress can take you.
  • Mozilla Labs: The Mozilla Foundation's experimental arm uses this web site to discuss and host the experimental projects, which like Firefox and Thunderbird, just might soon find their way onto laptops around the world.

Click for larger view
Figure 3.
Tasty Kitchen Offers a Convenient Serving Size Adjustor
Check out the WordPress demo.

Where to from Here?

Clearly, PHP developers aren't left wanting when it comes to powerful CMS solutions. However, although all of the aforementioned solutions are ultimately capable of achieving the desired goal, each boasts unique advantages and features, as well as suffers unique flaws. Therefore, while I hope this overview provides you with some direction regarding which solution might be most suitable for your particular needs, I nonetheless strongly recommend taking the time to download, install, and experiment with each solution before settling upon a final decision. Further, if you need a particular feature, such as a shopping cart or forum solution, be sure to specifically investigate what each CMS solution has to offer in that regard, and check out other users' forum and blog posts to learn more about their particular experiences.

About the Author

W. Jason Gilmore is founder of EasyPHPWebsites.com. He is the author of several popular books, including "Easy PHP web sites with the Zend Framework," "Easy PayPal with PHP," and "Beginning PHP and MySQL, Third Edition." to e-mail him.

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