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Step Three: Which CMS, and what the heck is a CMS?

After I wrote the business plan, it was time to decide on a web Content Management System - a CMS.

There were several at my disposal, but I knew going into this that I would be the writer, the editor, the webmaster and technical support.

There were four that I considered, and I'll explain my choice in a moment.

  • DotNetNuke
  • Drupal
  • Joomla
  • Wordpress

Coming for a web publishing background gave me a small advantage. I knew that it had to be flexible. It had to allow future growth. It had to allow for me to put a single item on multiple pages.

I also knew that whatever choice I made would have compromises.

There is no perfect CMS, just as there is no perfect camera.

The CMS had to be flexible to allow me to create content on demand, add photos and video and publish it to different parts of the site.

In the end, I selected Drupal, and I like that it does nearly everything that I want it to do.

Where does it fall short? I would like to see it load pages quicker and not be so complicated for certain tasks.

Drupal's forum feature falls way short of such standalone programs as vBulletin, phpBB and others. By the way, I am running phpBB for my forum software. I chose it, because I can automatically install the software without having to become a certified system administrator.

It fully took me about four months to understand Drupal to the point where I could create and alter pages, sections and the various blocks of content that make up a page. Even today, there are some things that I don't understand fully.

It does what I want, and I can make changes without having to enroll in a college programming course - although maybe that wouldn't be a bad idea.