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Chris Ward
Chris Ward
12,129 Points

Any advice on selecting a website content management system?

I was wondering if anyone has a guide to selecting a website content management system. I've searched Google for this information, but everything that comes up there just feels like an ad...therefore, I DO NOT trust that information.

The website I am currently designing has complex needs. I don't think WordPress is robust enough to handle all of the needs. I need to be able to use a wide variety of media. I need to be able to vary formatting a lot from one portion of the site to another. The site needs to be able to incorporate many different CSS designs without issue.

Does anyone have some guidance on this issue?

Thanks again, Chris Ward

2 Answers

As much as I agree with James's Answer I would like to add the following.

Yes wordpress is a solid robust cms. But it has never been my first choice for any project. The process from customizing the backend, to installing all the widgets and then building the front end seems a bit backwards.

My advice would be heavily reliant on your programming language bias. But here are some things to consider.

Django the python framework is amazing, fast, extendable and fun to work with. It has a cms built on it and you can use it as a module in your application.

Keystone.js is a great basic cms in node. Very versatile as it's minimal and allows you more control.

My advice is as follows. very few clients need just a cms. More so these days people want to be able to do business online and get things done. This requires a different approach than that of wordpress.

I would look into django or keystone. Maybe any other model driven development frameworks. Those help you setup a very complex backend fast with a few lines of code. Those frameworks have great support and communities around them.

This is where the Web is going. Apis all the way.

Hope this helps, feel free to contact me with your project details for specific advice.


Chris Ward
Chris Ward
12,129 Points


Thanks for your suggestions. I'll be checking them out shortly. The only two real requirements I have here are being able to support a wide variety of media types and being able to apply many different types of styling to different pages. I'm kind of combining many different types of ideas, but into just one site. Now, if you want an example of a site that does something similar to this, I would recommend looking at cheezburger.com. However, I do NOT like the type of CMS they are using. It is too plain and won't allow each portion (subdomain) to stand out in its own way.

Other people have suggested WordPress to me, and while there is one site I am working on with needs simple enough to be met by WordPress, I don't feel it is the right or even good choice for this current site.



It seems to me that your core issue is with the ability to style and lay your content out the way you want. So you should look at something that is decoupled from the front end. Wordpress has the ability to manage very complex websites, but the ramp up effort to get something like that off the ground is big. Also because of it's themes and templates it's less decoupled from the frontend as others maybe.

While doing more research after I answered your question I've rounded up those three.




Those are my top choices for a data driven website with a big need for a CRUD interface. Django allows you to couple it with any frontend framework or templating engine you like. Keystone is a very simple robust and solid, ships out with bootstrap on both ends for the ui and after a bit of work you can strip bootstrap and replace it if you like, runs handlebars nicely. Locomotive is new to me but it allows you a lot of control, also being a rails module makes it easy to extend and expand to a bigger platform later.

Hope this helps you.


James Copeland
James Copeland
12,550 Points

Hey Chris, if WordPress isn't robust enough for you with the huge amounts of plugins/themes/customizations available, you're probably going to have to forego a content management system and develop your own solution from scratch.

As far as CMSes go, there simply isn't anything that is as versatile as Wordpress, mostly thanks to the vast amount of user created customizations available. There are certain other CMSes that are more robust when it comes to excelling at specific things (Magento for e-commerce for example), though WordPress is still king when it comes to a versatile, multipurpose CMS (it can be used for blogging, e-commerce, pretty much anything).

If you can provide more information about what you're trying to accomplish, perhaps another user or myself can recommend a CMS best suited for your specific situation.