Blog CMS Searching. Again.

I’m now in the process of leaving WordPress (gasp!), and searching for an alternative Blog CMS. I wanted to be more topic-focused with my blog/s, and WordPress cannot satisfy my two conditions:

  • To create custom themes for each blog category; or,
  • To easily administer multiple blogs in one installation.

I’ve dumped the first condition, on the fact that I have too many mixed categoried posts already. For the second, there is WordPress Multiuser Edition (WPMU), but theme support, and decent documentation is so lacking, I’d rather not bother.

So far, here are options I’ve tested:

Nucleushttp://www.nucleuscms.org/

PROS: Good enough admin interface, pretty blog skins
CONS: A bit heavy on space. Skins are usually half-a-meg in size.

BoastMachinehttp://www.boastology.com/

PROS: Lightweight, built-in features such as spam filters, IP blocker, shoutbox
CONS: Limited templates, users/support. Newly created blogs will follow a global template/skin.

Drupalhttp://www.drupal.org

PROS: N/A
CONS: In this day and age, I find it troublesome already to get into phpmyadmin to manually create a user and a database for a script, but that’s forgivable. Drupal requires you to do that, as well as to run a bunch of sql commands to set the tables. The much coveted multi-blog setup? The instructions go for more than six paragraphs, just on that topic. Pass!

There are proabably a handful more of CMS’s to test, but for now, I’m favoring Nucleus. If you can suggest any Blog CMS that meets my conditions, feel free to comment. Oh, I’m not so keen on importing entries from WordPress, since I’d like to start fresh 🙂

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  • I contemplated about this building the cms for my site. My first version actually I was managing two blogs seemlessly. Then I remove that functionality… But now I’m really considering to implement it again… but this time I’ll probably put a ‘filter’ switch… where the blog can easily transform not only on skins but on content.

  • Have you checked out multi-user WordPress? I’ve worked with Nucleus before … some three years ago (when WordPress was just starting out, and b2 wasn’t completely dead), and even then it was great to work with.

  • Diong: Hope you’d put it out for public release when it’s done 🙂

    vern: I ‘tried’ WP-mu. Nucleus has been kind to me for past two days, so I might really stick with it.

    I failed to mention b2evolution in my post, but disregarded it from the onset since the script was a whopping 2++ megs.

  • Fleeb

    Try b2evolution. It has support for multiple blogs and I think each blog has its own skin. It’s also based on b2 so you got almost the same basecode as wordpress. I am not sure though if you can easily port WP skins to b2Evo. I’m also doing my own CMS for personal use, such that it would also serve as my portfolio 😀

  • Doing got a nice CMS application usin JAVA. I guess no one really pushes textpattern except me.

  • I’m a Java Enterprise (Java EE) developer… but I don’t recommend those stuff unless you have a dedicated server.

  • Migs: Sorry, what stuff again you don’t recommend? My hosting service is Kattare and not on a dedicated server… but the package that I got allows me to start and stop my own private Tomcat JVM instance.

  • bit

    May I suggest Textpattern (http://textpattern.com/)? TXP rocks. Right, jolo? 🙂

    TXP would easily meet your first requirement. It doesn’t have actual multiple blog functionality but with the right settings, the right plugins, and maybe some tweaking with htaccess (if the multiple blogs were on different domains), you could make it work.

    And with regards to J2EE, I haven’t had much first-hand experience with it, but I believe that unless you have something big and relatively complex, a Java solution isn’t necessary (although it would be rather cool).

  • Perhaps you shouldn’t limit yourself to blog-focused CMS software. You have already listed Drupal and software like Drupal, or Xoops, or PHPWebsite will no doubt scale better and have more features than blog-focused software.

  • I was just surfing around, check Serendipity at http://www.s9y.org/. It seems to have multi-user capability.

  • I guess a private JVM is OK, but the sysad in me wants full control of the server. I haven’t tried Kattare or similar systems, so I don’t know how much you can tweak the Tomcat configuration. And, Java hosting or virtual private servers with enough memory are too expensive for the average Pinoy webapp developer.

  • Fleeb: Have a working b2e install locally, and the best feature so far would be that one blog will automatically collect all posts across all the blogs. Besides that, uhm, I still need some more convincing, I guess.

    bit: Been eyeing textpattern even before moving to wordpress when movable type issued out licenses (like everyone else, that’s when I left movable type). But for my purpose now, I’m not really making TP a candidate.

    vern: My needs are very simple, and a full-blown cms seems like overkill. If wordpress allowed multi-blog capabilities with one installation, this discussion wouldn’t even be out in the open. Thanks for the Serendipity link. I’ll download it later and test it out first locally. The featured themes are really old school though, which is good (for my own nostalgia; those were staple movable type-based themes, when it still ruled blog cms’s! [sigh]), and bad… in a way, since it seems like taking steps backwards.

  • bit

    Well, from the CMSs I’ve tried, I’d recommend Drupal. True, the disadvantage of having to do a lot of manual DB stuff and having to edit files manually is rather bothersome, but I find that Drupal is worth it. (Possibly even worth the huge effort of customizing it with all of the plugins and such. Everything’s not instantly intuitive, but I can feel the potential.)

    Perhaps a simpler solution such as Plume – http://pxsystem.sourceforge.net/ – is another promising system. I haven’t had the time to really get into it yet, but it looks good on my local deploy so far.

  • I am recommending to you Mambo Open Source CMS (this is a blog and PinoyTechBlog article tip) You can switch templates according to categories/section you are writing about and it has lots of functionality. A very robust CMS with a Filipino as one of its core developer. If you find trouble in setting it up with regards to theme issues or any other issues at all we are at http://forum.opensourcematters.org as sample will soon of multi-template will be setup at http://cdo.linux.org.ph and at http://www.caizine.com.

    Open Source Matters.

  • Please edit the above comment, there several typos and incorrect punctuations.

  • Uhm, Coreblog, which runs in Zope?

  • Considering that some blog software weigh in as heavyweights *cough*b2evolution*cough*, a full-blown CMS might not be too bad. Hopefully Serendipity turns out well for you, it does seem to do what you want by sharing core files. Best of luck. I look forward to a review in the near future.

  • bit: After installing Drupal a few days ago, ok, I got back to it just today, created a user, and I’m finding my ways through it. Let’s see if its ok enough for me.

    iandexter: That looks too much for me 🙂

    vern: Haha. Even the guy who did the Blog Software Breakdown finds the b2e admin interface ugly. Thanks, man!

  • Have you tried the CMS matrix? it has a list of all CMS’s out there and you can check on the ones you want to compare…

    here’s the link

    good luck on your CMS hunting.

  • Thanks! Great link!

  • If you are interested to try out all opensource CMS and blog system, go to http://opensourcecms.com you can try the admin and the user interface features.

    I’m trying Drupal 4.6.3 right now. It has a steep learning curve and a very ugly admin interface. But if you read the documentation and understand the reasons behind the taxonomy/RSS/trackback/pings, in my very personal and humble opinion, Drupal is way ahead of it’s competion. I’m beginning to like Drupal inspite of it’s rigid support community.

  • yup, opensource CMS was the first database I saw, I think that database is more reliable…

  • My brother just showed me his Mambo website and its control panel. First impression: not bad, looks a lot easier to use than WordPress. Looks more intuitive.

  • Don’t be carried away by mambo’s eye candy. I had a hard time configuring it. I guess it’s because everything is manageed in the control panel unlike wordpress which is still hackish. I heard they (mambo) forked. Some of the core developers went out on their own.

  • yeah kates,
    i’ve tried using mambo before.. like you, i had a hard time configuring it

  • I think the swift assessment made on Drupal was unfair. It’s actually a well designed (programming wise) kind of CMS system. Flexible, expandable and easy to upgrade.

    Couch Kamote Reviews the merits:
    http://digitalsolutions.ph/couchkamotereviews/newCMS

    -kyo-

  • teng

    try joomla! (www.joomla.com). great support there.

  • Mambo now Joomla, IMHO is the best CMS.
    Here are some of my sites i created using Mambo/Joomla

    http://www.ulop.net
    http://www.pinoy.door2success.com
    http://www.ngekster.com
    http://www.successweavers.com

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