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Help selecting a CMS for a college

How to selecting a content management system for a community college.



6:08 pm on Mar 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hello. I currently work for a community college with a large number of students. We recently designed a new website, written primarily in classic ASP (VBScript) that relies on SQL server and IIS. The page has a basic navigation layout, and ~1000 static files (representing 5 different campuses, departments at each campus, and degree programs). We would like to implement a CMS to help handle this. The catch? It has to be free.

We desire a way to allow each department to alter the content of their pages w/out changing the layout. There should be a user who reviews and “approves” changes before they go live. Ideally, little to no HTML knowledge will be required. A blog and internal forum would also be nice. In time, we’d like to incorporate several in-house web applications within the CMS, providing one location for staff/faculty to login and reach whatever they need.

The biggest concerns we have at the moment are cost (current budget means it HAS to be free), ease of use, support for ~2000 users, documentation, and additional modules/plug-ins that support it.

I’d like to get feedback on which CMS you prefer, and if you’ve ever used one in a school setting. Changing to a LAMP environment is an option, though I’d be interested in ASP.NET solutions as well. Drupal and Joomla have been tossed around as options, but I'm curious what else might be out there.

If there’s any more information that I can post to help out, let me know. Thanks!


10:02 pm on Mar 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator ergophobe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I've never used it, but one member around here loves DotNetNuke which is free and runs, as you might guess, on the .NET platform.


5:29 pm on Apr 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

So, we've had a few meetings about this and seem to have hit a snag. What we really need, more than anything, is a way for faculty to manage their own pages. I'm being told that all the CMS systems we've tried won't support multi-users. That is, the faculty will all be able to modify each other's pages, which is not what we want.
Is there a good multi-user CMS, or a plugin/mod that helps to support multiple users?


6:01 pm on Apr 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator ergophobe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Which ones have you tried? All the ones with which I'm familiar have multi-user capabilities built in. I mean, that's sort of the point of a CMS.

You may have to adjust the default permissions to get this. Try going to CMSMatrix.org and doing some comparisons. Just for kicks I compared CMS Made Simple, DotNetNuke, Drupal, e107, Joomla, ModX, Moveable Type and Plone.

Honestly, I expected all of them would meet your requirements, but at least according to the listing there you can't do granular privileges with Joomla and CMS Made Simple.

All the others and many many more should be able to handle the situation you mention.


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