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Multi Blog/Forum CMS recommendation

2:57 pm on Apr 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I've been looking around for different CMS solutions (mainly dotCMS, WordPress, Joomla and Drupal) and don't think I found what I was looking for and would like to see if I could get some recommendations. Or maybe someone can point out if the above might be able to meet my needs.


Multi User blogging system:
I want to be able to allow multiple users to create blogs. Some will be "official" blogs that can get promoted to the home page, others will be user blogs that may or may not be promoted.

I don't want any of the bloggers to have the ability to change the theme/template of their blogs but I do want them to have some ability to control sidebar content (profile info, blogroll, etc)

It would be great if the blog could import/export to some popular blogging systems (blogger, wordpress, etc) as well as allow the use of publishing software to post blogs without visiting the site (such as w.bloggar)

The blog owners as well as site wide admins should have the ability to moderate comments.

A forum that can easily be intergrated with the system and ties in user profiles. Standard forum features such as

Private Messaging
The ability for users to send private messages to each other from anywhere on the site.

Standard CMS
The normal CMS features of being able to publish articles/photos/etc.

A good search system that can group results as Articles, Featured Blogs, User Blogs, etc.

Ad Management
A module to manage ad sales and displays. Would be nice to have but don't mind going with a separate system.

SEO Friendly
SEO friendly URLS, meta keywords/descriptions and all that other good stuff.

I would prefer Java but PHP is fine as well. PostgreSQL would be my first choice but MySQL works too.

Prefer open source since I might have to glue some of the pieces together myself from what I've seen.

What I've found so far...

WordPress seems to have most of the blogging features I want as well as some of the CMS features. Forum support for WordPress doesn't seem to be that great and I haven't figured out if I can or can't lock down the theme or get admin access to all user comments or restrict plugins.

Drupal/Joomla have good "normal" CMS features but the integration of blogs doesn't seem that great but I still need to look into that.

dotCMS looked good but setting up multiuser blogs didn't seem easy and the interface seemed a bit complicated for people used to traditional blogging platforms.

Any recommendations?
6:43 pm on Apr 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Drupal/Joomla have good "normal" CMS features but the integration of blogs doesn't seem that great

How so? I'm not familiar with Joomla, but I can integrate blogs pretty fully with Drupal (using the *Views* module - always key for mincing and serving data).

I would assume, though I don't know, that Joomla can do much the same.

A good search system that can group results as Articles, Featured Blogs, User Blogs, etc.

This is where I would think you'd run into bigger issues. Most CMS have fairly rudimentary search and it seems like the way people are going these days on high-traffic enterprise systems is to use an Apache Solr-based (Lucene, Sphinz) search, especially faceted search. This invokes a fairly substantial bump up in infrastructure (typically runs on its own server AFAIK).


Another hurdle is that Solr is Java-based, but you seem to have that expertise already.

If you have an hour devoted to just the question of search for just one CMS, this is more or less state of the art for Drupal: