Web Content Management Solutions

Web Content Management Systems (WCMS) are part of the Content Management spectrum. I'm limiting the lists here to systems that do not limit themselves to a single type of webtype, like Blogs or Wiki's. If that is what you're looking for, specialized systems for those types of site do exist and may well be a better solution for your needs than a more general tool - that's no surprise, I hope. And I'm limiting the list to free or cheap solutions - most commercial packages are simply too expensive for personal use.

Many items on this list date back to 2002-2004; a lot has changed since then... but I have tried to update the lists, to limit them to appropriate software that still exist today.

Jeffrey Veen wrote up a nice list of requirements that all WCM systems should try to address, although many don't. In his words, late in 2004: "Open source content management software sucks. It sucks really badly. The only things worse is every commercial CMS I've used...".

Open Source WCMS

  • Blandware AtLeap "is a multilingual free Java CMS (Content Management System) with full-text search engine. Blandware AtLeap is a framework which allows you to rapidly start your own Web application". Good support for multiple languages (in UTF-8) is not (yet?) altogether common in the CMS world, so this is worth checking out if you live in a country like Belgium ;-) (added on 2006-09-26).
  • Bitflux CMS is a PHP-based web content management solution. Seems to be open-sourced now.
  • Bricolage is called "A Good Open-Source Option" by eWeek.
  • Cofax "is a web-based text and multimedia publication system. It was designed to simplify the presentation of newspapers on the Web and to expedite real-time Web publication".
  • Daisy is a recent (Belgian) addition to the CMS universe, based on Cocoon and a Wiki-like content editor.
  • Helma is completely based on Javascript (and Java) - on the server.
  • Apache Lenya used to be called Wyona CMS, which "is an Open-Source Content Management and Publishing System written in 100% pure Java".
  • Midgard - Open Source Application Server "is a freely available framework for Content Management Systems and other information management solutions. Midgard provides developers with an easy-to-use framework built on the common Apache, PHP and MySQL components".
  • MMBase is a Dutch project for multimedia management.
  • Movable Type is PHP-based and looks quite complete and well-tended.
  • Here's an interesting story: Nuxeo, a French company, used to offer a Zope-based WCMS called CPS, but they recently rewrote their product in Java, and now they call it Nuxeo ECM ('ECM' as in Enterprise Content Management). Nuxeo ECM is available in an Open Source version (added on 2006-09-26).
  • OpenCMS.
  • Slide is not a complete CMS solution, but a framework on which to build CM systems. Slide is based on XML and Java.
  • WebGUI
  • Zope is a Python-based application server that can and has been be used to develop CMS solutions.

Affordable WCMS

  • Manila is based on Frontier. Basically, it's a web content management tool, but since it is eminently programmable with it's own language (Frontier started out as a scripting solution on the Mac) I'm sure you could use the system to do a lot more. E.g. use the Metadata Plugin to add workflow-like features, categories, and more.
  • Radio Userland is like the little nephew of Manila: you manage your content on your local computer, and publish on the Internet.

Content Editors

  • Bitflux Editor is an open source "rich" editor in the browser. Unstable, as far as I could tell (2002-10-18)... But the developers are very attentive; don't hesitate to try the software and tell them how you like it (2002-11-06). I'll admit it: after a gentle nudge from one of the developers, I've tried a more recent version, and I have to say it works (in Netscape 7 on Mac OS X at least). But it remains a Mozilla/Firefox solution only (what will IE7 mean for Bitflux?).
  • EditLive! for Java "is an online XHTML authoring tool that empowers business users with an intuitive, easy-to-use interface for creating and publishing web content". It’s a mature commercial product.
  • At work, we use the FCKEditor component (currently called CKEditor) in our in-house WCM solution.
  • Another well-known solution: TinyMCE is "a platform independent web based Javascript HTML WYSIWYG editor control ... TinyMCE is very easy to integrate into other Content Management Systems" (added on 2006-09-26).
  • Xopus has the potential to become something very nice, but they ain't there yet - even after many years it remains a Firefox-only solution if you want it to be multi-platform.