CMS Ooze

Things don’t happen quickly at institutions of education. One thing that certainly crawls at the pace of cold molasses is the process of selecting a content management system for the school’s website. The process involves the arduous task of communicating with content managers, faculty, staff, department heads and any one with some sort of content investment with the website and convincing them that disrupting their comfortable dreamweaver-template-lives is a good thing. And that’s without a committee.

Never mind developing, designing, themeing and migrating content for a CMS, a task that is not to be underestimated.

This may not seem a very scientific way to select the appropriate product but here is the solution that the webmaster and I agree upon. We know that we are limited to free, open-source solutions that have a large support community and high success of use. A solution that is robust and extensible enough to handle the technical and functional requirements of a large website for a fast growing Community College.

Ok, that eliminates everything but Joomla, Drupal, and Plone.

Next, design and develop a sandbox site in all three systems for testing and evaluation. Then eliminate Joomla from consideration because you want to.

The final step is this process is to identify the top users and content contributors. Invite them to a usability test and get their feedback.

Based on the total of user feedback, evaluation of requirements and the relative miserableness of the site building process we should be able to pick a CMS with a modicum of confidence.

And then we can actually get to work!