Open source CMS: What you really need to know

Selecting a content management system for your intranet or Web site? Read this first.

Selecting a content management system for your intranet or Web site? Read this first

So you’re in the market for a content management system (CMS)—the system powering your Web site or intranet—and IT suggests open source software.

Unlike enterprise software, like Microsoft SharePoint, open source is free and downloadable on the Web. It is called open source, because programmers can open the software’s backend and make changes to it.

Open source might appear attractive to your company’s programmers and, indeed, it might be the right choice for your portal or Web site—or maybe not.

“[Open source] is really empowering,” said technology consultant Peat Bakke. “It gives [an IT department] the ability to make the changes it wants to make; you don’t have to go to an outside person to make the changes you want.”

At the same time, most open source software is written by programmers for programmers; that often leaves communicators, the ones with limited backend experience, scratching their heads while the power to post remains in IT’s hands.

So, to help enable you, here are four open source CMS options and what you need to know about each one.

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