Opensourcecms : Try Before You Buy

Opensourcecms is a fabulous resource for finding out about medium to large scale yet free open source Bulletin Boards, CMS, Galleries, Wikis, and the like. You get to try every one out right on Opensourcecms . For well over one hundred of these apps, Opensourcecms allows browsers to not only try out the front-end of the CMS but also its backend administration pages as well. Full bore- whale away, but realize every two hours all those edits and entries will be wiped away and the CMS is available for new”customization”.

This is a great Open Source service. Users can not only see a typical installation of the CMS, Gallery or Wiki – but also get a feel for how difficult or easy it will be to customize and configure the app for your own particular requirements.

But to have active participation by the many industry players, Opensourcecms has to act effectively neutral – they do not review the various apps other than to: a)tell what CMS they were not able to install and why; b)tell what are the most popular CMS by number of visits, and c)host a forum where users can discuss the various CMS and how well they work etc.

Problem: Evaluation of the CMS

Now the Opensourcecms forums are quite useful, users can get some fairly candid insights on what is working and what is not on various CMS apps. But the coverage, by its forum nature, is uneven. So I needed to get broader feedback on what are the good CMS beyond the forums. So I went to Hotscripts and looked at their user ratings of some of the popular Opensourcecms apps. But that was sort of hit or miss – some well visited CMS had few ratings over at HotScripts; and even the HotScripts users ratings versus member ratings showed some surprising variance. So I needed an additional evaluations and insights.

So then I went to CMSWatch which has coverage of both OpenSource and Commercial CMS. But the cost of the CMSWatch comprehensive report on 40 CMS varies from $1000-4000 US. So I used the