Open source content management systems aren’t just the ticket for smaller publishers trying to ramp up their Web infrastructure on a tight budget. Larger publishers are opting for open source CMS as well with platforms such as Drupal and Joomla. Below, FOLIO: contributing editor Rory J. Thompson compares Drupal and Joomla with enterprise CMS TeamSite.

A number of popular publications, including Fast Company, Us magazine and MacLife [as well as] all use Drupal for their online presence. Drupal is relatively turnkey and makes some interactive elements such as polls readily accessible.

"Drupal has gotten to the point where it’s a sophisticated software platform for both trade publishing and in the ‘Web 2.0′ space," says Paul Maiorana, director of technology and production at Fast Company. The business publication updated its Web site this past February, and looked to Drupal for the user-friendly features if offered, including "community, social networking, blogs, groups, etc.," he says.

"It enabled us to get to ground really quickly," Maiorana says. "Out of the box it’s a powerful piece of software, and the developer community is large. We have a small tech staff in house, so we were able to leverage different disciplines" offered by the software. "We worked with a few different Drupal teams to choose the best in each discipline."

The only drawback that Maiorana saw was in manpower. "Drupal developers are in pretty high demand, so weren’t able to staff up as quickly as we would have liked," he noted, although the updated site is now fully staffed.

Joomla is used by Las Vegas Sports Magazine when the 6,000-circ publisher launched its online presence in January 2007.

"Once you set up Joomla, if you know Microsoft Word, you can update the site as needed," says Web developer Rob Kristie, founder and CEO of RosieDog Creative, who built the site, "It literally took only about two hours’ worth of training" to bring the publishers up to speed on managing the Website, he says.

"Once you get to know it, its great," Kristie adds.

  Drupal Joomla TeamSite
Audit Trail Yes No Yes
Drag & Drop Content Free Add-On No Yes
WYSIWIG Editor Free Add-On Yes Yes
Database Replication Limited No Yes
Advertising Mgmt. Free Add-On Yes Extra Cost
Content Scheduling Free Add-On Yes Yes
Multi-lingual Content Yes Free-Add-On Yes
Yes Free Add-On Free Add-on


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