University Web Developers

University Web Developers

We're looking to start using a CMS to develop sites that have more dynamic content, and depending on the CMS, we've found a lot of them offer plugins and widgets to create feeds, calendars, wikis, etc.

We're currently looking at joomla and expression engine but going through the groups and forums, it seems like there's more topics on Drupal and Joomla than expression engine.

Is it that EE is not popular? new?

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Tina,

We use Expression Engine for all of our blogs ( http://blogs.oc.edu ) and to run our university front page ( http://www.oc.edu ).

Good things about EE:
-It's very good at dynamic content and blogs, and relatively intuitive to code up pages, from a web development standpoint.
-The documentation is very good (http://expressionengine.com/docs/).
-Good plugins for various things.
-Good security/spam filtering, etc.

Bad things about EE:
-It isn't free (at least for commercial use, or if you want some of the extra features)
-As much as people try to call it a CMS, I'm not convinced that that is what it is really intended to be. You could potentially make it work, but I wouldn't recommend doing a large quantity of static informational pages with it. The main problem is that I think it would be difficult for non-technical workers to add or edit pages.

Things might get a lot better in this area when EE 2.0 comes out, which I suspect will be some time soon (maybe).
I have to echo some of the things that Stephen has said. I am just beginning a project using EE and first impressions put it in the Wordpress category. It has a lot more functionality in the way of user management, setting up multiple blogs is easy and the templating is all done through the admin console, but in the end all the pages and parts are blog entries.

That being said I don't know if it would be any harder to manage a page than Joomla. I have never felt that Joomla was very nice for the end user.

My impression of Drupal is it is a lot bigger beast but is pretty slick from the user perspective.
EE is quite good - I think the only reason that you wont see as many posts about it is because it requires a licence (although in fairness the licence is very very cheap) so the community using it is a little smaller.

From a developer point of view it is quite pleasant to use as (unlike Joomla, which is a little more 'out of the box') you effectively build your own CMS from the ground up with it. It is very easy to customise (if you are a developer...).

As you say pretty much any CMS will have access to a wide range of plugins/extensions so that shouldn't govern your choice. What I would suggest is more important are issues relating to scaleability, mutli site management, development time and so on.

If you want to get something up and running very quickly without needing to support a complex structure of back end users then Joomla may be the thing for you - if you have more time (and resource) you may well find that Drupal, EE and so on may offer more long term benefits.
Expression Engine is great for mid-size companies I supposed. As mentioned, its less of an out of the box product, but that maybe what you need to accomplish what you want.

You may want to look into a ECMS (Enterprise Content Management System). We use Teamsite/Livesite by Interwoven. It's an extremely robust application. That being said a lot of tuning to it for your needs may need to be done. It can do pretty much anything you would ever want but takes some time for implementation, it's Pearl based and is rather expensive. Livesite is actually a run-time environment that sits on top of Teamsite and allows managers to drag and drop components on the site and to inline edit. We are in the process of a redesign and implementing Livesite.

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