University Web Developers

University Web Developers

So, for no particular reason, is anyone currently/have experience using Joomla, TYPO3 or WebGUI for their college's wCMS? And would be willing to answer a few questions?  I'd appreciate your time and feedback greatly.

Many thanks,

Colleen

Views: 703

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I don't know much anything about WebGUI. Typo3 is the perfect solution if you hate your users with the fire of 1,000 suns. Joomla if you just need the fire of a single sun.

Ok, let's back up and examine the 1000 suns issue. What in Typo3 was problematic for users (besides "everything")? Was it UI? Workflow permissions? Integrations with templates and styles? Any info is very helpful since it's on a short(er) list right now.

When last I evaluated Typo3 (admittedly not real recently), I found it to be EXTREMELY powerful. However, it was a CMS built by programmers, for programmers, with no consideration whatsoever for unskilled users. There wasn't a user on campus I could name that I would have felt comfortable setting loose in the back end to set up and maintain a site. The UI was heavily data-centric, with little context for how it would be used when published. It was painful to navigate, and ultimately confusing to administer. Joomla had a slightly better UX, but suffered similarly in the "designed by programmers" regard (check out the plugin architecture, for instance - or the way templating and menus work).

Honestly, if you're set on open source, check out dotCMS, Reason, Wordpress (depending on the use case), Drupal (if you can commit support resources), Magnolia, or recently - Big Tree CMS (they are newly enterprise open source, damn curious to have someone look at them closer). 

Great feedback, Fienen -- thanks. We are indeed set on open-source and looked at most of those you mentioned ... Wordpress isn't going to work for us for a variety of reasons, and Drupal is out because of exactly what you cited -- we'll have resources to commit but frankly not as many as Drupal will need from us.

If we reopen the list, dotCMS is one I'll look at again ... haven't heard of BigTree but I'll bring it to the working group.

I haven't used Joomla in probably 6 or 7 years, but if you are seriously looking at it, you're probably going to need to completely rethink the way you envision the architecture of your site. Within Joomla, there are no concepts of parent and child pages; instead, the entire site's architecture relies on which menu you place on each page. That was a deep-seated problem in the original Mambo core that all of Joomla's developers said was impossible to change.

My favorite was how a page's template could change based on what menu you used to get to it - a behavior far more maddening than it was novel and useful.

I also have recollections of murdering puppies while trying to build templates for it.

Yeah, that was definitely the most frustrating thing about using Joomla. I am so glad I didn't stick with it for long.

I used Typo3 with a freelance client a few years back. There we only a few people in the organization and I put together a very minimal 'manual' for them on frequent practices (create/edit content, upload images, etc). The biggest challenge I recall was trying to understand the scripting system for templates and menus. I've been using Drupal for a number of years for other projects.

I haven't found any of the open source CMSes particularly friendly from the 'average user' perspective, particularly when they abstract content away from the 'page' model. Most departmental web maintainers are used to traditional HTML tools (Dreamweaver, Contribute, etc) and think in terms of pages and folders. When you ask them to grapple a more programmer-friendly model (where pages turn into content types/data), expect significant training requirements. And, if the CMS doesn't have a view of the site that's consistent with their prior experience (pages within folders, being able to edit content directly on a page), it further contributes to the confusion.

For what it's worth, I've been working with CMS-based websites in higher ed since 1999, starting with a commercial CMS. In my current environment, we have a commercial CMS that, to a certain extent, supports the folder/page model while offering the benefits of abstraction.

Any CMS is going to require at least one dedicated programmer. You'll also need a helpdesk.

I've used Joomla since 2004 (Mambo at the time) and have deployed nearly 200 sites with it. I built it to support about 100 unskilled content contributors (from secretaries to faculty to student workers) and most were quite happy with it. The current version (2.5.x) is the best so far. I'd be happy to answer any other questions you had about it... I simply love it! (I do have Wordpress sites too.)

RSS

Elsewhere

Latest Activity

Cody Bryant is now a member of University Web Developers
Monday
Linda Faciana commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Join us for our next webcast with Rachael Frank from Gravity Switch to learn how to organize your content and messaging for a website redesign. http://bit.ly/2zhdcIt"
May 16
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Capitalize on content by creating an editorial calendar for your college or university website. Here’s how: http://bit.ly/2WCauaY"
May 9
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"A soft launch of your website redesign is well worth the extra time. Find out why. http://bit.ly/2LfeigX"
May 2
Linda Faciana posted a blog post

Webcast - Website Redesign | The importance of using content inventories

Join us for our next webcast with Laura Lehman from Eastern Mennonite University to learn how to effectively use Google Sheets during a website redesign and migration! http://bit.ly/2zhdcItSee More
May 1
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"What are characteristics of the best CMS for colleges and universities? Read our guide to find out: http://bit.ly/2Vt519j"
Apr 24
Linda Faciana commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Join us for our next webcast with Caroline Roberts from iFactory who will be providing tips on how to improve your SEO by finding and wisely using the keywords and phrases that matter most! http://bit.ly/2zhdcIt"
Apr 18
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"If your college website is not reaching your audience, but still meets most technical and accessibility requirements, there are a number of ways to fine-tune its performance. http://bit.ly/2KO08U8"
Apr 18
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Before you click the launch button on your newly redesigned website, it pays to doublecheck the details: http://bit.ly/2D9v5vr"
Apr 11
Laurie Trow replied to Jessie Groll's discussion Thoughts on "part-time work from home" for a web developer?
"I do work from home a few days a week. Depending where you're located, this would definitely be a perk. I've found plenty of higher ed jobs, but it's not often where working from home is an option. I find this odd since the higher ed…"
Apr 4
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Take a look at these award-winning higher ed digital marketing campaigns to see what’s working for them – and what you can implement to make your school’s digital marketing campaign one of the best. http://bit.ly/2JlzLiq"
Apr 3
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Do you have a plan in place to ensure your redesigned website is a success? Read our new white paper for the steps needed to successfully launch your website so that it is effective, informative, and gets noticed. http://bit.ly/2HZt73Z"
Mar 29
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"The better you pay attention to these small SEO details, the higher your website will rank in searches. http://bit.ly/2I6Yo1C"
Mar 28
Linda Faciana commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Join us for our next webcast with Brian Johnson from Tacoma Community College for tips on how to effectively communicate the website redesign process and move to a new CMS. Win over those key players and get your project started on the right…"
Mar 27
Linda Faciana commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Join us for our next webcast with Angela Cavaliere from Montgomery County Community College who will discuss how to successfully navigate a website redesign in higher ed. Learn how to get buy-in from stakeholders, organize your team, and…"
Mar 20
Linda Faciana joined Lynn Zawie's group
Thumbnail

OmniUpdate

Share your experiences using OmniUpdate CMS
Mar 20
Rachel Mele commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"We asked several OUTC19 presenters how the information they plan to share will help you do your job quicker and more effectively. Here’s what they had to say: "
Mar 15
Rachel Mele commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Overbooked calendars make it hard to catch scheduled webcasts, so we put together a list of top webcasts that you can watch anytime: "
Mar 12
Rachel Mele commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Understanding these recruitment trends can help you better shape your marketing campaigns for the new year: "
Mar 8
Rachel Mele commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Want a pain-free website launch? Join us for our next webcast with Phil Pelanne from NewCity who will share good ideas, bad ideas, and tales from the trenches, plus his nearly 100-item QA and launch checklist! "
Mar 6

UWEBD has been in existence for more than 10 years and is the very best email discussion list on the Internet, in any industry, on any topic

About

© 2019   Created by Mark Greenfield.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service