University Web Developers

University Web Developers

My School is in the process of selecting a CMS have narrowed it down to 4 separate ECMS.  We have chosen Omni Update, Cascade Server, Plone and dotCMS.  I have read all of the features and seen the doteduguru site's reviews but I would like opinions from people who use them and more importantly issues they have had with them.  I know all of the positives of these CMS's but I would like to know the negatives, or things you expected but did not receive.  Every CMS must have a fault in it somewhere.  Some of these feature's lists are to similar...which is why I'm asking for negative "features".  Any help would be greatly appreciated, anything from implementation from the system setup to the average user issues.

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Thank you for all of the comments so far. However, can we get back to the original question. If anyone has any experience/insight into problems/issues/wishlists of their current cms please let me know.
Cascade has a very steep learning curve, and isn't ideal for managing large websites that require a lot of automation.

You may also want to look at Wordpress, especially now that 3.0 has incorporated the multi-site capacity in a single install.

I successfully managed our college level website happily with Wordpress for quite some time, as have many others.

This all really depends on your unique situation. Very few people can give a solid thumbs up or thumbs down for a CMS.

It's like going to the art store and saying, "Which is better? A paint brush or an oil pastel?" They both do different things in different ways to produce a vibrant composition.

Sorry, I know these aren't the answers you're looking for, but there aren't easy answers. For example, I have other sites running in Cascade where it's absolutely wonderful.

Can you describe more about your web-shop's setup? What resources are available to you in terms of people and expertise?
You answered my question perfectly. We actually have WordpressMU installed currently to run people's blogs and for whatever reason that wasn't even considered it the selection (I wasn't there during the selection process). I was suppose to put together a plone presentation but we have kind of ruled out plone and I was thinking about putting together a Wordpress presentation instead.

I agree about the solid thumbs up and thumbs down. The only issue I'm running into is that with Omni. I have not seen any negative feedback. I know there are some Omni reps on here so that is why I offered off line contact. And while Omni looks really solid, I don't know how comfortable I am with a system that not one has ever had issues. Maybe it really is that good and if someone wants a feature it is either that easy to build a plugin for or Omni adds to the base, but I like to know negatives before I select anything. I also worry that our committee will think that whatever solution we chose it will fix all of there issues without any problems. Its all about not having to high of expectations for joe-smo user who thinks it will fix all of their issues and it will all magically work.

One thing that we are afforded with is plenty of money to get what we want and from a maintenance standpoint something like Omni is in our favor. I like Wordpress because we are a php shop here though. The only thing that scares me is when Updates come rolling around and plug-ins that aren't compatible. We are also going to be hiring a CMS person to be the technical contact for whatever CMS we choose. We just need to determine of we need a developer or more of a trainer.
Another suggestion, with systems like OmniUpdate (or dotCMS, OpenText, Ektron, Cascade, etc...), call them and get a reference list. Sure, more often than not references will be pretty positive, but when dealing with non-company people, they're much easier to get an honest assessment out of. That can also get you a direct line to talk to a lot of people that AREN'T on here, and you can cross check things one person says with another.

That's a little tougher with systems like WPMU. Personally, given the environment you've described, I'm just not sure WPMU would provide the flexibility or scalability that would need to come with a higher ed site. I can't think of anyone off the top of my head that has used it successfully to deploy an entire university site in, particularly at a larger 4-year school. My concern (and understand that I LOVE WP) is that Wordpress is first and foremost a blogging system. It can be adapted to serve actual sites, but when you get into a scenario with multiple editors needing many different permission schemes covering tens of thousands of pages... you just don't see people doing that in Wordpress.
Any contacts you could provide to me would be helpful. You can email me ( if you want. I have been emailing schools who I thought used systems but one issue is that the vendors say a university uses their product but only one college does and it is hard to track down the college. Thank you for the idea about getting a reference list, I'm definitely going to do that. And thank you for providing other ideas that I hadn't thought of for finding out about products. I don't work with vendors much I typically do everything on my own.
I agree. WPMU wouldn't be a good system for a University wide site.

For a Division level site with basic demands, it excels.



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