Open source CMSes prove well worth the price

We look at five free offerings boasting solid Web publishing features that challenge their commercial competitors

The Bottom Line: Drupal 5.2

Drupal, http://www/drupal.org
Overall score: Very Good 8.3/10
Ease-of-use: 8/10
Features: 8 /10
Security: 9/10
Scalability: 8/10
Management: 8/10
Value: 9/10
Cost: Free under GPL
Platforms: Apache or IIS Web servers; Unix, Linux, BSD, Solaris, Windows, or Mac OS X; PHP; PHP-supported database server (MySQL or PostgreSQL)
Bottom Line: Written in PHP, Drupal's Web application framework anchors a content management system that includes modules for e-commerce and workflow. Drupal, unlike other systems, also has a taxonomy system to classify content - but this does take extra work to configure (as does setup). Themes are created with the standard PHPTemplate engine. A blogging system makes this system good for building online communities.

The Bottom Line: Plone 3.0

Plone Foundation, plone.org
Overall score: Very Good 8.6/10
Ease-of-use: 9/10
Features: 8/10
Scalability: 8/10
Security: 9/10
Management: 9/10
Value: 9/10
Cost:Free under GPL
Platforms:Windows, Mac OS X, BSD, Solaris, and SuSE
Bottom Line:The Plone CMS, which is built on top of the Zope application server, performs well for intranets - as well as a document management server and team collaboration tool. The system is easy to use and also notable for its multi-lingual capabilities. Additionally, Plone powers a number of high-traffic Internet sites, though this configuration should included additional components, such as Squid caching.

The Bottom Line: Open Source Matters Joomla 1.0.13

Open Source Matters, joomla.org
Overall score: Very Good: 8.4/10
Ease-of-use: 8/10
Features: 8/10
Scalability: 8/10
Security: 9/10
Manageability: 9/10
Value: 9/10
Cost: Free under GPL
Platforms: Apache, PHP, MySQL
Bottom Line:Joomla, written with PHP and back-ended by a MySQL database, is appropriate for external Web sites and intranets. The system's caching provides good performance on higher-volume sites while various extensions cover essential CMS functions; these plug-ins include news, blogs, polls, search, and internationalization. To further expand functionality, such as site backup, both free and commercial components are readily available.

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