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Part 1: Identifying a website CMS for a non-profit organization

Over the past eight months I’ve been working at breakneck speed to get several large projects off of the ground. One of these projects was to purchase a website content management system and redesign our organizational website using this CMS. Where do you start?

The first thing that I did was identify the criteria that our ideal system would meet. To determine this list of criteria, I started off by reviewing the features lists of various products. Some of these features were important to us; others were not. Important ones were added to my list of criteria; the others excluded. The majority of the criteria that made it to the final list were essential, but we did have room to budge in some areas.

Though I was really interested in exploring the open source options (and did), our organization, a mid-sized non-profit, does not have in-house programming capacity. As a mid-sized organization, some of the CMSes were much too complicated for our needs. So, I focused on those companies that gear their product to the mid-sized market. There were a number of systems to explore, and I found that most share some basic CMS functionalities: WYSIWYG editing, workflow definition, templating, etc. However, each company is trying to corner the market on website CMS, so spins their product a bit differently.

The content from these websites was particularly useful in helping me narrow down my search to identify systems:

I also conducted an extensive literature review.

After conducting this research, I had a list of several systems: Hannon Hill Cascade Server, Hot Banana, Marqui, CommonSpot, Ingeniux, IdeaLever, Ektron, and iMIS. Now came the hard part…stay tuned for part 2.

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