2018 CMS Comparison


(Joe Workman) #21

I know that you have used Total CMS…

What do you like about it?
What don’t you like about it?
What are things that you would like see improved?


(SF) #22

What an opportunity… to provide constructive feedback directly back to a developer. I wish I had more ideas, but I feel like this is an Apple situation, where I won’t know what I really need until you tell me. :slight_smile:

I love how easy it is to quickly setup a new section. My client once asked me to update a section of the website. I was happy to do it, but as I did it, I took it a step further, and added the ability for them to edit that section in the future. It literally added 20 minutes. I was blown away.

As for things I really really want… I already mentioned the import from WordPress (just the blog). But I’ll note to be of any use, it would have to maintain the URLs.


(Joe Workman) #23

Not sure that I follow this…


(SF) #24

Oh, I just mean it would have to not only import the content but also the original URLs of each article. That’s probably so self-evident that you were confused by my comment. My bad.


(Jannis from inStacks Software) #25

Back to the original question. The built in blog will not work with Foundation or Foundry. Here 2 examples of Poster Stack working beautifully (ok I am biased) together with Foundation and Foundry. Needless to say Poster Stack looks gorgeous inside the new RW8 themes, where I will post examples after RW8 release :wink:


(SF) #26

I own the poster set of stacks, I got them when I bought a foundry/foundation project that required them, but I didn’t quite find them intuitive and didn’t need that particular element so I haven’t learned how to use them.

My question for you is this - how well does it scale and handle purely blogging? One of my clients, a published author who’s starting a new project, and whose current blog gets a few hundred hits a day and has several hundred articles has her site running on WP (using he Nilrog plugin). She’s expecting this new project with a wider audience to be more successful. Will it handle that? Genuine question, not being argumentative.


(Jannis from inStacks Software) #27

Poster Stack is purely offline blogging. Does your client want an offline blogging system inside RW?

It scales well if you follow one advice: Warehouse photos and stick to simple and basic stacks.

I am not able to tell about the Nilrog plugin. If you mean successful in the way of a good SEO, I implemented a lot of meta data improvements over the time for Poster Stack (which I bet is true for Total CMS also), so that crawlers are able to index your site perfectly.


(SF) #28

By successful I mean higher traffic.


(Rob Hall) #29

Armadillo was the first to allow multiple blogs.
Just saying…


(Rob Hall) #30

@Sanity Fox I reviewed all of the available CMS options a while ago:
https://rw-ninja.news/RW-CMS

The review might help…


(SF) #31

Thanks @mabinogion Rob, you always provide clear and to the point responses. :slight_smile:

The main CMS I was really interested, especially now that I know Pulse is basically a subscription model, and not at all appropriate for what I want to do, is Nick Cates Go. It seems significantly less robust when compared to TotalCMS based on your review. Would you say that’s accurate? If you’re experienced with both, which would you choose?


(Rob Hall) #32

@Sanity Fox I can’t say anything negative about Go except the price compared to to Total CMS. Total CMS gives you a heck-v-a-lot more bang for the buck.
It’s also been on the market a lot longer and has been tested 100s of times over.


(Jan Fuellemann) #33

Pulse is a one time payment which you can use for as many domains as you like, as of my knowledge.


(NeilUK) #34

Current Pulse pricing is $297 for unlimited domains, but you only get a year of updates. If you want updates after a year, it’ll cost you another $297. https://www.pulsecms.com/pricing/

TotalCMS for me every day of the week.


(Jan Fuellemann) #35

Ah i see…


(SF) #36

@NeilUK & @Fuellemann - Yeah, I was confused by that at first too until I spent more time reading on their website. And you have to buy the stacks separately. Really it’s only a good option if you’re working large scale with your web development business. I do a couple of projects a year, half of which are non-profits where I donate half of my time. Pulse isn’t the right choice for me. But I could certainly see why someone would make that choice.

@mabinogion Thanks Rob. That was sort of how I saw it. I have massive respect for Nick Cates, own tons of his themes and and one or two of his stacks. But it does sound like the price difference versus capability makes TotalCMS a no brainer for someone who already knows how TotalCMS works and is comfortable working in it.

I really appreciate the input guys. I love trying new software/stacks/plugins, etc, but unlike a $20 stack, CMSs, for experimentation purposes, are a bit pricier to purchase on a whim. I think I’ll be moving forward with TotalCMS for my upcoming projects.


(Raimo Karhunen) #37

You know I used Armadillo for years, and never noticed that. My bad! I have edited my original post to fix this error.


(Simon) #38

I think you should consider why you want a CMS. This will probably lead you to the best solution.

I’ve personally found that CMSes that are plugged into RW have not worked well for me. This is not due to the CMSes, but more of the practicality on managing my sites. RW has many moving parts with themes, plugins and stacks. Add to that the extra linkage needed for a CMS and multiply that by many sites that you maintain and it becomes a big headache. Most of my need for a CMS is due to my clients needing a blog on their site. Although RW has a blog that would work fine, it’s lack of any development in the last number of years means another solution is needed. Rather than linking all these things into RW I am beginning to separate them as that seems more expedient. The old addage, “the right tool for the right job”, comes to mind. It is simple nowadays to create subdomains. So in the cases where I need a blog as part of a site, I generally create a blog.domain.com and install an open source blog/CMS from the cPanel. This gives me the best of both worlds. I can use something like Wordpress for the blog and RW for everything else. The ubiquity of theming tools makes it fairly trivial to create a seamless look. This also overcomes my greatest problem with RW, which is handing on the site. If the blog is an open source CMS and the other parts RW, this becomes easier.

In regards to the cost, I think you’ve got to avoid the, “for the price of a cup of coffee”, mentality because it only looks at one piece of the puzzle. A CMS may just cost $100 per domain, but there are other costs and subscriptions that need to factored in from design work, to online CDN and so on. Wacking $100 on top of that may just take you out of the competitive range. There’s a reason Wordpress dominates online, and that does include cost. The final consideration is one you’ve already mentioned, and that is getting your data out should you need to. It’s great to import, but how easy is it to export from your chosen CMS?


(SF) #39

There’s really only one reason to use a CMS - you want a client to be able to edit their site. You decide on which CMS on whether or not they need a blog, and then ease of use and upkeep.

Wordpress dominates because it was the biggest, easiest to get going and free method. It’s super customizable, and a massive, repeated target. It’s a pain in the ass to keep up to date, and I have been hired, (and this is since I retired from full time web work five years ago), no less than 5 times to clean up hacked WordPress sites. Again, I take on at most, 5 projects a year.

It’s the old adage, you can pay upfront, or you can pay long term. Yeah, I can buy a pinto for $100 today… but how much to keep the damn thing running, in time, energy, money and stress?

One of my clients, a not-for-profit, I went through several different CMS systems which were adopted due to being free/low cost, and subsequently abandoned due to either complexity, difficulty in use, or just plain always breaking and needing constant maintenance. We eventually did a full site rebuild where I presented a free option, (Armadillo v2), which I had already paid for, or TotalCMS. I drafted up a test website for them to try both. They liked Total, and were more than willing to pay for it. I ended up actually paying for it, because I like kitties, and rather they spent their money on helping kitties. (self-congratulatory plug - I am so generous :stuck_out_tongue: ).

But you know what happened when I moved to that TotalCMS? I had to email them last week, because I hadn’t heard from them in over 6 months. I was worried they were having problems but were too busy to reach me or felt guilty about bothering me. Nope, everything was perfect, they were still happy after more than a year of use, and had zero issues.

I went from volunteering upwards of 10 hours a week to helping them to nada. In a one year period they asked me to update a section of the website that wasn’t editable to them, I spent less than 20 minutes making the edit AND adding it to the CMS so they could make the edits in the future.

Value isn’t just the immediate cost.

The biggest thing I found when I worked full time running my own web dev business was that an hour spent educating a client up front, (and documenting everything), was unmeasurably valuable in the long term saving me grief. That’s not to say clients didn’t make dumb decisions anyway, and I have fired clients who became causes of stress because they repeatedly ignored my professional advice and then complained when things happened exactly as I predicted. But those that actually want to learn will make better decisions, and perhaps they don’t buy a bunch of business cards so they can have a stable website, or skip the glossy posters, etc. Now this is much easier when you’re handling multiple streams of their marketing, and my business did that. But I think of 90% of web development as educating my clients and managing their expectations.

I am 100% with you on content mobility. Mostly the blogs. I’m currently stuck using WordPress for the blog on my biggest site because at the moment, there is no reasonably feasible way to move that content over to a new CMS. And that WordPress installation continues to be the bane of my existence and 95% of my time with that client is keeping that part of the site maintained.


(Simon) #40

I also work with many non-profits. Although I initially liked Wordpress, that rapidly changed. However, over the past year this has changed back. Wordpress is easier to update than RW is with it’s themes and plugins. The proliferation of security plugins (paid, I use Bulletproof Security) and builder themes (I have a lifetime subscription to Divi) which reduces my need for other Wordpress plugins almost to zero, make my Wordpress site less of a headache than RW+CMS. In fact most of my Wordpress installations all auto update. There is also an increase of Wordpress only hosting and the new Gutenberg editor works well.

Security is always going to be the issue, but that will apply to any popular CMS. As my main work is with non-profits Wordpress has had a massive impact on cost. I could not do this with paid CMSes, as the costs multiplied over a number of domains rapidly becomes to expensive. Those who have the finance I tend to point to online services as this works better for the organisation in the long run.

Reason for edit:
My apologies to PulseCMS as I confused this with Pulse Pro and commented inappropriately and have retracted the comments I made.