In search of the CMS Holy Grail

January 31, 2006

ADI Interactive has at its disposal a custom-built PHP/MySQL Content Management System (CMS) that we use for large websites and web applications: ADI ContentManager.

We continually update the main CMS code-base and deploy new versions where required. The latest edition uses some pretty slick Ajax to make the user experience highly interactive, quick and well, just plain fun.

Thing is, ADI ContentManager is not built for small web projects. It needs some space to breathe in order to really shine. So we're now looking to create a sort of ADI ContentManager MINI: a CMS that's built on top of either an open source or commercial product that we can customize to our needs. It's very important that the system includes:

  • A very organized, approachable and non-geek interface; an area where most available CMS products falter. Looking straight at you: Drupal, Plone and TYPO3
  • WYSIWYG editor toolset that runs on Firefox, Safari and IE 6+ because we don't want to force people to write or format raw HTML
  • Simple upload and insert image function
  • Upload functions for PDF, MS Word and other file types
  • Ability to export clean, well-structured W3C valid XHTML Strict 1.0 level code
  • Ability to completely configure public website templates
  • Ability to configure the look and feel (colours, fonts, etc.) of the CMS itself
  • A very good search function that we can use on the front-end of the website
  • A blogging tool and a photo gallery function
  • Built in PHP/MySQL or Ruby on Rails to be deployed on an Apache server

Does anyone have experiences with a CMS such as this? I realize this is a bit of a dream-state but I'm hoping that such a CMS exists and is available as a full-featured product that we can dig into.