I am the webmaster for a high school website, www.centennialonline.org, which as you can tell, is in sore need of major updating.

I need to make it friendly to several users who can update their own pieces of the site.

For example, the principal needs to be able to update some news, the athletic director needs to be able to update sports schedules, a calendar function needs to integrate info from several sources, and teachers could have their own individual pages.

I have been looking into Mambo, PHP-Nuke, PHPWebSite, etc.

If you have a moment, look at the site as it is now, and what my initial pieces are, and let me know which CMS you think would be the best fit.

Having photo libraries and so forth would be great too.

Thanks,

NOT a fan of PHPNuke or PostNuke. Have heard very good things about Mambo but never tried it myself. I'm going to move this thread to our Existing Scripts forum since it doesn't really concern any actual PHP coding but rather getting opinions and feedback on existing php scripts.

Try Joomla... but keep in mind that almost all CMS in the market are not 100% firendly for people that doesn't use a computer.

And, if the site will grow on content maybe a custom CMS will be better.

Anyway, try joomla first.

I've been looking at Mambo and got a book from Packt to explore. Right now, it seems that Mambo and Joomla are very close together until they diverge more.

I've installed Joomla as a test to see how it would go. So far, I like what I see.

As for the userfriendliness, most of the people who will submit news can use a WYSIWYG editor pretty well; the difficulty would be for the people who have to approve the content. But I'm fairly certain the handful of people who need to do that can be shown.

So far, Joomla is winning out on this board, and in my experience.

Any more feedback is welcome. If you haven't done so, look at the original site, get a sense for the hierarchy of things, and see if anything catches you as problematic with Joomla.

I've used Joomla/Mambo for a couple years now and heres a few things that can be a problem depending on the type of site you want:

1) Access levels or ACL in Joomla/Mambo is quite basic. There are a set number of usertypes: visitor, registered user, author, editor, publisher, admin, super admin.
Unfortunately, usergroups is pretty much hard coded. Theres a few hacks out there that extends user groups, and discussion on how to improve the Access Control in Joomla in the Dev team, but there isnt anything showing at the moment that it will improve in the near future.
The worst part about access control is that since there isnt any well defined API, Joomla/Mambo extensions usually just have a simple, logged in or not approach on the website front end, and an Admin or not approach on the backend...

2) The Content Management System built into Joomla/Mambo has only 3 levels: Section, Category, Content Item (article). This can be a problem sometimes but if you plan well, you really only need three levels..
However, Content Management Features is very powerful and amazingly you have fine grain control over display of content.

What controls your content display is actually in the menu parameters. A Joomla Component, can have multiple entries in the menu's, and thus different settings for each menu item.

Example:
You can use the frontpage component to show the latest articles posted on your Joomla/Mambo site by creating a menu item "Home" or similar and setting the menu params to show articles from any section and order by latest articles.

You can also use the same frontpage component to create another menu item called, say... "Technology", and limit the Items shown to the section technology, and order by say, popular articles.

The list goes on, and its not specific to just the frontpage component, its a feature of any component that supports the Joomla/Mambo component parameters API.

This is a very powerful feature that is quite invisible to most users, but developers make sure they build into their applications.

3) Session Management
Joomla/Mambo doesnt have an API for session Managment, and I havent heard of any prompts to even develop one.
One of the main concerns is that this makes it very hard to integrate already existing Open Source Software.
The current session management still has bugs, this may not be a problem if you dont plan to integrate third party software, but if the time came to say install a forum such as Vbulletin with Joomla/Mambo, you run into more headaches that just switching over to Vbulletin...

Take in mind that this is only the problems associated with Joomla/Mambo, the benefits of using the CMS over others is a much longer list :)

So can the user groups have access to specific areas, or will someone called editor be able to have editing functions over the entire site?

For example, if I have the athletic director on there as an editor, and the individual coaches as authors, then the AD can control all of the content from those coaches. But they would also have control over what the Media Specialist Editor has as well, right?

This probably wouldn't be a problem, but I am curious of this aspect for another site I will be working on as well.

So can the user groups have access to specific areas, or will someone called editor be able to have editing functions over the entire site?

For example, if I have the athletic director on there as an editor, and the individual coaches as authors, then the AD can control all of the content from those coaches. But they would also have control over what the Media Specialist Editor has as well, right?

This probably wouldn't be a problem, but I am curious of this aspect for another site I will be working on as well.

Yes, thats exactly right.

There is discussions in the Joomla forum that seem to point out that Joomla 1.5 will have a "complete" ACL solution. ( cant seem to find the thread again )

Also, I'd like to correct myself in saying that the session management in Joomla is lacking for 3rd party developers, it looks like Joomla has implemented sessions management for 3rd party developers using the plugin system.. very awesome!
http://dev.joomla.org/index.php?option=com_jd-wiki&Itemid=31&id=plugins:user_events

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