Web Content Management System

This choice was tricky. Their is an abundance of CMS's out there. The common flavors of Wordpress, Drupal, Concrete5, Plone, dotCMS, Statamic, etc.

Our main criteria for the selection was:

  1. A simple flexible editing interface.

  2. Open-source.

  3. Flexible framework for anything we throw at it.

  4. Established.

Out of our own learning curiosity our journey went down two paths. Ruby and Python.

In the beginning we had selected Ruby as our choice of programming language and started the learning process whilst exploring the different flavors of CMS's for Ruby. There are a few. But none that we were super impressed with in our sample installations. Learning curve was high for Ruby, but it was something we expected. After three months on the Ruby trail we came across Wagtail Django CMS.

We did a sample installation of Wagtail and were impressed by its feature set and its fulfillment of all our CMS criteria's. What really got us excited specifically was the how it met our number one criteria. A simple editing interface.

In our experience there have been way too many a times CMS's have been selected based on its technology stack, familiarity of the programmer, and the content editing interface as an after-thought. Without a simple interface that encourages users to add/edit content there really is no point of having a CMS.

You could just run a JS stack and edit content on your own. We even explored external content editing CMS's like Prismic and Contentful. The benefits of including any one of these CMS's would result in a single editing interface despite what your web stack on the host is. As long as the stack has a meaningful API method to consume content it would fit just right with the CMS. We strongly considered this approach as well. Paying for a CMS wasn't part of our business plan. And then Wagtail happened.

Wagtail promised a beautiful flexible interface through its streamfield integration. And it delivers! We can even deliver content from Wagtail to other infrastructures in the form of JSON feeds.

Wagtail on our sample installation impressed us so much that we dropped our 3 month learning process of Ruby and migrated over to Python. Wagtail is written in Python and built on-top of the powerful Django web framework.

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