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Thread: Contao CMS Advantages

  1. #1
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    Default Contao CMS Advantages

    Hi everyone,

    I was hoping to get some input on what makes Contao a better CMS than all the other solutions out there! I'm looking for both broad reasons, maybe even opinions and more specific coding and nerd-related advantages.

    We started using Contao for all of our website and pretty much every time we are asked about what CMS we use, they always follow up with "Why aren't you using Wordpress?" There's a few reasons for this. One is we're in the United States and there's not too many people who have heard of Contao. The other is Wordpress is so popular, they wonder why you would even use anything else.

    Basically I was looking to write up some information that outlines the benefits of using Contao as our primary CMS and specifically why it's better than some of the other popular CMS' out there like Wordpress, Joomla and Drupal.

    My goal is to see what the community has to say about the topic and see if we can get something written that everyone can use.

    I found two posts that were somewhat related to all of this:
    viewtopic.php?f=16&t=3646&p=15586
    viewtopic.php?f=16&t=1970

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Contao CMS Advantages

    Upgrade Process
    I think the first place I was going to start was with the Upgrade process. Because any customization can be done with modules, you never have to touch the core files. This allows for easy upgrading without having a ton of hacks and allocating a ton of time to going back and making customized core changes every time a new version is out.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Contao CMS Advantages

    In one of Ruud's posts, he outlined his experience working within a few other CMS' - I thought I would expand that from what I've worked on and what I could find on the web.

    Wordpress: [*] A standard installation can have a lot of security issues, and is very vulnerable to attack without additional security measures being added.[*] Wordpress works great for blog websites and basic sites that do not need anything that is not already provided. But if you do need a customized website, it can be more intensive to create your specific addons to work in their framework.[*] Very limiting in how you can structure your pages and content. Not the look but, wordpress only gives you one main content area to edit per page which is limiting for anyone trying to use it as a CMS and not a blog (which it was built for).

    Joomla:[*] Poor maintainability. When upgrading to a new version, templates and other code changes will break your website leading to more coding time.[*] The backend is the most noticeable drawback. It misses coherency (every module or plugin can define it's own way of interfacing) and it also impossible to just take over from someone and expect to be able to find anything right away.[*] Uses ugly URL's (no built-in friendly url Support)[*] High amount of code to install[*] Nightmare to add custom PHP (custom modules) to your site. Even to write simple echo statements, you need to create components that write xml files.

    Drupal:[*] Poor maintainability. When upgrading to a new version, templates and other code changes will break your website leading to more coding time.[*] The code isn't great. Drupal is written as an Object-Oriented Programming CMS except it does not rely on classes but instead pseudo-classes.[*] High amount of code to install[*] Has a history of security vulnerabilities

  4. #4
    User PaoloB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Contao CMS Advantages

    A good discussion

    You could create a table of Confrontation with the main features of the four CMS

    I write first the merits of Contao and then eventually the flaws of competitors
    Set the comparison in a positive form

    The strengths of Contao in my opinion:

    - For me very good framework
    - Make them little or no security
    - User Management backend very nice
    - Backend interface very easy for customers
    - 100% customizable via templates
    - Search engine friendly URLs
    Paolo B.
    Contao ambassador
    ContaoCms.it - Sito di riferimento per la comunità italiana

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Contao CMS Advantages

    The biggest advantage of Contao is the framework and flexibility. Neither of the big CMS'es allows for changing and hooking in quite the way that Contao does. Wordpress comes close though (http://codex.wordpress.org/Plugin_API), but anyone how knows how the Contao Framework is setup must giggle a bit when you see they actually have to mention people might be contaminating function space and a better solution is to use classes to define custom functions.

    For developers Contao has;
    • Hooks; you can hook in on a extensive list of events. The list is still growing.[/*:m:2t422q6j]
    • DCA; the data container array. This simple idea allows anyone to change or extend standard core functionality in the backend, but also allows to manipulate certain frontend processing. I changed a core text field into a configurable select field using about 20 lines of code, never touching any core files.[/*:m:2t422q6j]
    • Enforced framework; you have to do certain things in a certain way. This is why backend modules all work in the same manner. Some extensions like Isotope show that this does not prevent you from doing anything you need. The great thing about this is that I can not only extend Contao core, but I can also extend extensions.[/*:m:2t422q6j]
    • Templating system; Two things; all HTML code comes from templates and they can be changed by changing a copy in a separated directory if needed, again not changing core files. The other thing; there is no extensive templating engine like Smarty. PHP files are templates by design and Smarty (for example) is an elaborate way of re-writing PHP so it looks different. (FYI: the only real template language I know of is TinyButStrong http://tinybutstrong.com)[/*:m:2t422q6j]
    • CSS framework; it needs some work before it really is what I'd like it to be, but it isn't bad[/*:m:2t422q6j]


    For users Contao has less obvious advantages. I just like to point out that the admin interface for Drupal doesn't work well with all designs, also their way of structuring menu items (by weight) doesn't agree with me.
    Joomla is horrible; the backend by default features 30.000 options that don't have an obvious purpose (that estimate may be to low). I developed some extensions and it is not that bad to develop for, there is a model, view, controller structure that is must tighter implemented the way it was intended then Contao has. The problem, as already mentioned, is that I got to do whatever I wanted with the backend interface. I just copied the core code to make it look the same, but anything will go. When the core html code changes, my extension will look outdated or be a lot of work to get up to date.
    Wordpress looked fine, I could do what I wanted, but was baffled by the answer to my question "how do I insert a image gallery on this page?". Already mentioned in an earlier post I have to insert code that looks like [[insert_gallery::12]]. Contao also supports this type of insert tags, but a client is hardly ever required to use them. (I never taught a client how to use insert tags for any of the 60+ websites I've done with Contao). This is just a single point of critique because I've hardly used Wordpress...
    Did anyone ever try typo3? Then I don't need to point out that three years ago the backend was too complicated for any average mortal client. I'm not sure how it is these days, but to my typo3 is best to use for large projects, if you know what you are doing. Any of my clients would start to cry and call me for help. It does have an advantage in that when I used it I found it easier to see which content went where on the page because that was all on one page in the backend as well...

    I know the thread was getting stale, but I hope this helps at some point

  6. #6
    User PaoloB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Contao CMS Advantages

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruud
    I know the thread was getting stale, but I hope this helps at some point
    No, no, goot replay, thanks
    Paolo B.
    Contao ambassador
    ContaoCms.it - Sito di riferimento per la comunità italiana

  7. #7
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    Default Contao CMS Advantages

    By experience, CARMA has been instrumental in managing my photos and video clips. But if youre just starting, I do think AdultSiteCMS is a good CMS. It has features that is Wordpress enabled with additional features independent of the CMS. I think its also the cheapest. You also get to talk directly to the guy who made it. I hope that helps

    But I hope other people get to answer this question too because I am only limited to what I use.
    ? ????? ???? ?? ??????????? ????

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Contao CMS Advantages

    Coming from Symphony CMS, is Contao meant for web developer? As such would it be possible for me to create and customize different content e.g. the last 4 links with my own layout definition:

    Content
    -- Articles
    -- News
    -- Events
    -- FAQ
    -- Newsletters
    -- Form generator
    -- Comments
    -- Blogging
    -- Warehouse Management
    -- Assets Management
    -- Contact Lists
    -- Directory

  9. #9
    User Andreas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Contao CMS Advantages

    Yes, Contao is for webdevelopers. Yes, you can do this, some maybe with extensions e.g. isotope, catalog a.o.
    Web-Development, Freelancer, Burgtech, XHTML, HTML5, CSS, PHP, Javascript, MooTools, MySQL and more
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