SilverStripe Review

Silverstripe CMS reviewWhen I did my last church website project, I decided to try out a new [tooltip content=”content management system” url=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Content_management_system” ]CMS[/tooltip]. I wanted one that was completely PHP5, I did not want it to have all the cruft of PHP4. One that was PHP and Mysql also meant that it could be used in about any webhost. I also wanted something I could control as the developer, and easy for other people to update. I decided SilverStripe was the perfect option.

SilverStripe for Website Maintainers

silverstripe admin panelThe administrator page for SilverStripe looks like a normal native computer program and not a web program. It is fairly intuitive and uses a lot of Ajax so it is very responsive. There is a demo of the admin page at http://demo.silverstripe.com/. It has a page tree that accesses all the pages in a tree structure. This is also how it formats the menu of the website. This makes very intuitive to see how the website will actually look like. It has all the features you would expect from a CMS. It has a rich text editor, user management, file uploading, etc. Many additional features can be added with extensions. A blog, calendar, image gallery can all be added with a simple instalation of an extension. However, this is not a blogging platform, it is designed to be a CMS for organizations. If your website is really a blog, I suggest WordPress.

SilverStripe For Web Developers

silverstripe codeI like SiverStripe’s idea for customization. It does not assume you are stupid; it has you edit PHP code to make customizations. To some this might be a drawback, but for me it gives me greater power to do what I want. Since the developer is supposed to edit code to make customizations, the code editing is not that hard. I have seen other content management systems that used complex menus and configurations to make customizations. It sounds better, but it was more difficult to bend the CMS to my will. With code editing, I get what I want with minimal fuss.

Conclusion

So if you want a CMS that is easy for people to edit, and does not think you are stupid, I would go with SilverStripe. It is not the best for all situations, but for a church website CMS, it is great.

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