We recently used open source content management systems for two education websites. For Georgia Tech School of Aerospace Engineering, we used Drupal, and for Melbourne Central Catholic High School, we used Joomla.
The first site, for Georgia Tech School of Aerospace Engineering, was designed by Piszko.com of Atlanta. Motionbuzz completed the Drupal CMS integration. If you’re not familiar with Drupal, it’s the same CMS used for whitehouse.gov and many universities.
Drupal and Joomla are like the Pepsi and Coke of the open source CMS world. Both are free and utilize the LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, mySQL, and PHP), but in the minds of each side’s hardcore fans, Drupal and Joomla are completely different.
I won’t go into a Drupal-vs.-Joomla debate, but I will say both work well for education websites. Both offer easy content management, robust features, a global development community, and a nice price tag (free). To learn more, check out Alledia’s Joomla and Drupal comparison chart. I agree with Alledia’s statement: “Neither one is better than the other, but each one is better for different purposes.”
So why did we use Drupal for one site and Joomla for the other?
We used Drupal for ae.gatech.edu because:
- Drupal’s CCK (content construction kit) allowed us to easily create the required custom content types, and in the future, the webmaster can easily create additional content types.
- Drupal offers granular user access rules right out of the box.
We used Joomla for melbournecc.org because:
- Based on the project budget and feature requirements, we were able to do more in less time with Joomla.
- Jevents and Forms for Joomla offered the required calendar and forms functionality.
We’ll continue to use Drupal and Joomla for projects, and we’ll choose one or the other (or neither) based on each project’s requirements. Either way, our clients will have an easy-to-mange, extendable, and upgradable website.
What CMS do you use for your edu site? I look forward to your comments.