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Which Content Management System (CMS) should I use?

I am trying to setup a blog to be used for our family. This blog will not be open to the public and family members will require a username and password to enter the site.

I had originally settled on Wordpress with some content restriction plugins but I am beginning to question that decision. So many Wordpress features are not relevant to a family blog. Items like Trackbacks are confusing to users and still show up even when trackbacks are disabled for a specific post.

To that end I am looking for recommendations on open source blog engines that might fit the bill. I run IIS and Apache so either platform is fine. Thanks.


Well I would still recommend going with wordpress and for privacy you can simply setup htpasswd protection.

The idea would be that your family members would have to enter a username and password combination to see the entire site where the blog would be located. There are a couple ways you can do this as well..

You can either assign each person a unique username/password. OR, a generic username/password for everyone so they can access the blog etc.

Wordpress wide adoption will easily allow you to tap into their vast database of plugins etc. which comes in handy in my opinion.

  • 1
    There is a very good plugin called Capa (smatern.de/category/coding/capa) that provides Category & Pages protection on a roles & user basis. We use it on several blogs and it works a treat. Non logged in users see your configurable text explaining that the post is for users only and anyone logged in sees it. Mar 23 '11 at 9:35
  • @Digital Essence: Thanks for sharing. It will come in very handy for some projects!
    – Adil
    Mar 23 '11 at 12:07

I'd suggest going with Drupal - everything you need can be configured either out of the box or with a couple of extra modules.

Content Access is one - allows you to restrict access to entire content types, so you don't need to remember to secure every blog post. I use this on a site where "Story" posts are public, but "Blog" posts are only visible if you're logged on.

Also, Drupal gives you control over what appears on the screen through it's block system - though if you want still more control, check out Panels and Views.


you can use wordpress with the P2 theme by Automattic(the company who made wordpress). That will allow you and your family to contribute on the blog. Its a theme inspired by twitter. Also you can setup an htpasswd file for restricting anyone to even see the blog.

Also for your purpose, if you want to interact with your family it would be better if you use Google Wave. Its an awesome tool for collaboration, even though its stopped in development.

  • Google Wave, ah, what a blast from the past. That didn't last :(
    – willem
    Jul 20 at 7:17

Blogs are tipically public content mediums, so I would reflect if a blog is the best solution for your family closed content.

An excellent blog post can take hours to write and most family members generally will not want to spend so much time producing content for a small, although important, audience. Another problem is that due to the semi-professional and public nature of blogs, blog engines require some learning to use properly, and your family members may not want to spend time doing it.

What solutions for a family project?

I would suggest other forms of presenting content such as a microblog. status.net is an open source php script that you can use to create your private microblog (or public microblog), limiting posts to 140 characters or any other number you want. To see what status.net can do, I would suggest to look at the public http://identi.ca/ as an example of a status.net blog.

The easiest solution is to use one of the existing social networks. Many of your family members may already have a Facebook account and are used to Facebook user interface, so you can create a Facebook closed group.

Other options are a mail-list, a forum or a private photo gallery.

I also agree with Bevan above on Drupal. But Drupal is a professional content management system for professional websites. Because it's so flexible, you will have to spend a lot of time configuring it for this purpose.

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