I have several different needs on my website and I am thinking of using different CMSes - in each case, the one that most closely matches the needs of each page. Is this recommended?

  • 1
    What are the specific needs of your website? Some CMS's can work together, others cannot. Feb 19 '11 at 9:42

Not recommended. You haven't provided much information, but I can't think of a situation where this would be a good idea. Here are some potential issues:

  • Each CMS probably works best if it is the only one on the site and you might end up with conflicting requirements if you try to combine them (e.g. in the rules for rewriting URLs).
  • It will be a lot of (messy) work to integrate different CMS's for single sign on. This problem is multiplied if your readers will also log in at some point.
  • As John said, maintenance of a single CMS is work. Maintaining multiple CMS's that have been integrated sounds like a nightmare.
  • You will have to learn the ins and outs multiple CMS's. To reach proficiency in one will take time. You will probably never master more than one.
  • You have said nothing about your particular application, but I worry about the complexity of what you're building if none of the (these days very powerful) CMS's is sufficient.

You will be much better off mastering a single CMS and extending it to meet your needs. Wordpress or Drupal can both do almost anything. Wordpress is easier to start with, but is definitely blog centric. Drupal is more general.

Within each of these platforms there is a lot of flexibility to add different functionality through extensibility and plugins, either your own custom stuff, or freely available options (e.g. in the Wordpress case, forum components like SimplePress and bbPress).

I also have to say that the fact that you are evaluating your requirements against a set of CMS "features" suggests that you alone may not have the technical depth (yet) to take on a project of a complexity that won't be satisfied by any one of them. Consider approaching a Wordpress or Drupal developer and ask them whether your requirements can be met with either of those platforms.

  • Here are a few of the things I want to do: show job postings for the company and allow online applications, let customers respond to mailings by entering a code to get price quotes, let customers rate service and link those data to employee information in order to determine bonuses and enable employees to see that information, and let employees see schedules and request time off and volunteer to fill in for others.
    – Fred
    Feb 20 '11 at 5:25
  • I agree that I do not have the technical depth (yet) to take on the project by myself. That is why I have asked (and paid) "experts" for help. When I explained to them what I want to do, they said things like, "well, Drupal does this fine but not that." I can see how it would be complicated to mix and match though. I guess I just need to keep on learning and try to figure it out.
    – Fred
    Feb 20 '11 at 5:26
  • That is a very wide ranging set of requirements. From the sounds of it, taking several functions in an existing company online, more process than content management. I wouldn't tackle these things with a CMS. Would it be possible to use 3rd party services to get some of this done (e.g. the job postings part)?
    – Greg
    Feb 20 '11 at 17:42
  • @Greg This is interesting. I would very much like to understand what you mean by "process". If you can elaborate on the difference between process and content management, it might help me to see what I need to do. For example what are some examples of process management tools?
    – Fred
    Feb 20 '11 at 21:35
  • @Fred what I mean is that there is a lot of "state" involved. In recruiting, for example, the candidates go from prospect to screened to shortlisted to interviewed to hired. The requirements you describe have a lot of this sort of thing. State (and therefore process) is not central to most CMS's (at least the ones I know). I don't know about a category of "PMS"s that do this. There are solutions to specific areas (CRM is a good example), but not something generic. That doesn't mean it doesn't exist, just that I don't know about it.
    – Greg
    Feb 21 '11 at 3:35

The more CMSes you use the more bug fixes, security holes, and updates you have to keep up with. It also means more training time as each CMS will operate differently. Plus there's always the risk that two or more may become incompatible over time which means a lot of potential work to correct it (and that may require completing removing on of them).

CMSes are designed to handle lots of content types. If not out of the box then through plug-ins. The odds of you needed multiple CMSes is small to begin with and with enough research and effort you can find one that achieves your goals.

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