Clarifying the direction

After some weeks of research we reached the preliminary recommendation that we should change our approach completely. Having been attempting to build a proprietary system, using our own dedicated personnel, we decided that the way forward involved engaging with an Open Source CMS project and community. Advantages of this approach includes:

  1. Access to much completed programming which would save us time.
  2. Access to a worldwide network of technicians who share learning.
  3. Future sustainability more assured.
  4. An opportunity to contribute to this online community, offering to others the benefits of our own experience of the past five years.
  5. A faster way to network with other NGOs which are creating similar systems to meet their needs.
  6. ‘Open Source’ fits well with IofC’s ethos of sharing and community-building.

Drupal was recommended to us as one of the best CMS projects available. Our initial look at it confirmed that it might have most of what we needed. But there were other CMS fameworks to consider....

After some research, it narrowed down to a choice between Drupal and Joomla. Each had their advantages. If you want to read some details of our assessment read our article Assessing and choosing Drupal.

It was a difficult choice: firstly to abandon our proprietary system after so much effort, and then to choose Drupal. We knew it would place limitations on us, mean sacrificing some of our ideas, and involve compromises. But going with Drupal also mean embracing many good new ideas, and would give us significant advantages in terms of adherence to standards, access to core functionality which is time-consuming to programme, participation in a worldwide community of developers, and the capacity to stay close to the leading edge of web development.