A few months ago, I posted about the newsinitiative site I had spent most of the summer working on*, and mentioned that we had decided to build our own content management system for it from scratch. Promised to say more about the CMS “build vs. buy**” decision process we went through, but never got around to it. After installing Search Meter for WordPress a month ago, discovered that people have actually been searching this site for more info on that decision.
CMSs are a funny category of software. When you go to choose a word processor, you’ve got three or four serious options to consider (but it generally comes down to Word). Image editor? Maybe a dozen (but it generally comes down to Photoshop). There are usually more options for server-side web application software. Survey package? Maybe a dozen. Blogging platform? Again, maybe a dozen (but it generally comes down to Movable Type and WordPress). But the game changes immensely when you start looking at content management systems.