I’ve been asked to recommend a CMS system. It’s for a small business, that makes websites for local businesses. I’ve done some freelance work for them. While I want to help them out, it brings me to the difficulties I see with CMS systems.

They seem like a good idea. Simplifying content presentation so that non-coders can make web pages. But as a programmer, I would need to read an entire book in order to make a web page with one of these mammoth systems like Drupal, or Joomla. Even WYSIWYG tools like Dreamweaver require serious time to learn. I would submit that HTML and CSS could be learned in just a little more time than it would take to learn such a tool. By learning the code, you can fix a problem when you get stuck with a CMS or tool.

I’d love to get excited about one of these tools. To be able to quickly throw static content on a page. I’d argue, that like web frameworks, they need to get simplified to be powerful. It’s a well worn motto, but look at what Rails has done for web frameworks.