Technical Considerations for Choosing a CMS

Can the CMS host multiple websites without separate installations?

Does the CMS allows for integration with additional plug-ins where required
For example, future features might include forums, mapping packages, statistics,
geographical tracking, etc.

Is there a customizable front-end styles on the CMS interface
We would like to be able to style up the interface of each separate instance of the CMS in different look & feels. Specifically we want to be able to change colours, font styles, and maybe images. Some CMS solutions allow you to edit the text straight on the website (after logging in) not via an admin site. In this case this feature is not applicable.

Is there a WYSIWYG editing interface
The user can see the page change as they are editing it, in the same look & feel (template) as the actual page. A preview button would also be ok.
Maybe even a preview website that displays latest changes rather than published items as the live site does. MS Word style formatting options appear at the top of the edit area, so that users can change the style without HTML knowledge.
Code should be cross-browser compliant (IE 6+ and Firefox 1+) and ideally accessible.

Does it allow Blog-style visitor comments
When enabled, website visitors can post comments on articles published on a website.
This technology would allow us to use the CMS as a Blogging tool.
CMS administrators can choose whether anyone can comment, only registered users (manageable via the CMS) or only team members.
Email alert goes to administrators for approval before a comment appears.

Is there staged content management (preview / live)? Can development content can be easily migrated to live. It should be easy for us to start adding content while the site is in development (on a development server) and for the same content then to be available on the live site. So some sort of extract from development which is able to be inserted on live. Some CMS’s appear to assign id’s to items which are referenced and this mean they are then not copyable to separate database instances where the id’s may already be taken.

Is the CMS Modular / Pluggable?
All options are simple to turn on and off for different sites.
For example, advanced options like changing navigation are disabled by default, but can be switched on, if we need it.

Is there an keyword / text search in the CMS?
So that users can easily find the content they are looking for. With Keyword highlighting.

Is there automatic RSS feed generation of page content?
A tick box to decide whether an RSS feed link appears on the page or not.

What type of security model does the CMS offer? Different permissioning levels – lock content from certain users
We need at least the following levels:
* User (can edit but not publish)
* Moderator (can edit and publish)
* Administrator (can edit, publish, and change navigation, user permissions, etc)
Preferably, we would like a system where the administrators can set permissions for other users, and create custom user groups. Sections of the public website (I.e. not the admin section) can be kept behind a login.
Access can be administered from within the CMS system.

Can the navigation/menu be changed at all levels, add new pages as necessary
Ideally the CMS should be able to change the entire structure of the site.

Is there automatic updating of the Sitemap
Based on any changes to page titles or navigation.

Are there user-defined templates?
Can Administrators define new templates for pages and add new data fields to existing ones as required.

Auto-populate details based on login
Certain fields of the templates are automatically populated. Such as date and author.

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