When it comes to choosing a web content management system, we often go for the obvious option: free, open source software. But what if we need something a little more professional?
Given the success of open source CMSs, the market for business-grade, enterprise CMSs is generally ignored. Many small and medium-size businesses want a powerful, well supported, easy to use CMS that just works – googling forums for technical support isn’t an option.
Today I’m going to take a look at Bitrix Site Manager, a comprehensive content management suite for maintaining websites that offers everything out of the box. If either you or your business needs a commercial-grade CMS, Bitrix’s offering is definitely worth taking a look at.
Feature-wise, the system is fantastic. It has everything from web analytics to email processing, forums to mailing lists systems, web services to photo galleries, e-Learning systems and even web 2.0 tag clouds. The modules page shows just how extensive the product’s feature set is.
Of course, any business-grade CMS is only as good as your boss thinks it is, and the best way to impress him is with an easy to use, powerful admin interface / control panel that he can actually use. This is where Bitrix’ offering shines. For example, take a look at one of the administrative screens:
The interface is fairly clean and easy on the eyes, lightweight yet powerful. There’s a fair bit of AJAX going on in the background, and it’s been used well to help make managing the site easy. Actions-in-place are also in on occasion; for example, the login form, when requested, appears on top of the current page.
As a CMS, the site manager is reasonably strong, but especially so with its modules. All the standard content management is available; from pages to banners, menus to headers and footers. With a few modules, users can easily create forms and complex pages, such as ecommerce stores and forums.
The product is certainly enterprise-ready as well. With extensive documentation, including integration manuals and configuration recommendations, as well as primary documentation in CHM format (good for the boss), all the resources you need to get started are available. Thousands of templates for the system are available as well, on a separate site, including 2000 “business” themed options. Take a look; they’re really quite good. They’re actually just TemplateMonster templates, but for a nominal fee they professionally convert the template for use with the CMS.
All in all, Bitrix Site Manager is a powerful, business-grade CMS suitable for businesses looking for a powerful CMS. It’s feature-rich, well supported and enterprise-ready. It’s ready for you to take it for a spin; there’s a fantastic online demo system that will setup a fully-functional dedicated demo site for you, open for you to play around with and deleted a few hours later. So have a go; test-drive it with your boss and you never know, you might just have found the perfect enterprise CMS for your business.