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Random thoughts of wisdom - the personal blog of Michael Holm Andersen

Composite C1 - THE best open source .NET CMS?

I’m in the process of making a small website for a customer and after KimJ have recommended Composite C1 several times, I figured it was time to give it a go!

Composite C1 was originally a commercial CMS (develop by Danes), however this changed September 2010 where it became free and open source, offered under the Mozilla Public License. Composite C1 have a lot going for it – I’ve been playing around with the example sites for a few days, and already I can conclude:

  • The “backend” is really nice and fast.
  • Composite C1 is well-structured.
  • The documentation is WAY better than most other .NET CMS systems (yes, Umbraco – I’m looking at you!!)
  • When used together with Visual Studio is rocks! - Code files, configurations and styling are all on disk aka. you get full Intellisense, full debug support, etc.
  • .. and best of all: no “DynamicNode” or similar stuff (which typically means no intellisense, bad syntax highlighting, weird errors and warnings! - which is often the case with e.g. Umbraco and embedded macro scripts).

2014-09-29 15_45_36-C1_ localhost.opencphmp - Opera
A screenshot of the Composite C1 user interface.

Apart from Composite C1 there are a number of other open source CMS systems based on the .NET platform – you might take a look at these:

  • DNN – formerly called “DotNetNuke”, is the most well known and popular .NET CMS with more than 750.000 sites worldwide. It's very stable and there's a huge amount of add-ons and a large community. Grap the bits from CodePlex if you want to check it out!
  • Umbraco – like Composite C1 this CMS is also from Denmark and power more than 250.000 sites worldwide (e.g. the http://www.asp.net/ site is using Umbraco).The CMS can be installed either using the Microsoft Web Platform Installer or from our.umbraco.org
  • Orchard – the Orchard CMS is community developed, but backed by full-time developers from Microsoft. The iead behind Orchard is to create a repository of ASP.NET components that are versatile and reusable, which is also the reason why this CMS lacks some of the features  you'd expect in a more robust CMS.
  • mojoPortal – as defined on the website: “You can think of mojoPortal as a Starter Kit for Advanced ASP.NET Web Sites and Portals” – mojoPortal is a good standalone CMS or website framework which include blogs, photo galleries, chat, newsletters, pools, forums, and much more.

Other CMS systems worth mentioning are: Kentico - Sitefinity (from Telerik) – koobooprontoN2 CMS

I will be posting “follow-up” articles about C1 as the above mentioned website is being developed – so stay tuned…

Peger op Do you have any tips or advice about open source CMS systems for the .NET platform? Leave a comment and share your recommendations!

Comments (2) -

  • Tummas

    04-11-2014 11:43:58 |

    Nice article. I am one of the few that has fallen for the Orchard CMS. And so far i'm liking it, it's just the learning curve is pretty steep and lacks a bit of documentation. But their support forums are quick with responses.

    • MHA

      04-11-2014 12:46:32 |

      Hi Tummas,
      Yes, I have looked at Orchard CMS too - however it did'nt really appeal to me, seems a bit "messy" and not very logical (maybe that's just me!) Smile

      That's was I really like about C1 - it's just (for me, at least) very easy and well structured, that I hardly need to think about how it works - it just works as I would expect it to do .. which was not the case with Umbraco or Orchard.

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