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The 2010 CMS Expo Roundup

Posted by on May 10, 2010

Joomla! Days, WordCamp, DrupalCon… we are all familiar with the litany of CMS-specific conferences and meet-ups that happen on a regular basis. But where does the CMS seeker — new neophyte looking for the right tool — go to learn about the available Open Source CMS options? This is the niche CMS Expo seeks to fill. This year’s conference was held from May 3-5 at the Hotel Orington in Evanston, Illinois.

CMS Expo, held annually, is a conference that brings together representatives from prominent Open Source CMS systems along with domain experts and even some proprietary tool vendors. The conference has two goals:

  • Introduce CMS seekers to the breadth of Open Source options
  • Educate new adopters about their chosen CMS system

To that end, the conference has tracks for Drupal, Plone, WordPress, and Joomla! as well as a Foundations track (focused on cross-CMS fundamentals) and a Power track that showcases emerging solutions and technologies. It is rounded out with a business track that focused on topics of special interest to enterprises. Even systems like HippoCMS and ezSystems have made their presence known here.

The atmosphere of the conference is congenial, with emphasis on cross pollination between projects. Even the speakers have found it useful to get to know representatives from rival offerings. As author and Drupal developer Emma Jane Hogbin put it, ‟I think the strong suit of the conference is that developers from one CMS have been able to attend sessions for other CMSes and understand whether they needed to re-evaluate their own architectural decisions and or adopt or develop new features.″

One remarkable feature of the conference is its emphasis on meeting the audience’s needs in spite of the technical diversity and interests of the audience. Most of the presentations are light on code and heavy on concepts. But this doesn’t mean they are dumbed down. Many attendees have noted how accessible and useful the tracks have been to managers, administrators, developers, and designers alike.

I talked to Lina Coonen from the CMS Association to find out about next year’s conference. With this year’s success, the hope for the future is ‟to build on the idea of finding the right tool for the right job and offering more decision making session where attendees can compare multiple CMSes on many levels.″

Matt Butcher is a software developer and author. He has written six books and dozens of articles. He is active in numerous Open Source PHP projects, including Drupal. He is the maintainer of QueryPath (, a jQuery-like library for PHP. Matt is a Senior Developer at, an York Times company. His personal blog can be found at
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Responses and Pingbacks

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It really interesting tools.

I think I am going to be needing something like this. Thanks for the heads up.

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