SXSW 2009: Ultimate Showdown of Content Management System Destiny

Monday, March 16th, 2009 11:30 AM
Colieen Caroll, Drupal and Palantir
George DeMet
Matt Mullenweg, WordPress and Automattic
Steve Fisher, Joomla and Idea Market

Just like Iron Chef, three teams of three different CMS were given a project with the same specs to see which one could produce it in the same time limit. They wanted to find something that would use a wide variety of web 2.0 tools.

  • The project is to build a website for a leadership program.
  • Site should utilize a variety of Web-based social networking and collaboration tools.
  • Site should be generalized as possible and be able to be downloaded for use by a wide variety of organizations and communities.


  • No more than 100 hours
  • Only freely-available software can be used, and all sites must be freely.
  • Site must function on the provided shared hosting space (Linux/Apache/MySQL).
  • Each team had about 2-3 weeks to work on it.

The Sites:

  • Drupal:
    79.25 hours, 220 lines of custom code, 180K page weight, 8 HTML validation errors, client liked this 2nd best
  • WordPress:
    90.5 hours, 1808 lines of custom code, 154K page weight, 8 HTML validation errors, client liked this 3rd best
  • Joomla:
    57.25 hours, 20 lines of custom code, 140K page weight, 0 HTML validation errors, client liked this 1st best

You can download all of these sites, screen casts, and usability reports here:

Posted in Geeky, SXSW 2009.

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