Why Plone works well for large government agencies (Ken Wasetis)

Ken Wasetis talked about the benefits for governmental sites to use Plone.

Ken discussed that Plone being Open Source is a good thing. There are the obvious, know advantages, of Open Source Software. But one of the things that make Plone attractive is that there are a lot of eyeballs actually going through the code. This in turn results in very little hotfixes being necessary. Combined with the fine grained security settings available in Plone, Plone is a secure solution.

The argument of commercial vendors is that although Plone is free, you still have to pay for the integrator. Sure, but you also have to pay for the commercial integrator… Another argument against Plone is that there are many more, say, PHP than Plone developers/integrators, but how many of those PHP guys have knowledge about a CMS?

There are a several studies comparing Plone to the ‘competition’ and Plone does well in those comparisons. However, the community does not just pat itself on its back, but is also critical and looking for ways to lower the threshold of using Plone.

What makes Plone attractive for governmental sites is, amongst other things:

  • Plone complies to the accessibility guidelines. Since those guidelines are mandatory for governmental sites, it is a real benefit to have a framework that is already accessible.
  • Furthermore, Plone also has a clear audit trail/versioning.
  • The community around Plone is a stable one. It is very unlikely that a situation like Mambo/Joomla! will ever occur.
  • And let’s not forget that Plone is road tested as fully functional CMS. Zope/Plone is working on sites which are able to handle hundreds of logged in users while serving thousands of visitors. (Admitted, this does take a serious server, but the software is up to the job.)

Ken did put out a call to stop free-loading. This can be done by actively participating in the community, spreading the word about Plone or simply keep using the Plone favicon.ico. ;-) But also e.g. providing space for a conference can help the community.

Finally, do check out the PloneGov site.