I have recently had the opportunity to work with Typo3. I needed to write the contents of an entire homepage. And I have been forced to question: what makes the success of this CMS?
It’s not intuitive. Contrary to what people might say, if you want to edit content, you need a few clicks more than necessary, you never see what you are actually editing. If you have special features like teasers and so on, you’ll have a hard time to find what you’ve just changed.
It’s complicated. Typo3 is clearly not by programmers for people but for programmers for programmers. If you understand how a website works, you may find out, what all this you have on your screen means, but if not, well, you have simply no idea. I’ve been training CMS to clients for about ten years now, and I surely don’t want to train Typo3 to anyone.
It is true that Typo3 is free. And you will be able to host Typo3 at very low rates. But most clients will be glad to settle for a slightly higher hosting bill if they can have a CMS they can actually work with. And for the cost of the product: there are lots of open source CMS which are free as well. I recommend you go with Magnolia – it’s simple, it’s free, it’s stable and you can train it within an hour.
I guess the success that Typo3 clearly has comes from the fact, that it is one of the largest in the world. And that it has been there for so long. But that may be a disadvantage as well. Because by now, there has been a lot of progress in terms of usability. And Typo3 just does not seem to have kept the pace.