Caribou CMS
Today, Caribou CMS announced a new version of its PHP-based subscription membership Web CMS. New online store functionality, more powerful member management and new drag-and-drop Site Tree features were introduced in the release.

Online Storefront Module

With the new online store module, Web site owners can sell digital or physical products and services. It certainly seems like a logical idea for e-commerce to take advantage of Digital Asset Management capabilities. Some of the nifty Online Storefront features include the ability to: * Manage and process orders * Manage products and create product categories and subcategories * Manage product shipping methods * Create sales and specials * Manage tax rules
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Caribou Online Storefront Module

E-commerce organizations can manage membership payments via online payment gateways, including PayPal, Authorize.net and 2checkout.

Member Management Module

Caribou CMS’s member management module is located in the main control panel. It allows users to do the basic member management activities, such as adding users, setting permissions and creating user groups.
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Caribou User Management
After registering, a member is placed in the default group. Then, the member has an option of subscribing to any available packages, which will move the member to a corresponding user group. Typical user groups in Caribou include “Registered,” “Subscriber,” “Premium Subscriber,” etc.

Site Tree Module

Caribou CMS’s Site Tree feature gives users the ability to organize their Web properties by dragging-and-dropping their content items and pages, allowing to create and manage a site navigation structure.
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Caribou Site Tree Module
If the Site Tree module is of no interest to you, the same task can be accomplished, as per Caribou’s own suggestion, by modifying the front-end templates in /templates/caribou.

Money Matters

Caribou CMS is free for up to 100 members. Lifetime domain license is currently on sale and will cost you US$ 299.00. There are no recurring fees with the domain license and no limits on the number of installation occurrences. Bulk licenses start at US$ 1495.00. All module code, templates and administration functions are open source. There’s also an option of a Complete Open Source License, which will give you a 100% open source version (no IonCube Encoding) of Caribou CMS (with no license key protection) suitable for “the most extreme custom development situations.”

Degrees of Relativity

Launched in March 2008, Caribou CMS is quite new to the market and has long ways to go as a content management system, but the focus on subscription membership Web sites is clear. And it’s good to have a focus. “…These new features… make Caribou CMS the full-fledged web site management platform I always imagined it could be”, says Brock Ferguson, product’s lead developer. “Full-fledged CMS” is a subject to various degrees of relativity. Let’s hope there’s more to come in this product. Competition in the Web CMS space is tough, as we all well know, and much more effort is needed to charm away prospective customers with something that will blow their socks off. Caribou CMS -- while at times clunky, with a bit too many pop-up windows and useless prompts -- is a good start and can possibly provide all the basic functionality needed for a simple e-commerce scenario. Caribou CMS positions itself as a platform designed specifically for subscription membership Web sites, such as online magazines, membership organizations, subscription-based products, etc. Check out the product demo here and tell us what you think.