It's been a, well, interesting month for free and open source content management systems (CMS) communities.

Thousands of websites running Drupal, one of the world's most popular open source CMSs, may have been compromised by a "highly critical" security flaw. But Imperva, an IT security firm, claims attacks against WordPress, the world's most popular CMS, are even more prevalent.

Jahia named the ever mobile Kevin Cochrane — the former CMO of Mindjet, the former CMO of Open Text and former vice president of digital marketing at Adobe — to its board of directors. But no one, including Cochrane, has yet addressed his abrupt departure from Mindjet. Could Cochrane be planning to relocate from San Francisco to take up an office and deeper role with Jahia in Paris?

Ghost, a relatively new CMS created by John O’Nolan — former deputy head of the WordPress user experience team — continues to wow critics who, for obvious reasons, keep comparing the platform to WordPress. O'Nolan, meanwhile, who funded the project with a $300,000 Kickstarter campaign, just keeps creating. His recent efforts extend to creating a company culture. We'll let him explain: 

We’re very much trying to choose our culture and make it one that we’re proud of. We encourage open and frank debate, but always with civility. ... Recently we also published a set of clear community guidelines. The crux of it is pretty straightforward: Don’t be a dick."

With that in mind, let's take a look at what's new in free and open source CMS this month.

eZ Systems

eZ Systems will be releasing eZ Publish Platform 5.4 later this month.

Preparing for the new release, the eZ engineering team has started to share technical information on what is to come in version 5.4, including improved API performance and dynamic settings injection.

The eZ Publish Platform 5.4 release/update focuses on strengthening the current platform with new features including:

  • Improved API performance for massive multi-site and multilingual setups
  • Integrated content teaser for content to be delivered through subscription access only
  • A new search API within the eZ Publish API, to better leverage the SolR search engine
  • Introducing support for Elastic Search as an alternative to back end search, as a developer preview
  • Added support for managing media assets outside of eZ Publish with AWS S3 cloud storage support

eZ Publish Platform 5.4 will be a long time supported release, with enterprise support available until November 2019. It will also be the last of the 5.x generation, with the next eZ System release being a new generation of products that will follow a new development cycle. The new generation, eZ Platform, will feature a totally redesigned user interface for editors and marketers.

On Nov. 19, there will be an eZ Publish Meetup Launch in Lyon, France. And on Nov. 26, while most Americans will be preparing for the Thanksgiving holiday, there will be an eZ Publish Meetup Launch in Cologne, Germany. Looking ahead, eZ Publish will host re:VISION New York: Exploring the Trends of Content & Closed Loop Marketing from 2 to 5 pm Dec. 9 in New York City.


October passed by "very quickly," the Hippo team reports — adding tangentially that "the leaves are just as beautiful" around its Boston office as they are around its headquarters in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. "We’ve had a busy month, with new hires on both continents, new business announcements on the horizon and a great energy throughout our offices."

Hippo partnered with AuthX Consulting, a digital engagement company, to provide a digital marketing platform to Couchbase, a NoSQL software provider. Leveraging many features of Hippo, the platform boasts multi-site management, targeting and real time personalization capabilities. They're designed to enable Couchbase to deliver "high-quality digital experiences to its customers, across multiple digital properties."

The multi-phase engagement completed its successful first phase with the release of a redesigned Couchbase site that launched with both the Couchbase Server 3.0 product release, as well as the annual Couchbase Connect user conference in San Francisco.

Hippo will leverage its relationship with Couchbase in a webinar at 11 am ET this Thursday on real time personalization across all channels. 

With the right Big Data NoSQL database, you can learn about audiences in an organic way, and deliver compelling and relevant content at lighting speed. When selecting a Big Data NoSQL database, Hippo looked for a database that can perform. That’s why Hippo works with Couchbase. The webinar will explore:

  • How the speed of your data affects your conversions and revenue
  • How to go beyond “rearview mirror” analytics, treating each visitor as an individual with contextually relevant content in real time
  • How to deliver a personalized message in a high traffic environment, with a high volume of content across multiple channels

Interestingly, recent Hippo research — Using Big Data for Onsite Content Targeting — found that while marketers see the opportunity in onsite targeting, the personalization technique is hardly used. 

Why? Big data needs to make sense.

To discuss that in more depth, Hippo invited Digital Clarity Group Senior Analyst Robert Rose to host a 45 minute workshop for marketers on how to make sense of big data, derive actionable insights and leverage them to drive engagement.


The Liferay team has been on the move.

Last week in Darmstadt, Germany, Liferay presented the Liferay Developer Conference (DEVCON), which featured more than 40 in-depth sessions, trainings, and technical workshops specifically targeted at developers and IT enterprise staff.

And last month, at its North American Symposium in Boston, the team announced the immediate availability of the Liferay Developer Network, a new website developed specifically for those who use Liferay and write code on its platform.

Liferay also introduced "audience targeting,” is a new Marketplace App for Liferay 6.2 designed to raise the engagement experience of your portal. The app allows you to segment your audience, target specific content to different user segments and create campaigns to target content to user segments. It also allows you to track user actions and generate reports that provide insight into the effectiveness of your campaigns.


In addition to announcing a partnership with Canto, the Magnolia team released Magnolia 5.3.4. Key fixes and enhancements are in the release notes

Magnolia also held three webinars: one on the best practices of developing Magnolia apps, another one on using Magnolia in the cloud with Jelastic and a third on the Canto integration. And the team published several blog posts, one on newsletter templates that your marketing team will love and another on how Magnolia customer care team cleared a ticket log jam.

Boris Kraft, CTO and co-founder of Magnolia, traveled to Denmark to participate in the 10th annual J. Boye conference. He discussed how technology is changing everything, what a future-proof content management system looks like, and what all this means to marketeers. J. Boye also published an evaluation report on Magnolia, which you can download free (registration required).

The team is heading to Munich on January 26 to run Magnolia Amplify. It's a kickoff event to the European portion of GWT.create, which runs Jan. 27 and 28. (GWT.create will also hold sessions in Mountain View, Calif. on Jan. 22 and 23.) Primarily intended for developers, Magnolia Amplify will focus on app development, e-commerce deployments, user experience design and more.


SeoSamba just released a new version of its open source SEO and e-commerce CMS, SeoToaster. It's designed to help users "build rapidly, manage easily and market efficiently" with websites optimized for search engine performance.

SeoToaster v2.3 includes a free and open source content management system, a membership system to protect areas from the general public, a social utility that let you send updates to major social network accounts, including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn profile as well as company pages.

SeoToaster also embarks a blog system that's 100 percent compliant with Yahoo News and Google News requirements. It lets users send press releases to more than 50 news syndication partners in a single click.

SeoSamba also launched an integrated turnkey SMS and voice service for SeoToaster and released a new auto-install script for SeoToaster available via Softaculous.

Later this month, the team plans to release some new payment and integration plugins (Amazon + Postfinance) for SeoToaster-powered websites as well as a new website building framework to help developers easily create themes for SeoToaster.