For the past few months we have been working internally on a Raytha — a new CMS based on Microsoft .NET ASP.NET MVC. The CMS is still several months away from a beta launch, but we’ve made enough progress to start letting the world know.
1. Why another CMS?
We love WordPress and we love Sitefinity. WordPress is an inexpensive, very powerful CMS. It runs on just about any host, and with some tuning it can run really fast. WordPress is also easy for people to learn, that’s probably why millions of sites and web admins use it. Sitefinity is a grand CMS — built on .NET it is easy to integrate with enterprise systems. It is based on the ASP.NET user control model, and recent versions even allow for some MVC based integration. The real power in Sitefinity though is that it has by far the best content editor. Even the most non-technical people can make sophisticated changes to their website.
So WordPress runs everywhere and is pretty easy to learn and can do a lot. Sitefinity can do even more — so why bother?
Well our goal with Raytha is to make something as developer AND user friendly as Sitefinity but also be as fast and easy to install as WordPress.
Sitefinity has a hard time running on shared hosts; it is possible; but typically hosting costs for Sitefinity are 3x as much as a comparable WordPress site. Sitefinity is also proprietary — we know this is a problem for some people — not to mention there is a $2000 first year cost.
2. Is it Free?
Absolutely, we are building Raytha on top of a potpourri of open source platforms. CK Editor for inline editing, jquery and jquery UI for backend effects, Twitter Bootstrap for the backend admin panel are just a few components we already are leveraging. When the system is ready we will likely follow the same model as Umbraco CMS — where all software is free, however we’ll offer some premium services like support and custom development.
3. Is it for everyone?
No — we believe WordPress is an incredible CMS that is for the masses. WordPress has a massive plugin library and the famous 5 minute installer. We don’t plan to have an immense plugin library. Installation should take about 20 minutes and will require a bit of technical knowledge. Developers choosing to use Raytha should be familiar with Microsoft ASP .NET / MVC.
Choose WordPress if: Webmaster is technical and versed in PHP knowledge, you can make good use of existing plugins, and most pages on the website look the same (one editable content area).
Choose Raytha if: Webmaster is technical and versed in .NET and users really need a drag and drop editor.
Choose Drupal / Sitefinity if: You need strong publishing workflow and have multiple web administrators who all are only allowed to work on different parts of the site.
Any of the above CMSes work great for sites with 5 pages or 50,000 pages.
4. When can I use it?
We are hard pressed to give a launch date right now but we believe sometime in the fall of 2013 we’ll have our first release. We’ll be giving updates on our blog.
5. I’m a Developer, since this is open source, can I contribute?
If you are a C# / ASP.NET / MVC programmer who is itching to help us build the next great CMS, take a look at our development roadmap. We’ll grant you access to our GitHub project and start collaborating.