I received this email last week and I thought it was an interesting question. Please note, the original email has been changed slightly, to protect this individual from being identified.
I read your July 2010 article on ColdFusion v PHP, and am curious if there may be any updates on your opinions.
Our website (www.websitenameremoved.com which is a shell (link to three other separate sites)uses PHP and Joomla CMS. Due to serious hacking issues precipitated by use of an old version of Joomla (1.5) we have decided to rebuild our site rather than upgrade. I had an analysis completed; one option mentioned is ColdFusion together with Mura CMS, a second option is PHP with Joomla 3.1. Do you have any opinions or comments that may help with our decision..?
This was my reply....
In my opinion, the best open source CMS option out there is by far Wordpress. Now I know your probably not a huge fan of php technologies especially after what happened but the key is to make sure you upgrade as often as possible. Now, looking briefly at your site, it looked somewhat like an ecommerce website, for ecommerce my personal favorite is Magento. http://magento.com/
As far as Mura CMS and ColdFusion goes, I have been writing ColdFusion for 6 years now, it's a great language but if I was to start over, I wouldn't use anything ColdFusion based. The reason being, although it's a great language and is pretty easy to learn, there are SO few people who actually know it that it makes finding people who support ColdFusion sites almost impossible. If your contracting this through an agency, as long as your with that agency there probably won't be a problem with this however, most companies I've worked at liked to change agencies every few years just to keep the blood flowing. So many agencies honestly don't know ColdFusion and just butcher sites up which behind the scenes just makes things more expensive to support.
My recommendation would be to go with a solution that's either .net, php or completely custom. The major downside to open source technologies is that everyone and their mother have access to your code and there are hundreds and thousands of automated hack-bots that are constantly looking for out of date open source scripts to just automatically hack them. This is actually why I tend to go toward custom rather than open based code systems.
Another issue with open code systems, is that they become difficult to upgrade to new versions as custom modification are made; especially if these custom mods weren't implemented properly. Having said that, I've used Magento and Wordpress dozens of times and never had issues and as long as I made my mods correctly, the upgrades could just occur from inside of the admin console and it was always a breeze.
Hope this helped!
So what are your thoughts? Do you agree with my advice, or do you think ColdFusion is the way to go?