Everyone hates content-mangement systems. They're inflexible, hard to use, and rarely meet all of an organization's needs. So rather than being fenced in by an off-the-shelf system, why not create your own?
Armstrong is an open source toolkit for building content-management systems for the news and publishing industries. More flexible than tools like Wordpress, Armstrong is a set of building blocks for creating the perfect CMS to fit your organization's unique needs.
Tools like Wordpress and Drupal are fully features content-management systems. Armstrong is not. Instead, Armstrong is a low-level programming framework for building a CMS customized to your specific needs.
Off-the-shelf CMS systems like Wordpress are great for helping you quickly and easily accomplish traditional publishing tasks—posting news stories or blog posts, for instance—but also impose constraints about the types of non-traditional features your site can employ, such as deep integration with interactive databases, or creative applications like interactive games. Building out those features typically requires custom programming, which is where Armstrong steps in.
Rather than forcing developers to start from scratch, Armstrong provides the core scaffolding around which you can build a custom content-management system. It's a framework on top of a framework, designed to allow rapid and creative CMS development.
If you're a publisher interested launching or converting a news site using Armstrong, you will need to get developers involved. The cost of custom development will depend almost entirely on the features you have in mind and the scale of your custom implementation. A simple site could be launched for several thousand dollars and just a few weeks of developer time, but a complex site could require much more time and financial investment.
If you're a developer looking to use Armstrong, or part of Armstrong, in your next CMS buildout, we encourage you to check out the code and read the documentation to see if any of our modules would be right for you.
We don't provide hosting, but we're happy to provide guidance. Armstrong will run on any system that supports Django applications. You can see those requirements here. We're partial to Amazon EC2 or Rackspace Cloud servers; MySQL or PostgreSQL database backends; Amazon S3 for static media hosting; and Varnish and/or memcached for a cache setup.
No. Any support should be arranged between you and your implementation team. We are open to providing consulting, though. Contact us for more information.
Armstrong was funded under a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which expired in 2012. The grant's original partners, The Texas Tribune and The Bay Citizen are actively running their sites on instances of the platform and will continue to contribute code back into the framework on a case-by-case basis. Among the features scheduled to be backported in late 2012 and early 2013 are an enhanced layout system and improved image handling, including in-CMS image cropping.