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About Plone

Top 15 questions about Plone:

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1 - What is a Content Management System?

A Content Management System (CMS) allows users to create, manage and publish content to a website without requiring a high level of technical skill.

As websites have grown larger and more complex, content management systems like Plone have grown in popularity, since they provide an efficient, easy way for people to create and edit content in a consistent, secure and controllable fashion. CMSes also enable website visitors to interact with content and with each other by contributing comments, ratings, submitting forms and more.

Using a CMS is critical to the success and long term maintainability of almost any website or intranet.

2 - What is Plone?

Plone is a powerful and flexible, enterprise-quality content management system that is easy for developers to download and install, and easy for end-users to use. Plone lets non-technical people create and maintain website content using only a web browser. Plone offers a rich set of capabilities for public websites, private intranets and collaborative workspaces.

Plone is among the top 2% of all open source projects worldwide, with 200 core developers and over 300 solution providers in more than 50 countries.

Plone has been actively developed since 2001, is available in more than 40 languages, and has the best security track record of any major CMS.

Plone's codebase and intellectual property is owned by the Plone Foundation, which is a non-profit organization where donations are tax-deductible (at least in the US).

3 - How much does Plone cost?

Plone is open source software distributed under the GNU General Public License (GPL) and is free to download, use, customize and share.

With no licensing fees, Plone lets users spend their resources on customizing the software to meet their specific needs, creating content, site branding and maintenance. Even after factoring in the cost of engaging consultants, the total cost of ownership for implementing a Plone solution will often be significantly less than propriety solutions such as Sharepoint or Vignette, which carry steep licensing fees.

For organisations which do not have the in-house skills to deploy Plone, professional assistance and commercial support are available from over 300 Plone consulting firms located around the world. Many are listed at

4 - What databases does Plone integrate with?

Plone comes with a reliable, secure, easy-to-administer object database backend known as the ZODB (Zope Object Database). In addition, Plone can easily connect to data stored in Active Directory, LDAP,, SQL databases, and more.

A free Plone add-on, RelStorage, also allows enterprises with investments in Oracle, MySQL and PostgreSQL to store the data driving their Plone site in their existing infrastructure to be able to make use of familiar tools, clustering and failover solutions.

5 - Is Plone search engine friendly?

Very much so. Plone automatically encourages search engine optimization best practices such as keyword-rich URLs, human-readable descriptions, and crawlable sitemaps. Many sites that switch to Plone immediately notice a jump in their search engine rankings, crawl quality and relevance.

As an example, is one of the few websites in the world that has a 9 out of 10 PageRank in Google, the same as major sites like those of IBM and Microsoft.

6 - What do I need to host my Plone site?

Plone can run on Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, FreeBSD and Solaris — and offers a straightforward installation process to get a website up and running in no time.

For organizations who would rather have someone host their website or manage their servers, over 150 hosting providers are listed at

7 - Who is using Plone?

Thousands of organizations including large and small businesses, educational institutions, government agencies, nonprofits, science organizations, media outlets and publishers are using Plone to power their websites.

Organizations as diverse as NASA, Oxfam, Amnesty International, Nokia, eBay, Novell, the FBI, the State Universities of Pennsylvania and Utah, as well as many governments round the world such as the UK, Belgian, Brazilian, Australian and New Zealand governments have chosen Plone to power both public-facing and internal websites.

8 - How does Plone compare with Sharepoint, Drupal, Alfresco and Joomla?

Plone is a true CMS with built-in publication workflow and document management features, unlike other systems such as Sharepoint or Alfresco, which are primarily document management systems with limited web functionality. This makes Plone ideal for intranets and extranets.

Plone can be customized and extended to meet the specific needs of an organization in terms of site structure, content types, workflow rules, etc. Not all CMSes offer the same level of flexibility.

Because it is built on top of Python and Zope, Plone is very secure, which is a reason why many switch from Joomla and Drupal to Plone.

Plone is 100% open source, so released, stable versions can be downloaded for free. There's no need to purchase a per-server or per-user license to get commercial support, as is the case with Alfresco or Sharepoint.

9 - Is professionial support and maintenance available?

Plone is supported by a global network of over 300 solution providers in more than 50 countries offering development, integration, consulting, hosting, training, support and maintenance services. A list of providers and consultants can be found at

10 - How do I edit/upload my content using Plone?

Users can edit and upload content to their Plone site from any computer using only a web browser.

Users simply log into their site to edit existing pages, add new sections, remove old content, upload new videos, and do so using a simple web-based editor similar to Microsoft Word.

11 - Is Plone secure?

Plone offers superior security without sacrificing power or extensibility.

As an open source product, a large number of developers frequently scrutinize the code for any potential security issues. This proactive approach is better than the wait-and-see approach in proprietary software that relies on keeping security issues a secret instead of resolving them outright.

Built on Python and Zope, which are highly secure platforms, Plone has a technological edge that has helped it attain the best security track record of any major CMS (Source: CVE).

And because of its object-oriented backend, Plone isn't vulnerable to SQL Injection attacks, which are one of the most common security problems that affect PHP/MySQL-based systems. Plone's flexible ACL system for user permissions also helps ensures that users only see the content that they're supposed to.

In fact, security is a major reason why many CMS users are switching to Plone.

12 - Does Plone support versioning?

Plone ships with a product that allows users to track changes as successive versions of a document are written. Plone provides a detailed history of document versions allows users to compare versions and even revert to a previous version.

13 - Does Plone support multi-lingual content?

Plone has been translated into more than 40 languages.

Plone can manage content in multiple languages using LinguaPlone, a free add-on product. LinguaPlone provides content contributors with a convenient side by side interface to enter content in multiple languages without the need for a duplicate site structure.

14 - Does Plone support visitors with disabilities?

Plone meets or exceeds U.S. Government 508 and W3C’s WAI-AA standards. Organizations with legal obligations to meet accessibility standards frequently choose Plone precisely for this reason.

15 - How scalable is Plone?

Plone is appropriate for very small websites and very large ones. Plone has powerful built-in caching features that can be configured to optimize site performance. In addition, Plone site administrators often use web accelerators such as Squid and Varnish to boost site speed.

Thanks to its use of Zope, Plone has outstanding clustering capabilities, which allows a website to be split over multiple servers to handle high traffic.

Want to know more?

  • For Plone documentation and installers, please visit
  • For a list of hosting and development services providers, go to
  • For any questions or to request a quote, please contact
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