Looking for a Django CMS which suits my needs

I need to build a content-based website for a client, in Django. Well, that’s easy right? Pick one of the content management systems available, build some templates and css, and ta-da, done. Since I have used Django-CMS in previous projects, that would make my choice pretty easy too. It’s easy to work with, flexible and pretty user-friendly.

Sadly though, after a day of wrestling with Django-CMS, I am not so sure about this choice. Let me explain why.

The client needs a site with some basic pages (about me, contact information), an articles section, and a home page which shows a mix of latest articles and content that needs to be editable. My first thought was to use Django-CMS in combination with Zinnia for the articles, just as I did for this site and which I still like a lot. However, for this project it just isn’t suitable:

  • There are going to be multiple writers who can all add new articles, but should only be able to edit their own, and;
  • all new articles need to be approved by an editor before they can be published on the site.

Zinnia doesn’t offer this level of moderation, and while I could possibly, eventually, get this to work, there is something nagging me about the combination of Django-CMS and Zinnia: the plugin-based system and the wysiwyg editor. I just don’t like the plugin system used by Django-CMS, where you can add multiple blocks of content to a page. This content can for example be text or a picture. I’d much rather have just one big TinyMCE area with a filebrowser plugin for including pictures right there.

With Zinnia it is possible to use TinyMCE and the filebrowser plugin, great! Since 90% of the site will consist of articles, at least this part is easy to edit for the writers. However… this functionality depends on the Grappelli skin for the Django admin interface, which is not compatible with Django-CMS. So I can’t use it.

Not all is lost: Zinnia can also use the plugin system offered by Django-CMS, so at least it’s possible to enter content and pictures. There is a big usability problem with this though: you first need to create a blank article, save it and only then you can add plugins to it. How I am going to sell this to the client?

Right now I am thinking about writing my own articles-app, which does simple moderation and uses TinyMCE and filebrowser. This means I need Grappelli, so I need a stable CMS that plays nice with it and offers at least the following two features:

  • TinyMCE and filebrowser, so the editing is consistent
  • App integration, for including the articles section in the menu

FeinCMS could be nice, but as far as I can see from the docs, this too doesn’t offer a TinyMCE widget with media/filebrowser integration. Mezzanine is pretty cool too, but I can’t use their integrated blog manager, as it doesn’t do moderation.

Any ideas? I know that it would be way easier to just use Plone or TYPO3 or even Wordpress, but the client specifically asked for Django.