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What is Plone?

by Colin Stark last modified 2006-04-19 15:53

This site is built on the open source Zope-based CMS called Plone (we use version 2.1.1). Here is a brief summary of the technology culled from the Plone home page.


Plone: A user-friendly and powerful open source Content Management System


Download Plone! Documentation Planet Plone Plone Foundation



Plone is powerful and flexible. It is ideal as an intranet and extranet server, as a document publishing system, a portal server and as a groupware tool for collaboration between separately located entities.

Plone is easy to use. The Plone Team includes usability experts who have made Plone easy and attractive for content managers to add, update, and maintain content.

Plone is easy to install. You can install Plone with a click-and-run installer, and have a content management system running on your computer in just a few minutes.

Plone is international. The Plone interface has more than 50 language translations, and tools for managing multilingual content.

Plone is supported. There are close to a hundred developers in the Plone Development Team around the world, and hundreds of companies specializing in Plone development and support.

Plone is standard. Plone carefully follows standards for usability and accessibility. Plone pages are compliant with US Section 508, and the W3C's AA rating for accessibility, in addition to using best-practice web standards like XHTML and CSS.

Plone is Open Source. Plone is licensed under the GNU General Public License, the same license Linux uses. This gives you the right to use Plone without a license fee, and to improve upon the product.

Plone is extensible. There are many add-on products for Plone that add new features and content types. In addition, Plone can be scripted using web standard solutions and Open Source languages.


Plone is technology neutral. Plone can interoperate with most relational database systems, open source and commercial, and runs on a vast array of platforms, including Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, Solaris and BSD.

Plone is protected. The nonprofit Plone Foundation was formed in 2004 to promote the use of Plone around the world and protect the Plone IP and trademarks.

Plone is built using Zope, an object oriented application server. The language that drives Zope and Plone is Python - the agile language preferred by Google, NASA, Industrial Light and Magic and many others. Why? Because Python offers unprecedented programmer productivity.

Current status

The Plone Team is currently working hard on the next release. See the roadmap for more information. If you want to help us make Plone the best open source Web Content Management System in the world, please head over to the development section - we're always looking for talented people.

Want to see more?

A versatile software product like Plone can be used in a myriad of ways. Look through the sites that use Plone section to see a variety of ways people have implemented Plone and Zope solutions.

If you prefer being entertained, you can see a presentation of Plone made by the Government of Hawaii:

Low bandwidth streaming (Windows Media)

High bandwidth streaming (Windows Media)

Downloadable file (20 MB) (AVI)

The web site you are looking at right now is built with Plone - in fact, this is the way it looks out-of-the box, with little to no customization. Plone is easily adapted to very different needs.


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