I have a question for all you university web pros lurking out there: if you were to somehow secure the resources to implement one enterprise-level project, would you choose a CMS or a portal? Lots of you out there have experience with one or both of these— care to share?

Although I haven’t actually secured the resources needed (sigh…), I am starting to prepare for that magical day. And I keep going back and forth about which one would be best to go for first. Both of them have their advantages, and both of them are major projects that would be tough to pull off well.

I like the idea of the uniformity that a CMS could give our site, and I also like the idea of having a framework that would allow folks with no web development experience to update their sites easily. This is what all the CMSs promise, but I guess the cynic in me finds it hard to believe that they can actually deliver on it. Plus, being a Standardistatrix, I have yet to see a enterprise-level CMS that outputs the kind of code that I am comfortable with. I would love to be wrong about this, so please tell me if I am!

As far as a portal goes, I would love the idea of the functionality and targeted content that it could provide. I also like the idea of diverting on-campus users to a portal, and using the main university home page to target exterior audiences. I think it would be a relief to serve fewer target audiences on our main page, as I talked about here. I wonder, though, if folks would actually use the portal. Would they drink if I led them to water? Plus, there I have same standards queasiness with portals that I have with CMSs.

So what would you do? Any insights to share?