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What is Plone?

Plone is a free and open source content management system built on top of the Zope application server. Plone can be used for any kind of website, including blogs, internet sites, webshops, and internal websites.

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Product Details

What is Plone?

Plone is a free and open source mobile and multichannel capable content management system built on top of the Zope application server. In principle, Plone can be used for any kind of website, including blogs, internet sites, webshops and internal websites. It is also well positioned to be used as a document publishing system and groupware collaboration tool. The strengths of Plone are its flexible and adaptable workflow, very good security, extensibility, high usability and flexibility. Its users are varied from large enterprises to small businesses, non-profits, universities, and governments. It is available on any platform (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, BSD).

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Plone?

Plone is a free and open source content management system built on top of the Zope application server. Plone can be used for any kind of website, including blogs, internet sites, webshops, and internal websites.

What is Plone's best feature?

Reviewers rate Role-based user permissions and API and Code quality / cleanliness highest, with a score of 10.

Who uses Plone?

The most common users of Plone are from Small Businesses (1-50 employees) and the Information Technology & Services industry.

Reviews and Ratings




(1-12 of 12)
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Rikupekka Oksanen | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Plone is widely being used in our organization: from public websites to intranets, customized LMSs or customized sites designed to do some special thing, to smaller sites and different portals. We have video publishing platforms, payment systems, customized forms, workflows and countless integrations to other internal and external systems.

Plone is an extremely solid and safe platform to use, which is very important for us as a university. The content management is easy to use, and customization options are limitless. Especially important for us is the robust, yet flexible permission management; we may, if we want, to control the access permissions to a smallest detail in every page available.
  • Easy to use content management
  • Lots of features out of the box
  • Excellent security
  • Flexible permission management
  • Flexible workflow system
  • Limitless possibilities to extend and customize, also through the web without programming skills
  • Free to use, open source
  • Helpful and welcoming community
  • Customizable content types
  • As a big and mature system it might take time to learn how to develop
  • Not as well known as some other CMSs
  • Not so easy to find external developers, if needed
Well suited for:
  • Huge public sites with hundreds of content managers and granulated permissions
  • Intranets with hundreds of content managers and granulated permissions
  • Customized services with workflows, automated content rules and integrations
  • Sites that require excellent safety and flexibility to develop further
  • International, multi-language sites
  • Customized forms
Not fo good for
  • Small sites with little amount of content editors
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We develop Plone solutions for our clients and use the product ourselves. We have been using Plone since version 2 and currently use it on new projects.

Plone provides a very powerful base CMS and application platform upon which we build customised solutions for our clients. Plone provides a very scalable architecture, the ability to configure complex workflows and permissions, the ability to plug in external authentication systems, full revision history and tracking of content revisions and many other enterprise features not seen in most opensource CMSs
  • Very powerful and configurable security and permissions. This makes it easy to develop private intranets, secure areas of a site or simply be confident that the site won't be hacked easily.
  • Configurable workflows allow us to develop custom workflow solutions for our clients without the need for complex programming.
  • Base CMS functionality meets the needs of the vast majority of our sites without the need for significant programming, a large number of mature add-on products help in this area too.
  • Excellent SEO capabilities such as clean URLs, automated sitemaps, built in metadata management ensure Plone sites rank very highly in search engines
  • Version control of all changes with a detailed history and the ability to roll back changes. This has saved me many times in the past.
  • Plone is one of the most secure CMS solutions available. Vulnerabilities are extremely rare and the development community is highly skilled and alert to issues that do arise.
  • As a CMS its hard to find a flaw in Plone. But it is a difficult platform to learn and develop in. The Zope framework is unusual in its structure and can take a long time to become familiar with. So the one significant downside of Plone is the effort required to gain solid technical expertise.
Plone is first and foremost a CMS, it is ideal for a large content heavy website, and it is also perfect for private intranets. It can also serve as an excellent document management system in many cases.

Plone is also very good for scaling both in terms of large volumes of data and heavy site traffic. If used properly it can easily be deployed on clusters of servers with a shared backend data store.

Plone is not strong in the e-commerce area and it is not ideally suited to systems that require complex relational databases, though these can be connected if necessary.
Peter Fraterdeus | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
The public web presence has been on a Plone stack since SlowPrint started in 2007.
I also use Plone for other web properties, including my consulting at
As a content management system, Plone provides the ability to manage changing content requirements, for updating, adding new content, integrating a Twitter feed, etc.
  • Rock-solid technology stack. The python/Zope/Plone stack is as solid as anything else out there.
  • Highly customizable TTW, if needed, via the Zope Management Interface, or Diazo XSL-transform theme design.
  • Good support from core developers, lots of solid add-ons which address just about any needs.
  • Amazingly customizable workflow, permissions and security management.
  • Error messages are often cryptic, rising up with a traceback from deep in the system.
  • It's perhaps hard to control this, since add-ons will always bring uncontrolled elements to bear.
  • Perhaps some way to better visualize the source of the problem? End users should never see a traceback.
  • TTW design options. In fact, Diazo based theming is remarkably powerful, and there are many tools for TTW design, but to better integrate this essential part of web development would make for a more useful end product.
Is there an experienced sysadmin to install and maintain the stack? If not, Plone is not a good choice. However, hosted solutions are available. It's important to have qualified and knowledgeable personnel available who are able to address development concerns. For end-users, and content managers, it's a great system overall. Publishing workflow, multi-level undo and rollback, etc make Plone very attractive in active publishing environments.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We are using Plone for more than 6 years to develop websites for the public administration and private held companies. The whole organization is using Plone and not only to develop solutions for our clients but also internally, where we have built a strong set of internal tools and a knowledge management tool to help our developers to adapt to our development environment. We are using Plone as an open source software to build and implement solid e-government solutions for parliaments and administrations. Plone is a robust CMS with a strong security system and it doesn't have any additional license fees. Implementation costs are minimized because it's also easy to learn from the final user perspective.
  • Security management: Plone handles security pretty well out-of-the-box due to its Plone/Zope stack, also Plone doesn't use a SQL database so it's not vulnerable to injection.
  • It's easy to learn: Final users usually need only 1 single session to learn how to use a Plone powered website and manage it's content. There isn't a different back-end, content can be edited from the front-end.
  • Speed: Plone is memory efficient, and plays well with caching systems like Varnish.
  • Learning curve for developers: Plone is not a simple solution, it's complex and it needs some serious learning time to start being really productive and being able to make a good use of the tool.
  • Plone requires a dedicated server and some deep knowledge to build and mantain your projects.
  • It's difficult to find Plone expertise and consulting services in some countries.
Plone is best suited for large websites. It's complex and sometimes requires a big effort to correctly setup the development and production environments, that's why it's being used mainly in medium-large sites being managed by more than one author at the same time. Intranets are another good example, Plone can handle a large volume of files and it supports a wide range of authentication methods.
Ronnie Stevens | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
I use Plone to develop professional responsive websites for small and medium companies. Plone has a perfect separation of logic and templates using Diazo and a very powerful toolkit under the hood to develop any possible web application.
For my clients it is the best I can offer as a CMS, being the most user-friendly I have encountered in the last decade. Where in my price-range mainly Joomla and Wordpress websites are developed, I have a really strong competing product, offering a much less vulnerable environment. Further more it is possible to completely version-control the whole development, and scripting the whole deployment environment using Buildout.
  • Plone is a folder-based system, organising content in a similar way desktop-users are doing for the last two decades. No need to teach non-tech customers some relational-database like paradigm for content management.
  • Plone is secure. It is the most secure CMS you can get your hands on.
  • Plone is flexible, and makes fast development easy.
  • Plone development is hard to learn. Plone is on the right track to make simple development more easy, but is far from its goal.
  • Documentation is always a problem. This is due to Plone's complexity.
  • There are only few providers capable of running Plone-websites.
  • Plone is not very well known to the public, making it harder to sell.
Plone is very well suited for medium and large websites with a lot of authenticated users. That said I mainly use Plone for very small companies with only one user.
The templating engine makes it possible to connect virtually any design to a Plone-site, making it also very suitable for the more creative designs.
Building a webshop in Plone is not advisable.
Fabrizio Reale | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We have been using Plone for more than ten years to deploy websites, intranets, document managements systems and collaboration portals for our clients. We also use it for our websites and intranet and also for some internal applications. It allows to easily create web applications and above all to let them be managed by non technical users.
  • Websites - with Plone you can give the complete management of the website to editors who don't have to be expert in web development. Thus, they can even create complex web application without coding.
  • Intranets - Plone has a strong content distribution system where anyone can only see and search what is reserved to him. It can be used to create workgroups and can handle many different types of content.
  • Collaboration portals - Plone can be easily integrated with any user base and provides natively tools that let people to collaborate together both within organization and outside.
  • Plone has a steep learning curve if you want to manage all its aspects. Some things can be done easily, but others require great skills.
  • The Plone templating system is very specific and requires to be fully understood if you need to customize it deeply.
Its best job is to manage generic contents even mixed together. For example web pages, files, images, events, projects, user discussions can be easily managed in the same portal. It is less appropriate when you need a traditional database application such as an accounting software or an ERP. Being based on an object oriented database is most suitable for non structured contents.
Jussi Talaskivi | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Currently Plone powers most of the websites in the University of Jyväskylä. It is used across the whole organization. Plone provides us an easy to use interface for managing our web content in a way that a lot of people can participate in the editorial work.
  • Good security record.
  • Flexible workflows.
  • Indefinitely extendable.
  • Ease of use.
  • Not widely known.
  • Slightly esoteric software stack.
  • Better desktop integration.
Is the problem content management or something else? If it has something to do with content and users' permissions to do something with it Plone is a good choice. More lightweight solution might be more appropriate for other cases.
Fulvio Casali | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
I'm a Plone developer and integrator, and provide managed hosting services specialized for Plone to my clients. Plone is a solid, enterprise-level and extremely secure content management system that can faithfully serve many different usage types over the long term.
  • Plone shines in its usability for content editors: unlike other CMSes, there is no "admin" interface separate from the public-facing site, with many confusing settings and screens. Instead, when you edit or create a page, you do so right in the place where the change needs to occur.
  • One of Plone's greatest strengths is its ability to model your organization's specific workflows, and to give all your staff members the appropriate roles and permissions on different sections of your site. Therefore, you can give certain users a role that allows them to create new content, other users will have the ability to review newly created or edited content and publish it or send it back for further edits. You have full control over what content is made available to the public, etc.
  • In the last few years, Plone has made great strides in two specific directions: theming, and custom content types. For theming, Plone has embraced a new technology named Diazo, which allows virtually unlimited flexibility in mapping any arbitrary page elements into an existing HTML theme. Thus, it is possible to select any theme from the thousands of free or low-cost designs created for any other blogging or CMS platform, and very quickly and cheaply turn it into a native Plone theme. For content types, the Dexterity architecture allows site administrators to very easily create new custom content types through a browser, with no programming required, and integrate them into the full set of features available in Plone.
  • Plone's security track record is legendary. NASA, the CIA, the FBI and many national, regional and local governments, as well as higher education institutions have chosen Plone because it's secure.
  • Plone scales up to any size website, with any level of traffic, thanks to its solid architecture and the availability of an industrial-strength ecosystem of add-ons for virtually any applciation.
  • Plone's main drawback is that it has higher system requirements that make it more expensive to host. Recently, newer low-cost cloud-based offerings have emerged that might eliminate this weakness.
The larger your organization, the more appropriate Plone will be. This is not to say that Plone is a worse choice for small websites, only that the minimum investment for a Plone site is certainly higher than for other platforms. If you already use Plone for your site and are looking for a redesign or an overhaul, I would only advise switching to a different platform such as WordPress or Drupal if your organization is downsizing. For any other situation, Plone is the natural choice for your growth.
March 01, 2014

Plone - A Superb CMS

Gracie Wardin | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Plone is the software used to manage the content on the entire University of Wisconsin Oshkosh's website. My place of work (the department I worked for when I used Plone) uses Plone to run it's specific pages within the department's website.
  • When uploading files, Plone gives great options of where you'd like your content to be stored.
  • After uploading your content and easily storing it, its extremely simple to retrieve it from any page you're working on.
  • Plone has a great toolbar for writing and editing content for your pages. Managing links, files, and aesthetic aspects of your site using Plone is simple and enjoyable.
  • When creating a table-like view (for example - an organized and lined-up photo gallery), Plone doesn't give you the option of holding down your cursor and sliding the picture (r other content) to a specific spot. Plone only allows you to move pictures to an absolute-positioned area, sometimes causing content to not be aligned.
  • I've had a few problems when uploading files with certain file extensions. It would be nice for Plone to have a pop up window or some sort of message that stops you from adding a file that doesn't fit their compatibility, rather than you encountering error messages or bad-looking sites due to having the wrong type of file uploaded.
  • Plone is slightly more complicated than Wordpress, a large CMS competitor, possibly causing people to stray away from it.
Managing a large site, for example a university, Plone makes it easy to access all pages securely and edit them easily and appropriately. One must be properly trained in order to use it though.
Key questions when choosing your CMS: How large is your site, how educated are the developers or employees that are going to be updating the site using Plone?
February 24, 2014

Plone GG 24.02.2014

Gilmer Govaert | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use Plone for all the help pages of the ICT products of our group. We have decided to use it for all help pages concerning ICT products. Many of our SAP programs and web applications link to a Plone page.It's main purpose is therefore educate our users and minimize the amount of help desk questions.
  • Very easy to use framework, even without any training.
  • Pages are made exactly the same each time, giving all your pages a coherent look. Also, company specific templates are available to reach this goal.
  • Easy and clear management of pages and visibility into the process.
  • Bullets and formatting sometimes make it difficult to add text to an existing paragraph. The 'code' button is useful in those cases, but only to those who know html.
  • Sometimes the pages don't save correctly and you use information.
  • Uploading and displaying images is a bit too much work.
Well suited for most colleagues since it is easy to use.
Kelv Cutler | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 3 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Plone was used for a 3rd party organization to manage their workings as an organization serving a large interest based community. For them, it was a place to manage information about the organization leaders, current events and eventually for community involvement. As a software engineer I built and plugged new pieces of product into Plone so that they could solicit and facilitate community involvement.
  • Does a lot straight out of the box - user and content management with varying levels of privileges
  • Fairly easy to set up a running instance of Plone on either windows or linux
  • There are various themes and plugins that can be integrated (the existence of them is good, actually doing so is not so fun)
  • Not everything is configurable or editable by Plone, and when you need to adjust or add custom pieces in, you need to deal with Zope. Zope has an ugly, confusing and difficult UI and structure as a backend.
  • Using 3rd party products is difficult to do - there are a few different ways to get them installed, all of which take a bit of luck to get right.
  • Building custom products for Plone is not fun. You've got to deal with an archaic framework to tie in that is not well documented (there is documentation about many things, but not great documentation and there are a lot of holes in the documentation).
If you're not going to do anything different than what Plone offers out of the box then it could be a good choice. If when you do want things configured differently, you don't mind paying a premium for someone to go and fix things for you then Plone would be fine for you. It's just unfortunate that tweaking and adding things in is not more intuitive.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Plone is the main system for our departmental website. Our department houses many different sub-organizations that all have their own unique part in the department. With the flexibility of Plone each individual, and organization can update their profiles and information quickly. This provides the department the flexability it needs to allow heads of these organizations to keep there pages up to date with out having to call IT all the time to make simple changes.
  • Easily update content on pages
  • Create content rich pages on the fly
  • Easy to manage
  • In 3.x Plone still needed someone with python and coding experience.
If you are using this for a large organization then the time it takes to setup and get going it worth the effort. If you are going for a small quick fix I probably would not use plone unless you are savy web coder.