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).
- We thought that tapping into the user/content management tooling of Plone would be a good and useful thing, however it turned out to be a major pain to tie into those parts of Plone.
- I wish we would have built the extra functionality completely outside Plone and found a way to integrate it. It would have been much easier.
I did not select Plone. It was the choice of the organization we were doing the contract work for. I did not look into other products.
I have no desire to do work with such an archaic platform where documentation is old and incomplete and the existing plugins and what not are also very old and not well maintained.
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.