I am very new to the CMS world....I understand what they are, but haven't tried any of them.
I want to start a website that would be primarily a photo gallery site, and with a forum as a secondary purpose. So a CMS that integrates these 2 features is key.
Also, I would prefer to have one that is pretty popular, so I know that it isn't going to just disappear overnight. There are so many to choose from, and I have no idea which ones are the "big players" and which ones are fly-by-nights.
Other nice features would be a clean design and statistics, but this isn't mandatory.
Well, now that everyone has thrown out their opinions, you, nicedream need to answer some questions for us. The answers to these questions will help guide you to the right choices for you. At least this will narrow down the choices a little.
How well do you speak php? Do you know the php language at all? If the answer is NO, then stay away from dragonfly, phpnuke, and a few of the others that were listed. Why you might ask? These CMS's use a php theme. In other words the CMS colors and layout are contolled by PHP instead of html.
How well do you speak HTML? If you speak fluent html, then look at MDPro and Postnuke (I prefer MDPro).
To change the width and colors of the columns in an html based theme, its as easy as editing an html file.
I have tried several cms's - phpnuke, postnuke, drupal, mdpro and dragonfly - just to name a few.
After I installed some of these cms's, I learned how hard it was going to be to edit php based themes - as I do not speak php.
The question you asked was a tricky one, as the answer will be in the skills of the person using the CMS.
So my question to you - do you know php, mysql, sql or html languages? Build off of what you already know, then go from there.
Gotta go with ~kev~ on this one. If you want to use a CMS and then add on things like a gallery and forum you'd better have some knowledge of HTML, PHP, MySQL, and CSS. The problem with the integration of something like a CMS, forum, and gallery is mainly upgrading. You'll need to make sure that the update works, doesn't break one of the pieces, and the bridge isn't affected. Unless you never upgrade...
Personally I use Joomla and I've done quite of bit of integration and customization work for folks. And while I have been able to turn maintenance of content over to the customer, they leave the upgrades, patches, enhancements up to me.