Single-user CMS?
October 3, 2008 9:06 AM   Subscribe

Best open-source CMS for a single user?

I currently have most of my self-generated "content" out there on the web as part of other services. My photos are on Flickr, my videos are on YouTube, I have a blog on Blogger and Tumblr... etc.

I want to bring it all together into a single site. (Whether that means just linking or embedding to the above outside stuff or actually moving all the content locally... I'm open to both options.)

But my site will be strictly just for me, no other users, and most of the popular CMS's seem to have major features geared towards multiple users. I'm not interested in that.

Can you suggest a good CMS for a single user? It really doesn't have to be particularly complicated. The biggest feature I want is to be able to create a hierarchical category of pages, as well as have a "What's new" chronological list.

Oh yes and I'd prefer open source. Thanks. :)
posted by Mwongozi to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
What's wrong with using a multi-user CMS with just one user? I do this all the time. basically, take your pick: Drupal, Wordpress, Movable Type, Expression Engine, etc. If the platform you choose has open user registration, simple disable that to prevent spammers from exploiting the sign-up form.
posted by camworld at 9:16 AM on October 3, 2008

Are you saying that you want a secret site that nobody can see? Or just something nobody can edit?

Random proposal: FriendFeed account just for your stuff.

You can also use tumblr to import RSS feeds and auto-tag them by category. There are certain themes that may interest you, such as Griddle.
posted by acidic at 9:18 AM on October 3, 2008

Response by poster: No, not a secret site. Just something that no-one else can edit.

I actually have a FriendFeed but it can ONLY include things from other sites. I want to be able to, for example, put up a static page that isn't part of a blog. Tumblr has tags but they're not hierarchical, just one level.
posted by Mwongozi at 9:23 AM on October 3, 2008

Any of the CMS's mentioned by camworld will do what you want. Personally, I'd recommend Wordpress as it's what I'm most familiar with and it's very easy to set up.
posted by Nick Jordan at 9:33 AM on October 3, 2008

I'd lean towards WordPress as well. It's just nice and simple, and relatively easy to add plugins to (and the available themes are nice). Drupal is powerful, but the learning curve is steep and defaults are not always set up in the best way for a single user bloggy sort of site (which is what it sounds like you want)--I always think of Drupal as a "meta-CMS." I believe one could say the same things about Joomla (excuse me...Joomla!) as I said about Drupal, but I don't have as much experience with it so I can't confirm. It's also been a little while since the last time I set up Movable Type and it used to be harder to set up than WordPress...but as far as user interface goes it's as slick as WordPress (if not slicker).

These are the systems I am most familiar with. There are others out there. There's my two cents.
posted by dubitable at 9:54 AM on October 3, 2008

Oh, and just to clarify: it sounds like you want a "bloggy" site, rather than something else, which WordPress is also well suited to do out of the box. It can certainly do more than that, but it's basic mode of operation is a blog. Again to compare it to Drupal: Drupal takes more setting-up to get a blog sort of site going (although the ability is certainly there out of the box as well). On the other hand, it is arguably much easier (once you get past the learning curve) to make Drupal do all different sorts of types of sites vs. WordPress. These two I know the best, so I can't comment as well on others in this regard...
posted by dubitable at 9:57 AM on October 3, 2008

Arrgghh...grammer edit: "its basic mode of operation..."
posted by dubitable at 9:59 AM on October 3, 2008

I agree that WordPress is the most popular for many many valid reasons. I have also used Drupal, which has more options but, as dubitable said, takes a while to understand. Try them both; most servers allow one-click installation on your website. Movable Type, if I remember correctly, isn't open source, but does have an open source version in the works. I used it about five years ago and switched because it wasn't easy to do exactly what you are describing with it.
posted by billtron at 10:03 AM on October 3, 2008

Best answer: Try as I might, I cannot find anything that works better than Joomla. Almost all sites I build are single-user and it works perfectly fine. There are quite a few extensions that could integrate your Web 2.0 content into a Joomla page. Blogs. Flickr. YouTube. A lot more.

That said, if you are planning on moving your existing blog content to this new site, I'm not sure how easy that would be with a Joomla blog extension. I'm glad to have thrown Joomla out there, but I am tempted to go with the crowd and suggest that WordPress might be good, too.
posted by bristolcat at 11:11 AM on October 3, 2008

I also recommend WordPress. It's fairly simple to use and its large user base means there is lots of support available. It's also pretty easy to integrate content from Tumblr, Flickr, YouTube, etc. It has hierarchical categories as well as freetext tagging and you can use either or both in organizing blog posts and static pages.
posted by camcgee at 12:26 PM on October 3, 2008

Would a wiki do what you want? I use pbwiki, and its dead simple to work with.
posted by midwestguy at 12:52 PM on October 3, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks for all the advice!
posted by Mwongozi at 2:49 PM on October 3, 2008

I'd probably recommend Wordpress, Drupal, and Joomla! in that order. I relaunched my blog recently using Drupal and wrote up some details about how I'm integrating with external services like flickr, delicious, and twitter to populate it automatically. If I tag a photo on flickr with a keyword, it auto-imports it an crops/scales it for use in the site's header, stuff like that. It's powerful, and super-customizable, but I've also been working with Drupal for the better part of four years.

As others have noted, Wordpress seems to have a much larger number of 'turnkey' plugins for running a blog that pulls in information from Flickr and other external sources.
posted by verb at 6:56 PM on October 5, 2008

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