Best CMS for a simple site?
August 21, 2012 8:11 PM   Subscribe

Best CMS for a simple site?

I want to make a site that can be edited by someone else. It is a simple site, and the final user should be able to edit (by this I mean upload/replace) images on the site, text and tables. The layout will never change, just the content.

Everyone's telling me Wordpress, is there something simpler?

What do I use?
posted by anonymous to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Here you go:

I'm not sure how active the development is on this product, but one advantage is it's built using the CodeIgniter framework, so has the same engine as ExpressionEngine. In the event you do decide to go bigger it's easy to do so.

It takes minutes to install and the learning curve as a user is minutes. Unlike most CMSes out there you don't have a backend control panel. You just modify the actual pages.

I have a sandbox demo site if you ever want to play I can make you an admin or a user and you can go nuts and create and delete and modify to your heart's content.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:26 PM on August 21, 2012

I've used Perch before, and it works nicely. You build your site in CSS/HTML and add some special classes and IDs to parts that should be editable and you're off to the races. Much simpler than WordPress for a truly small and mostly static site. It isn't free, but it's arguably worth it since it's so easy to set up and you avoid a lot of the WordPress hassle.

There are lots of good ones for Ruby on Rails, too, like Radiant. You could be working backwards there, though, since you get a lot of complexity you might not really want for something static. Then there's Nesta if you want something absolutely dead simple that runs on Sinatra (which is sort of Rails' more straight-forward cousin.)

Happy content managing.
posted by littlerobothead at 8:26 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

I can second Perch. I own a license. It is nice. It also seems to be under active development. I think mojomotor is officially, but it's the forgotten kid at the big kids' table. Either will do what you say you're wanting.

I am going to slightly quibble with the question, since you have a conflicting goal in your question (as I see it). A CMS is a content management system. Generally the reason you need such a thing is because you have a lot of complex content to manage. So saying "CMS for a simple site" is sort of like asking for the best industrial espresso machine for home use.

I don't think anything mentioned so far is what I would classify as a true CMS. I can't run rails stuff in my hosted environment, so I could be wrong about some of the options littlerobothead mentions.

I'm making the assumption that what you're really asking is for is a way to maintain a brochure style website fairly easily. I answered accordingly.

One of the reasons you might be getting WordPress as an answer is because you are asking for an easy CMS. This might actually be your best option. I run two WP sites, one mojomotor site, a few ExpressionEngine sites, and maybe some other test installs of these sorts of site generators. At the end of the day each has its strengths and weaknesses.

There are a lot of specifics you don't give that would be helpful to answering this question: cost, backend preference, hosting, expected traffic, who will support the site?, etc.

Write up a list of everything you need the site to do, see which CMSes do those things, look at your budget and decide accordingly.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:43 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

See also: Virb and Squarespace.
posted by colorproof at 8:56 PM on August 21, 2012

I just had lunch with a web developer who's ditching wordpress for Concrete 5, which is approximately the same complexity, in his mind, but is far more user friendly for end users who want to edit page content in place.
posted by fatbird at 9:28 PM on August 21, 2012

I'd go with WordPress. Good for simple sites, and you're still ready for whatever might come later.
posted by wdenton at 5:09 AM on August 22, 2012

Editing page content in place is not a great idea, the apparent simplicity bites you when someone makes a mistake. Better (IMHO) to have a CMS which maintains versions of pages (say the last 5 or so) and/or allows you to edit pages without publishing them so that you can work on a draft or gain approval before the page goes live.

I like EE and mojomotor would be perfect if had the notions of draft, approval and publish built-in.

If you use wordpress as intended then pages are places to display articles not things to be edited, what you train your users to do is write articles. The downside to wordpress is it has a patchy security record so you need to be vigilant about updates.
posted by epo at 6:21 AM on August 22, 2012

Squarespace 6 is getting a lot of love right now. I have a site there and it is very simple to do basic things.
posted by Silvertree at 8:06 AM on August 22, 2012

MODX. Similar to EE, templating not limited by the system itself.
posted by juiceCake at 1:40 PM on August 22, 2012

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