Super simple content management
August 24, 2005 9:50 AM   Subscribe

I'm designing a website for a band. I want them to be able to update the News page. I would like a very simple admin page that just updates the text on that page, and nothing else.

I used to use Blogger for this, and would just strip everything out of the template, and then load the text into the News page with an include. But Blogger got all big and complicated, and I don't think this would work anymore. I don't want anything overly complicated like PHP-Nuke, since they won't be doing anything other than changing text.
posted by andrewzipp to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Have you tried looking into using an access-restricted Wiki?
posted by jozxyqk at 9:57 AM on August 24, 2005

I've used Greymatter in the past.
posted by awesomebrad at 10:02 AM on August 24, 2005

A wiki is getting to always be the first suggestion. I wouldn't use one in this case.

Here's what I did for a site of mine:
I wrote a small PHP snippit that loaded a text file & did very basic parsing/formatting to get the news. You can use XML if you want, but its overkill.

Now, I had shell access, so to update my site I'd shell in, and edit the file in vim. However, it would be trivially easy to have an 'add news' page to append/prepend a news item to the text file. It would still be quite easy to load the entire text file up and allow the admin to edit an arbitrary item. Or, if you're feeling bare-bones, just load the entire text file up, let them edit it in an edit box, and write the entire text file back. Problem solved.

Using prebuilt software for this is massive, massive overkill.
posted by devilsbrigade at 10:16 AM on August 24, 2005

Sounds like a job for Textpattern.
posted by planetkyoto at 10:17 AM on August 24, 2005

Have this problem all the time at work and found a near perfect solution: contentEditable

With our clients, even something like MT or WP is too complicated so I found this and it works great, and we can add it to our existing sites.

Basically, you can even retrofit any website using a few simple tags to make content blocks editable. It is super easy for users.

Downsides: Since it uses IE's built-in editing features it only works in IE. Also, it costs $50, but the license is unlimited.

Upsides: No database stuff necessary. It just edits the content block in specific pages and the changes are published directly to the site.
posted by letterneversent at 10:18 AM on August 24, 2005

Why wouldn't Blogger work anymore?

You can still make a very bare-bones template with only a handful of tags very easily.

If you've used it successfully before, I don't think you need to reinvent the wheel.
posted by bcwinters at 10:29 AM on August 24, 2005

Sounds like a job for CMS Made Simple (CMSMS).
posted by gfroese at 10:54 AM on August 24, 2005

Response by poster: Wow. Thanks for all the great suggestions. Hours of googling made me think that there was no such thing. CMS, Textpattern, and Greymatter look really promising.

I think I'll end up using contentEditable on other projects, that looks awesome.

Blogger worked OK, but it was too easy to screw up the whole site on accident, and people would always think "Hmmm, this text would look at lot better if it was 36pt and bright red."
posted by andrewzipp at 11:05 AM on August 24, 2005

I'll second GreyMatter... I've used it many times in situations just as you describe, and users typically seem to get the hang of it pretty quickly. However, some of these other ideas look interesting too, so I'm going to do some exploring myself!
posted by spilon at 11:11 AM on August 24, 2005

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