Need CMS for a simple database driven site
April 25, 2006 11:09 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a something (php/mysql) that will help me build a simple database driven website. The CMS i've seen and used (such as drupal, post nuke) seem like overkill.

The site will be a list of academics by country, areas of interest and submitted (though these don't have to be user submitted, I'm happy to upload them myself) papers/articles by these people. There will also be an archive of other relevent papers etc.

I would need tags/keywords and a search function. The other stuff - news/events, about us, links etc are straightforward.

I've gone through ask mefi, but haven't found anything obvious.
posted by quarsan to Computers & Internet (11 answers total)
Drupal out of the box is rather barebones. Most people turn on a jillion options, but it's default state is quite light-weight.
posted by unixrat at 11:31 AM on April 25, 2006

Does it have to be php?

Ruby on Rails is dead simple to use if it's basically a database driven site.
posted by empath at 11:39 AM on April 25, 2006

Right now Ruby on Rails isn't the greatest option mainly since it's not available on a lot of hosts. Also, if you're a neophyte, it's not the easiest learning curve to start up a simple blog with.

You could use Movable Type with the Right Fields plugin to make use of tags, or one of the other modable content management systems. Personally, i'd say it'd be better to either code it yourself, or find a PHP person to code it, from scratch. You have a lot more flexibility and can keep it simple.

Movable Type is great, but if you have to hack it too much, it loses its worth.
posted by destro at 12:07 PM on April 25, 2006

I think Drupal is a bit confusing because all the docs go on and on about vocabularies and taxonomies when in fact you can completely ignore them. There's also not - in my opinion - a very good starting barebones theme out there for people to customize with.

You can also try Wordpress. It's a big stronger in themes and has a slightly better management UI I think. However I think Drupal has some significant legs up on it in being able to do custom menus with little (no) looking at code.

All that said, you're right - most CMS systems are overkill. However you should remember that they are overkill for EVERYONE. The point of all those features isn't to use them all, it's to have a selection so complete that the 7% you actually use includes all the options you want.
posted by phearlez at 12:16 PM on April 25, 2006

Thanks guys, I use drupal for one of my sites: blairwatch
and it is excellent and, with a bit of practice is emminently tweakable.

however I'm not a php programmer and this is for my day job. Basically the director is trying to oursource it to a web consultant - I read the consultant's report and it is just bollocks.

now, because of the small scale (maybe 300 academics) I could do it in simple html, but I was hoping to find some CMS or php scripts I could use. We've got php mysql and all sorts of goodies from our web provider.

Maybe I could use drupal, but I was wondering if there was a simpler way of doing this. I tried searching through php sites etc but couldn't find anything and I was getting very confused.
posted by quarsan at 12:26 PM on April 25, 2006

expression engine is really robust (maybe too robust for your needs) but it has a 5 minute install and it's flexible enough to let you do just about anything. And it has the functions you need (via plugins I believe, also dead easy to install) and they now offer the core of their program for free.
posted by heartquake at 12:37 PM on April 25, 2006

There is a category of "Lite" CMS at OpenSourceCMS. Maybe one of those? I've just installed Etomite, very simple and straightforward and with some nice neutral templates as well.
posted by bering at 1:09 PM on April 25, 2006

I like website baker (pops). It's all template driven, has several different page types (WYSIWYG, Forms, News/Events), lets you upload files, but is really easy to use and set up. Doesn't have crazy "community building" features that just get in the way.
posted by CaptApollo at 2:17 PM on April 25, 2006

The point of all those features isn't to use them all, it's to have a selection so complete that the 7% you actually use includes all the options you want.

A very pithy explanation. You sir, have just crafted my new email sig.
posted by Wild_Eep at 2:20 PM on April 25, 2006

What time line is this needed on?
dabbledb: (screencast)

might be worth waiting for?
posted by slactoid at 1:52 PM on April 26, 2006

I'd use Movable Type with RightFields, has pretty much everything you want built in and if you get stuck you can always find someone to help or get paid support.
posted by anildash at 4:43 PM on April 26, 2006

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