What's the best solution for an ulta-simple CMS for my clients?
August 27, 2006 7:42 PM   Subscribe

What's the best (and most simple) CMS solution so html-fearing clients can update their site?

I think I might have narrowed down my search term to 'Micro CMS', but I'm still not finding what I'm looking for.

Ideally, what I believe I'm looking for would be something like the following:

Login page (clientwebsite.com/admin)
> News
> Content page #1 ('About us' for example)
> Content page #2 (Let's say... 'Links'?)

Most of these sections would basically have add/edit/delete buttons. It seems that on the sites I've done in the past, sections like 'News' don't need something as extensive as Blogger installed (user-entered date and content fields would suffice). It always seems like the bigger systems like Drupal, Joomla, etc. would be way too much for most clients to handle.

Outside of charging for small updates, what options do I have? Hire a programmer once and re-use his or her product? Is there something out there that I'm just not finding?

Bonus: If the system was XML-based and could easily be imported into Flash, all the better
posted by chimmyc to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'd suggest Wordpress. It's free, supports posts and "pages" (for "about us", etc) and can easily be customized to output xml.
posted by null terminated at 7:47 PM on August 27, 2006

If you could set up the system for them, Typo3 has a good set of page editing tools. But you'd need to set up the system for them, or they'd be lost like nothing other. For that matter, you may lost like nothing other as well.
posted by devilsbrigade at 7:49 PM on August 27, 2006

I would also recommend Wordpress. You could also take a look at Textpattern.
posted by jxpx777 at 8:03 PM on August 27, 2006

Thirding Wordpress.
posted by hooray at 8:36 PM on August 27, 2006

If you can set up a Rails application with a minimum of fuss, I highly recommend Radiant CMS, which is designed for exactly what you're looking for.
posted by Coda at 9:02 PM on August 27, 2006

Fourthing Wordpress. Did just that for a client. 6 months down the road, no problems.
posted by djgh at 9:37 PM on August 27, 2006

Response by poster: Wow, surprised I hadn't thought of using Wordpress myself. I even used Wordpress for my own blog... perhaps that's why I only considered it as a basic blog. After a quick look around Wordpress plugin sites, it seems like I might be able to get the setup I'm looking for.

Ideally, it'd be 'packaged' nicely like Radiant CMS, although that one still seems to be a bit complicated. It seems that they have a proprietary markup language, which might confuse clients. My knowledge of building websites is mostly front-end as well, so I'm behind the curve on this Rails stuff.

I think my solution is to use Wordpress for now, and keep an eye on Radiant until it gets to a point where it's a bit easier for all.

Any other suggestions in the meantime?
posted by chimmyc at 10:03 PM on August 27, 2006

Ummm "fifthing" Wordpress? I set it up for my aunt a few months ago and I haven't had to touch it since.
posted by wonderwisdom at 7:16 AM on August 28, 2006

Strong vote for Joomla here. I think it's easier to update than Wordpress and there are very attractive templates available for free and low-cost. That is what I recommend for my clients. Also, it is much richer than Wordpress which was designed for blogs.
posted by traderjoefan at 8:07 AM on August 28, 2006

Response by poster: For posterity, here's some more information I found on using Wordpress for this type of application:

Using WordPress as CMS (Specifics)
What is “Using WordPress as CMS”? (Overview and examples)
posted by chimmyc at 12:19 PM on August 28, 2006

i've heard of people using macromedia (now adobe) contribute to solve this sort of problem (for very small sites -- I'm assuming yours needs to only edit three pages, but I could be unclear on the implications of the question), but it is probably not worth it if you don't already own and use dreamweaver.

i'd be tempted to handroll based on the client's competence in this sort of situation.
posted by fishfucker at 1:54 PM on August 28, 2006

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