Permalink
Switch branches/tags
Find file Copy path
Fetching contributors…
Cannot retrieve contributors at this time
767 lines (392 sloc) 16.9 KB

Flat File CMS Systems

Lot’s of folks are leaving Wordpress for a flat file CMS system with no database. Wordpress was built as a simple blogging platform and has evolved over the years into a feature rich CMS. Lot’s of these features aren’t needed by folk who merely want to blog without the bloat. We respect Wordpress and it will always be there, this small project simply aims to give people out there a chance to work with Flat File CMS’s also known as file–based CMS’s.

We’re not talking about static site generators here, text of XML driven file CMS’s.

What is a Flat-File CMS?

Without a database the flat-file CMS stores content in files and folders unlike a traditional database. This means you don’t have to query any database of any kind in your system —there is no database. The flat-file system generates dynamic pages and each blog post or page is simply in a folder of its own (depending on the system and how you structure it). There are several ways to populate and parse content, xml and markdown being the most popular.

There are certain advantages of not using a database like:

  • Simplicity
  • Speed
  • Security
  • Version Control
  • Maintenance
  • Portability
  • Less expense (server)

Are they “CMS–Like Systems”, shouldn’t they be called “Content Publishing Systems”?

Some people will argue that these flat-file CMS systems aren’t real content management systems. Whilst they do let you manage your content they aren’t full blown as they don’t let you authentication/authorization. The argument is a full blown CMS should somehow be able to grant and deny create/read/update/delete access and permissions to users.

This can be a debatable topic, and this small project’s aim to is to introduce you to these Flat-File CMS’s. If you’re new to the game then it’s advantageous to seeing different views.

Personally, I am all for Flat-File CMS’s for personal blogs. View them below in alphabetical order:

AjaxCMS

Client side (browser) based CMS. Only static files stored on server. Emphasis on background animation and page transitions.

Technology: Javascript / Apache

Templating: HTML / Bootstrap

Formatting: HTML / Markdown

Open source: yes

Website: https://ajaxcms.org/

Automad

A File-Based & Open Source Content Management System.

Technology: PHP

Templating: Built in

Formatting: Markdown

Open source: yes

Website: http://automad.org/

Latest: http://automad.org/release-notes

Baun

A modern, lightweight, extensible CMS for PHP.

Technology: PHP

Templating: Twig

Formatting: Markdown

Open source: yes

Website: http://bauncms.com

Bludit

Create your own Blog in seconds, Fast, Simple, Extensible and Flat-file CMS.

Technology: PHP / JSON

Templating: HTML5 / Css / JavaScript

Formatting: Markdown and HTML

Open source: Yes

Website: http://www.bludit.com

Latest: 0.5 2015-11-01 http://forum.bludit.com/

Cuttlebelle

The react static site generator that separates editing and code concerns

Technology: NodeJS

Templating: ReactJS

Formatting: Markdown and YAML

Open source: Yes

Website: https://cuttlebelle.com

Latest: 1.0.0-alpha.44 2017-01-19 https://cuttlebelle.com

Dodger CMS

DodgerCMS is a static markdown CMS built on top of Amazon S3.

Technology: JavaScript

Templating: PureCss

Formatting: Markdown

Open source: yes

Website: http://dodgercms.com/

Dropplets

Dropplets is a minimalist, databaseless Markdown blogging platform.

Technology: PHP

Templating: ??

Formatting: Markdown

Open source: yes

Website: http://dropplets.com/

Fansoro

Fansoro is Modern Open Source File-Based Content Management System.

Technology: PHP

Templating: Fenom

Formatting: Markdown

Open source: yes

Website: http://fansoro.org

Feindura

Flat File CMS for designers

Technology: PHP

Templating: PHP

Formatting: HTML / Text / Markdown

Open source: yes

Website: http://feindura.org/

Flat Press

FlatPress is a blogging engine that saves your posts as simple text files.

Technology: PHP

Templating: Smarty

Formatting: Text

Open source: yes

Website: http://flatpress.org/home/

Flextype

Modern Open Source Flat-File Content Management System

Technology: PHP

Templating: PHP

Formatting: HTML / Text / Markdown

Open source: yes

Website: http://flextype.org

Flot

no database CMS, written in PHP, supports themes, soon plugins, and flexible taxonomies (data types). Hybrid static/dynamic CMS that’s cached by default. Runs on anything with PHP. Still being developed, but has a good base of features.

Technology: PHP

Templating: HTML (optionally, add PHP)

Formatting: HTML with WYSIWYG editor

Open source: yes

Website: https://github.com/samthomson/flot/

Get Simple CMS

GetSimple is an XML based, stand-a-alone, fully independant and lite Content Management System.

Technology: PHP / XML

Templating: HTML, PHP

Formatting: HTML / WYSIWYG editor

Open source: yes

Website: http://get-simple.info/

Grav

In a nutshell, installing Grav is a matter of unzipping the file. It is fast, has sophisticated caching, and a light footprint for optimal performance.

Technology: PHP / YAML

Templating: Twig

Formatting: Markdown

Open source: yes

Website: http://getgrav.org/

Hexo

A fast simple, blog and framework

Technology: Node

Templating: Jade

Formatting: Markdown

Open source: yes

Website: https://hexo.io/

Herbie

Herbie is a simple, blog-aware, static site generator. Composer support - simple installation - no database - just text files.

Technology: PHP

Templating: Twig

Formatting: Markdown

Open source: yes

Website: https://getherbie.org/

HTMLy

HTMLy is an open source databaseless blogging platform that prioritizes simplicity and speed (Flat-File Blog). HTMLy can be referred to as a Flat-File CMS, since it will also manage your content.

You do not need to use a VPS to run HTMLy, shared hosting or even free hosting should work as long as the host supports at least PHP 5.3.

Technology: PHP

Templating: ???

Formatting: Markdown

Open source: yes

Website: https://demo.htmly.com/

Hugo

Hugo is a general-purpose website framework. Technically speaking, Hugo is a static site generator.

Technology: Go

Templating: Go Templates

Formatting: Markdown

Open source: yes

Website: http://gohugo.io/

Jekyll

Transform your plain text into static websites and blogs.

Technology: Ruby

Templating: Liquid

Formatting: Markdown

Open source: yes

Website: http://jekyllrb.com/

Kirby

Kirby is a file-based CMS. Easy to setup, easy to use, flexible as hell

Technology: PHP

Templating: Roll your own

Formatting: Markdown

Open source: yes

Website: http://getkirby.com/

MetalSmith

An extremely simple, pluggable static site generator

Technology: Node

Templating: Unopinionated

Formatting: Markdown

Open source: yes

Website: http://www.metalsmith.io/

Mecha

Mecha is a file–based CMS. It does not require any database. Almost all files are stored as plain text files which grouped into folders, which you can even edit it manually through a plain text editor application.

Technology: PHP

Templating: PHP

Formatting: Markdown / Markdown Extra / HTML

Open source: yes

Website: http://mecha-cms.com/

Monstra

An entirely new kind of CMS. Pack up your content, markup, and style. Leave the database behind. Making websites just got fun again.

Technology: PHP

Templating: Built in

Formatting: Markdown / HTML

Open source: yes

Website: http://monstra.org

Mozilo

Simple, lightweight, beginner-friendly and expandable with plugins

Technology: PHP

Templating: HTML

Formatting: Expandable own syntax

Open source: yes

Website: http://mozilo.de/

Latest: 2.0.49 2016-01-17 https://github.com/mozilo/mozilo2.0/commits/master

Middleman

Middleman is a static site generator using all the shortcuts and tools in modern web development

Technology: Ruby

Templating: Multiple

Formatting: Markdown

Open source: yes

Website: http://middlemanapp.com/

Nanote

Nanote simple flat-file blog script, GPL v.3

Technology: PHP

Templating: HTML

Formatting: HTML

Open source: yes

Nesta

A Ruby CMS for developers and designers. With simple code that’s easy to follow, Nesta is easily extended using the Sinatra web framework.

Technology: Ruby / Sinatra

Templating: Haml, Erb, Erubis, Liquid, Sass, Scss and Less

Formatting: Markdown, Textile or Haml

Open source: yes

Website: http://nestacms.com/

Nibbleblog

Easy, fast and free Blog system

Technology: PHP

Templating: PHP

Open source: Yes

Website: http://www.nibbleblog.com/

Latest: 4.03 2014-04-01 http://blog.nibbleblog.com/post/nibbleblog-v4.0.3-coffee/

Orbiter

Simple and extendable PHP tool for publishing beautiful websites out of plain text documents

Technology: PHP

Templating: Mustache

Formatting: Markdown

Open source: Yes

Website: http://viaorbiter.com/

Latest: https://github.com/kasparsd/orbiter

Parvula

Simple CMS for developers, designers and clients with admininistration panel.

Technology: PHP

Templating: PHP

Formatting: Markdown (html if needed)

Open source: yes

Website: https://github.com/BafS/parvula

PluXML

PluXML is a free, open-source, self-hosted CMS platform where data are stored by using XML files. This system is used to be a blog one, but pages feature allows to code some php inside the backend. Many plugins extend its functionnalities.

Technology: PHP / XML

Templating: PHP

Formatting: HTML, Text

Open source: yes

Website: http://www.pluxml.org/

Phile CMS

A Markdown File Based CMS

Technology: PHP

Templating: Twig

Formatting: Markdown

Open source: yes

Website: http://philecms.github.io/Phile/

Pico

A stupidly simple & blazing fast, flat file CMS.

Technology: PHP

Templating: Twig

Formatting: Markdown

Open source: yes

Website: http://pico.dev7studios.com/index.html

Pluck CMS

Small, Simple Content Managment

Technology: PHP

Templating: PHP

Open source: yes

Website: http://www.pluck-cms.org/

Latest: 4.7.3 2014-12-08 https://github.com/pluck-cms/pluck/releases

Pulse CMS

Flat file CMS

Technology: PHP

Templating: PHP

Formatting: HTML and Markdown

Open source: no

Website: http://www.pulsecms.com/

Latest: 4.5 2015-09-13 http://www.pulsecms.com/blog

Puppy CMS

puppyCMS - flat file, responsive, seo-friendly, lightweight and tiny CMS.

Technology: PHP

Templating: PHP

Formatting: HTML and Markdown

Open source: yes

Website: http://puppycms.com

Latest: 1.6 http://puppycms.com/download

Razor CMS

razorCMS is a File Based Content Management System. All data in razorCMS is stored in flat files, and uses a “database” engine called razorDB.

Technology: PHP

Templating: ???

Formatting: Text

Open source: yes

Website: http://www.razorcms.co.uk/

Sculpin

PHP static site generator / flat file cms

Technology: PHP

Templating: Twig

Formatting: Markdown

Open source: no

Website: https://sculpin.io

SingleCMS

Single File CMS with <5 minute setup and user management

Technology: PHP

Templating: Nil

Formatting: Inline

Open source: no

Website: https://singlecms.com

Singularity

A CMS in a Single PHP File

Technology: PHP

Templating: Nil

Formatting: Markdown

Open source: yes

Website: http://christophersu.net/2012/singularity-cms-single-php-file/

Sitecake

Simple CMS for your HTML website

Technology: PHP

Templating: Nil

Formatting: HTML

Open source: yes

Website: http://sitecake.com/

Statamic

An entirely new kind of CMS. Pack up your content, markup, and style. Leave the database behind. Making websites just got fun again.

Technology: PHP

Templating: Built in

Formatting: Markdown, Textile, HTML, Plain Text

Open source: no

Website: http://statamic.com/

Sphido

Sphido is a rocket fast, simple, lightweight, easy to hack, flat file CMS for PHP. Supports Markdown and HTML content with Latte template engine.

Technology: PHP

Templating: Latte / PHTML

Formatting: Latte / Markdown / HTML

Open source: yes

Website: http://www.sphido.org/

Typesetter

An Open source CMS written in PHP focused on ease of use with true WYSIWYG editing and flat-file storage.

Technology: PHP

Templating: PHP

Formatting: HTML / plain text

Open source: yes

Website: http://www.typesettercms.com

Urubu

A micro CMS for static websites

Technology: Python

Templating: Jinja

Formatting: Markdown

Open source: yes

Website: http://urubu.jandecaluwe.com/

Vodka

Simple and tiny PHP flat-file site engine.

Technology: PHP

Templating: HTML / PHP

Formatting: HTML

Open source: yes

Wintersmith

Flexible, minimalistic, multi-platform static site generator built on top of node.js.

Technology: Node.js

Templating: Jade

Formatting: Markdown

Open source: yes

Website: http://wintersmith.io/

WonderCMS

WonderCMS is a simple, secure flat file CMS

Technology: PHP and jQuery

Templating: PHP

Formatting: HTML

Open source: yes

Website: http://wondercms.com/

Yellow

Yellow is for people who make websites.

Technology: PHP

Templating: HTML / PHP

Formatting: Markdown

Open source: yes

Website: http://datenstrom.se/yellow/

ZwiiCMS

No database CMS, plugins, responsive, 100% customizable theme since the administration without HTML/CSS.

Technology: PHP

Templating: HTML / PHP

Formatting: HTML

Open source: yes

Website: http://zwiicms.com/

Contributions

Help grow this list — awesome! Ensure you list a system which is classified as a CMS as opposed to just a static site generator. Thanks for your help!

Open Source Projects

Below is a list of open source projects and modules that I've created that might be of some use to you: