In today’s world everything is built on speed. There seems to be only one exception and that is software, and especially the web programmes to create content. Here WordPress has gained a perfect stake. Indeed it’s a good software and this site is using WordPress as well as many other sites of us.
But in the last months we found some alternatives which – at least in some cases – can make life much quicker, more easy, more efficient and quicker with a flat file CMS, without loosing anything important.
Just to make it clear: If you really need everything just take WordPress or one of the other well-know programmes. If you do like to use the Web to publish content in a usual way – leaving aside those people for which blogging is a way to generate income – most of the other people in this area don’t need that much and there are some other options which make life easier.
“Less” is “more” – why a flat file CMS?
Lets have a look on the advantages of smaller solutions (and especially for flat file CMS which doesn´t need a database)
Installation: No need for a database and to fuzzle about access and password for it.
Better and safer backup: There is no doubt that backing up the software is much easier if you just need to back up the directory and you are done. Especially if it’s on a remote server. Technically it´s no problem but another “useless” step which is hard to perform regularly in daily life. And when the unexpected things happens and the server breaks down. Then you just have the software and not the database, which will hardly help.
Moving the website: Having everything in one folder is a big advantage if you move your website. You don’t need to put together the single pieces of files and database.
Speed: Coming to the user point. A database is good if you want to search a single file out of a million – but it’s simply too much if you just want to add 10 to 20 articles. Database access and searches take its time for accessing the system. Usually a fat file system is much quicker.
Customization: In 99% of cases there is nothing to do or worry about the software you are using. But in some cases there is a small bug, or a word which is “wrong”. Changing /adding something could be become difficult on a large system.
Webspace : Certainly nowadays there is no problem in having enough space for a website. But this changes if you have more than one website. With around 20 MB for a simple WordPress install you need around 200 or 300 MB of space using WordPress for 10 sites. You will see later that the simple flat file CMS will use only 1 or 2 MB or even less per installation which means 10-20 MB all-in-all for 10 sites.
Some options for a flat file CMS
Therefore one should look at some alternative flat file CMS we found and liked:
Pivot: To make it briefly: Pivot is a mature system that hardly leaves a wish open especially for a Blog. A great Community (at present 75,000 contributions) helps at all problems. Though: With 5.6 MB its also no more straight “lite”, even if Pivot runs without Mysql database and stores everything as text files
SkyBlueCanvas Lightweight cms is already considerably smaller with 2.8 MB. The lesser known system also manifests itself by a little lean “optics”. But under the hood there is considerably more than at Pivot: Numerous modules like news, form managers, picture administration and more already make it a mature CMS. The individual modules may be placed in different areas on the webiste, a very useful feature for such a small software.
Pluck is similar in size to SkyBlueCanvas. The greatest share of space takes the Tinymice editor. Pluck offers considerably less modules but a nice administration panel. Simple and useful flat file CMS for a smaller project.
RazorCMS is by far the smallest program in this group of flat file CMS. The Core is merely 200 kb in size with some additional modules (called Plugins or Blades) and a WYSIWYG editor (Nicedit) only only just over 300 kb. In comparison to the colleagues it works with lightning speed and is extremely flexible in many things. SEO links are just as availably as flexible link positioning. In our opinion a real gut choice if you need a standard website. Just to show you some examples of sites which we have done with RazorCMS and showing very different (creative minded) themes:
- Foolcut.com - a Site about hair and showing a nice theme called “Black Puzzle”
- Lyrics site - showing a nice “coffee theme”
- Wara - with a very puristic theme
Certainly there are some more points to consider, for example whether you need a blog, a CMS, a Wiki or even something else. We will come back to this question soon.
PS: For those preffering German language – a similar article is available on our site Rankdoctor