Lightweight CMS For simple projects

I use WordPress for this blog, and happy with it. But it’s not for everybody: you need a database, it’s very impressive, plugins, themes, users, comments, regular update, kinda geeky install and the default installment is 7.9 mb.
And I needed a CMS for a small website/portfolio; it needs something small, not impressive (visually), easy to set up, no database, PHP and light!

So I started to look for: light/lightweight/nano/simple CMS (no database/flat file storage)
This is the list I compared it to:
Very important: free (and not a pro-$$-account), no database/flat file storage, lightweight, easy to install, WYSIWYG editors, PHP
Important: easy to use/beautiful , normal data editing, file manager, easy to create templates/CSS for this system
Nice to have: gallery, no need for multiple users (no a must), no need for backup, no need for multiple languages (english is fine), contact form, html-editor (export to files)

I went a little overboard with the search for the ideal CMS for me.
After reviewing them I gave them a grade from 1->10 and to make it even easier: the highest grade is the one I choose for this project.
So here a little overview to make it somewhat easier to read about my findings:

  1. LotusCMS –> 9.5
  2. razorCMS –> 9
  3. gpEasy –> 9-
  4. GetSimple –> 8
  5. CMSimple –> 8-
  6. Pluck –> 7
  7. phpsqlitecms –> 7-
  8. SkyBlueCanvas –> 6.5
  9. NanoCMS –> 6+
  10. Nanomus –> 6
  11. opensolution (Quick.Cms) –> 6-
  12. LightNEasy –> 5
  13. onefilecms –> 4

LotusCMS

It brings to the forefront design and design integration into one of the most neglected CMS niches – Databaseless Web-Design and Development. LotusCMS is free and more than free, it is licensed under the General Public Licence under which you may copy, change and redistribute this software to suit your needs!

Features:

  • A plugin system using the concept of observable classes.
  • A lightweight core, into which everything else is plugged in.
  • Multiple users and user roles.
  • WYSIWYG content editor.
  • A blogging system.
  • Improved general usability and design.
  • An advanced speed caching system for standard pages, with up to a 3 times average speed increase for server-side processing.
  • SEO settings (Search Engine Optimisation), if your installed template supports it.
  • A back-up system.
  • Very beautiful
  • User friendly
  • multiple users but 2 roles
  • Ugly dynamic URLs
  • easy install (check if server is ready, self config with deletion from install file!)
  • Install 2.9 mb

I like it a lot and I give it a 9,5


razorCMS

With the further evolution of razorCMS, our goal for the next milestone release is to offer true choice, by offering a more simple intuitive approach, choice of mySQL or flat file storage, and pure razorCMS code putting razorCMS on the map as an original CMS solution with no connection to other CMS solutions.

Features:

  • really small, and works out of the box.
  • You need to install ‘blade’-plugins to add more functionality
  • Flat File design, no database required
  • Simple, fast and security conscious installer
  • Small and fast footprint
  • Modular framework
  • Support for multilingual translations
  • Multiple infobar content displayed on single page
  • External links in link menus
  • Easily modified
  • Easily extendable via blade pack add-on interface
  • Multi level menus
  • Security check for file permissions
  • Full file manager
  • 3 user accounts with varying levels of access (good for handing over to clients)
  • Simple backup manager
  • Automatic invalid login check, blocks invalid logins by IP address after 8 attempts
  • Improved security
  • Multiple theme control
  • Maintenance Mode, keeping your site offline to users but online to you, for changes
  • easy install (check if server is ready, self config with deletion from install file!)
  • possible to work on pages but not published yet

Nice set op plugins: possible to use for posting news, gallery, editor of you choise, nice url, etc

A lot of lite CMS use this: the name of the content is called ‘sidebar’ (you can rename it in this cms!), which made me think
why not call it ‘content’?

It’s beautiful and easy to use. I installed some extra’s to make it even better.
Install: 503 KB (default install) >> need for wysiwig editor and theme
Install: 1.9 mb with install (tinymc / gallery / theme)

I like it a lot and I give it a 9.


gpEasy

gpEasy is a lightweight CMS (built without the use of a database) which helps us reach our goal of making it fast and easy to use right down to the installation. Once installed, you’ll find an intuitive interface that let’s you edit your entire site in WYSIWYG fashion.

Features:

  • WYSIWYG Editor (CKEditor)
  • Galleries (ColorBox with some modifications)
  • SEO Friendly Links
  • Free and Open Source (GPL)
  • Runs on PHP
  • File Upload Manager
  • Editable Theme Content
  • Deleted File Trash Can
  • Multiple User Administration
  • Works in Safe Mode with FTP Functions
  • Flat File Storage
  • Fast Page Loading
  • Fast and Easy Installation
  • reCaptcha for Contact Form
  • HTML Tidy (when available)
  • themes
  • gallery
  • plugins
  • easy install (check if server is ready, self config)
  • Install: 4.2mb

I like it and I give it a 9-


GetSimple

GetSimple is an XML based lite Content Management System. To go along with its best-in-class user interface, we have loaded it with features that every website needs, but with nothing it doesn’t. GetSimple is truly the simplest way to manage a small-business website.

Features:

  • No database
  • XML Based
  • You can “Undo” Almost Everything
  • Easy to Learn UI
  • Simple Installation
  • Simple Theme Customization
  • Designed For the Small-Site Market
  • plugin
  • templates
  • easy install (check if server is ready, self config with deletion from install file!)
  • Install: 2.6mb

strange the need to set a ‘Website Base URL’

I like it: 8


CMSimple


it is small – simple – smart!
Features:

  • Easy installation
  • The CMS script is less than 100 KB
  • Template driven layout using a css script
  • The contents of the site is stored in a single HTML-file
  • Many languages available (both for the user and for site maintenance)
  • Written in PHP – it runs on Linux/Apache servers, or on Win32 with Apache or IIS
  • Inbuilt WYSIWYG editor (both on IE and Mozilla) – or other alternative editors
  • Uploading of images and files
  • Link validation
  • Search function
  • Print version option
  • User downloads from their HTML content file
  • Simple mailform included
  • Easy setup of multi language sites
  • PHP-scripting may be included within the content (named CMSimple Scripting)
  • Integration with 3rd party scripts possible (using CMSimple scripting
  • Online editing of system configuration
  • wwwaut login available
  • Automatic backup on logout
  • Documentation
  • Special download folder
  • Easy install (but it uses the default settings)
  • Install: 117kb

it took me a while to find the login: add &login (index.php?welcom&login) or ?login (index.php?login)
It’s not the most beautiful cms out there, but it’s very complete
don’t know how useful the split on H-tags is in submenu’s
It’s quite intuitive which is unexpected!

I like it and I give it a 8-


Pluck


Pluck is packed with some nice features, from which we’ve listed the most important ones on this page. To try everything live, take a look at our demo.
Features:

  • create an unlimited amount of pages
  • create your own blog
  • create an album to show images or photos to your visitors
  • include a contact form in your page(s)
  • easy-to-use theming system
  • single user
  • Install 3mb

I like it: 7


phpsqlitecms

phpSQLiteCMS is good if you want to quickly set up a small website without needing to spend a lot of time studying, installing and configuring (as SQLite is file-based, it just runs “out of the box”). But note that it is no large-scale content management system – it’s a tiny and simple one!

Features:

  • Simple and lightweight
  • Runs out of the box (no database setup required)
  • Optional caching to save server performance
  • Supports news
  • overview and
  • commentable pages
  • photo galleries
  • search function
  • RSS feeds and
  • XML sitemaps
  • need some explaining, very complete, quite technical
  • Install 1.2 mb

It’s an easy instal but you need to use the default inlog data–>user: admin // pass: admin

The default install is also the documentation.
Which means that you need to remove a lot of pages before you can start clean

Good but not for this project: 7-


SkyBlueCanvas

SkyBlueCanvas is an easy-to-use Web Content Management System, that makes it simple to keep the content of your site fresh. You simply upload the software to your web server, and you are ready to start adding text and pictures to your website.

Features:

  • Easy-to-use
  • Easy-to-install
  • XML Data Storage (no database required)
  • Extensible
  • Flexible & Powerful Plugin API
  • Skinnable
  • Small in size (3.5MB) <-- hmmmm I got 5MB
  • Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict output
  • Search Engine Friendly URLs (requires mod_rewrite)
  • Customizable Meta Tags (globally or by page)
  • Built-in RSS feed creation of pages, articles and news items
  • easy install (check if server is ready, self config with deletion from install file!)
  • 1 user
  • template editor
  • Install: 5mb

some advertisement in install
strange question about location of website ?? (yes, I want to install it here)
user interface could be better, but that probably because the developer wants to make some money out of it (can’t blame em)

Not my choise: I give it a 6.5


nanoCMS

nanoCMS created by Kalyan Chakravarthy in 2007 is a php open source, gpl licensed flat file content management system (CMS). It does not use a MySQL database and is ideal for small websites. It is a very small CMS package (hence the nano part). Doesn’t take long to setup and is very simple to create pages and edit content. As it is small and doesn’t use a mysql database….. it’s fast, very fast.

Features:

  • one user
  • one template
  • WYSIWYG editor
  • Install: 2,2 mb

Easy install but not configurable at first // username: admin // password: ch4ng3th1s

very nice simple, but kinda heavy for something that’s called nano…
Categories are places on the page: sidebar == content // top-navigation == navigation

It would take me some modification to get it to work how I want it: so not for me but certainly not bad: 6+ (a little more then Nanomus)


Nanomus

Nanomus is one of the smallest, fastest and more simple free Content management Systems under GPL GNU.

Features:

  • Very small : the complete content management system is less than 100kb, PHP core is less 23 kb
  • Very simple : really simple to install and really easy to manage it.
  • Nanomus store all datas in secure PHP files, no database is required.
  • With Nanomus you can get a real small dynamic website
  • Really fast: with nanomus your website is really light and fast !
  • an unlimited number of pages
  • backup file system
  • deactive page system
  • dynamic menu
  • css template
  • include a filemanager
  • Nanomus is a free content management system, open source, really light, fast and secure.
  • No database required.
  • Nanomus isn’t multi users, only one account is possible.
  • Nanomus backup, if you want, all the olders page version.
  • Install: 153kb

It’s an easy instal but you need to use the default inlog data–>user: admin // pass: admin
Meta is perhaps not so obvious for a unexperienced user
Admin is not ugly, but to call it beautiful is taking it to far.

Nice but to ‘unpleasant’ design: 6


opensolution (Quick.Cms)


Features:

  • Pages and subpages management
  • Images and files management
  • Languages management
  • Configuration
  • Pages and subpages view
  • Pages print option
  • Images view by Lightbox
  • Change language option

Nice cms, but there is a paid model… And I feel that they are holding out on me
If you would need a gallery/contact form, you need the paid-version-extra
Install: 844kb
not for me: 6-


LightNEasy

LightNEasy generates a complete set of HTML/PHP webpages and recreates them whenever you make any changes. Your website will always be updated and easy to edit. No broken links to worry about.

Features:

  • not really nicely designed
  • kinda heavy
  • lots of templates pre-installed
  • admin is too much for my taste
  • template driven
  • website builder
  • and cms
  • language
  • gallery
  • Install: 4,7 mb

not for me: 5


onefilecms


Features:

  • Validating, semantic, and commented markup. Tested in FF, Safari, and IE7/IE8.
  • Small footprint (24 kb)
  • Possibly the easiest installation process ever
  • All the basic features of an FTP application like renaming, deleting, copying, and uploading
  • (Of course, for more complex processes like batch renaming or mass uploads/deletions, you’re going to want to break out an actual FTP program.)
  • Gracefully degrading CSS and Javascript
  • 100% re-brandable with title/footer text stored in variables and a modifiable filename
  • Externally hosted CSS and images for smaller file size
  • (But you can switch it out to your own stylesheet if you need to!)
  • Smart alert if you try to leave without saving your edits
  • very small but extremely technical (you need to know about programming)
  • Install 78 kb (with example site)

It’s not for this project, I think it’s a great starting point for creating your own CMS, but in this case I’ll give it a 4.


Note

Lite CMS I also tested, but didn’t fit one (but probably more) feature that I described above:
autocms(can’t get it to work), editeasy (can’t get it to work), whitecrane (difficult to use, BBCode), le.cms (couldn’t get it to work)
This doesn’t mean they are bad; they just don’t fit my needs.

My advice to all cms builders: create a minimal template series so designers have a starting point for their designs
simple stuff: header, horizontal navigation, vertical navigation, content, sidebar

Papertoy Monster Day

Never heared of it… That because it self-proclaimed.
And I’m one of the people who will do the self-proclaiming.

I have written about it, showed you images/photos and now there is a special day for it!

Papertoy Monsters:

Make Your Very Own Amazing Papertoys!
Papertoy Monster - book cover

The papertoy book I have designed two monsters for published by Workman Publishing (strangly enough you can’t buy the book at Workman anymore).
If you want to buy the book visit amazon.com and buy a couple of copies!!!.

Here a little quote by Workman:

A breakthrough paper-folding book for kids—paper airplanes meet Origami meets Pokemon. Papertoys, the Internet phenomenon that’s hot among graphic designers and illustrators around the world, now comes to kids in the coolest new book. Created and curated by Brian Castleforte, a graphic designer and papertoy pioneer who rounded up 25 of the hottest papertoy designers from around the world (Indonesia, Japan, Australia, Italy, Croatia, Chile, even Jackson, Tennessee), Papertoy Monsters offers 50 fiendishly original die-cut designs that are ready to pop out, fold, and glue. The book interleaves card stock with paper stock for a unique craft package; the graphics are colorful and hip, combining the edginess of anime with the goofy fun of Uglydolls and other collectibles. Plus each character comes with its own back-story.

I’m proud to present the monsters I have designed:
Scorpion Robot
Scorpion Robot
and
Squidbeak (formely know as ‘Octobeak’)
Squidbeak

You won’t find a lot of images of these Monster papertoys around on the Internet, I’m not sure but I think my paper models are rated advanced.
Although you can see a part of the page where Squidbeak is at boingboing.net (check the first page of the book you see).

Here a promo of the author Castleforte:

The Papertoy Monster book has also a site:papertoymonsters.tumblr.com/ so check that out for more pictures of the monsters. And follow it with twitter: twitter.com/PapertoyMonster

Here all the other monsters that you can build:

Urban Paper Tokyo Show

I mentioned before that there would be a Urban Paper exhibit in Tokyo organized by Josh McKible (http://www.nanibird.com/), he posted some pictures here.

Show list

The Urban Paper show opening Sept. 7th at Café Pause in Ikebukuro is the latest stop of an international tour of paper toys first published in the book, Urban Paper. Tour stops have included Los Angles and Arnhem, the Netherlands and after Tokyo, the show will re-open in Rome.

Paper toys have been around for almost as long as paper itself, but what’s new is that paper toys have recently become a medium of choice for young designers. Because paper is cheap, light and recyclable it has become a populist alternative for artists who previously might have released their toys as collectible vinyl figures. Many of the Urban Paper designers make their toys freely available for download on the Web and anyone with access to a printer can easily make and enjoy their very own paper toy. Urban Paper is the first book that collects designs from 26 of these international artists, printed on heavy stock, along with an included DVD of extra materials, that also gives readers designs and ideas on how to make their own paper toys creations.

At the Urban Paper show at Cafe Pause, new paper toys, designed exclusively for the Tokyo stop will be on display, along with posters, postcards and other material. Flat packs of the toys will be on sale, as well as some built models.

Quote from the Flickr page from Josh McKible

Read more at jeansnow.net the place where the show is held.

One-Off Paper Totem! – Urban Paper NL

I wanted to make a custom for Dolly Oblong, but I guess Dolly didn’t want to wait anymore…

At the Urban Paper Toys exhibition at Subwalk in Arnhem (The Netherlands) Dolly asked all designers present to do a custom… on the spot.

One-Off Paper Totem! - Urban Paper NL by Dolly Oblong.

Hand drawn Paper Totem! pieces by the artists participating in the Urban Paper NL show! All pieces were made during the opening 😀

Totem on the left from top to bottom: MCK, Loulou, Nick Knite, Christopher D.
Totem on the right from top to bottom: e440, 3EyedBear, Sjors Trimbach

Cheers heaps guys, lovely meeting you all :)))

As you can see, I’m totally outside my comfort-zone… I don’t sketch a lot, and I think you can see that.
I promise to make a better one! (using my computer 😀 )

Visit Dolly Oblong

PS
It seems that I’m know in the papertoy world as MCK, it should be [mck]… but I can live with that.

Subwalk – Urban Paper: book launch and papertoy art show

I should have posted this a lot sooner, but here it is: the official invitation to the Urban Paper: book launch and papertoy art show at Subwalk. (in Dutch and English)

Op zaterdag 1 AUGUSTUS opent SUBWALK ‘URBAN PAPER: book launch + paper toys art show’. Naast de Europese release van het boek URBAN PAPER gevuld met paper art van diverse internationale designers, start een expositie met de nieuwste werken van diverse nationale en internationale designers die nog te zien zal zijn de gehele maand augustus.

PAPER TOYS zijn de snelst groeiende stroming binnen de designer toy wereld. Door hun gratis beschikbaarheid online wordt er een uniek platform voor zowel designers als liefhebbers geboden.

BOOK LAUNCH

Het URBAN PAPER is het eerste boek waarin deze opkomende trend centraal staat. Het bevat naast 26 kant-en-klare papertoys van de internationale top designers, interviews met de makers en een stap-voor-stap uitleg over het ontwerpen van je eigen paper toys, en een bonus DVD vol met templates, video’s en meer.

ART SHOW

SUBWALK’s URBAN PAPER show viert de officiële Europese release van dit eerste paper toy boek en toont de beste originele handgemaakte paper toys van al de Urban Paper ontwerpers met o.a.: TETSUYA WATANABE / BRIAN CASTLEFORTE / BEN O’BRIEN / FILIPPO PERIN / MATT HAWKINS / MCKIBILLO / JACK HANKINS / SHIN TANAKA en KENN MUNK.

Daarnaast zullen voor het eerst unieke, exclusief voor de expo ontworpen designs te zien zijn van de NEDERLANDSE ONTWERPERS: LOULOU / MARSHALL ALEXANDER / MAARTEN JANSSENS / MATTHIJS KAMSTRA / RINGO KRUMBIEGEL / DOLLY OBLONG en SJORS TRIMBACH.

OPENING

De URBAN PAPER EXPO opent op zaterdag 1 AUGUSTUS om 20 u in aanwezigheid van alle genoemde Nederlandse ontwerpers en is te zien tot en met 30 AUGUSTUS.

LEZING

De LEZING door paper toy pionier SJORS TRIMBACH vindt plaats op vrijdag 21 AUGUSTUS en vangt aan om 20.00 u. Entree 5 euro (inclusief gratis DIY paper toy).

Meer info:

www.subwalk.nl / www.custompapertoys.com / www.sjorstrimbach.com / URBAN PAPER op myspace

CONTACT:

SUBWALK // Roos or Sjors Trimbach

LEES OOK HET INTERVIEW MET MATTHIJS KAMSTRA OVER PAPERTOYS IN HET ALGEMEEN DAGBLAD


URBAN PAPER: BOOK LAUNCH & PAPER TOY ART SHOW

Gallery SUBWALK in Arnhem, the Netherlands opens on Saturday August 1st ‘URBAN PAPER’: book launch + paper toys art show. The show will be a celebration of the European release of the URBAN PAPER book and a showcase of the newest paper pieces by both national and international artists which will be on view throughout August.

PAPER TOYS are the fastest growing trend in the designer toy world. Through their free online availability they form a unique platform or both designers and collectors. Urban Paper is the first book to capture these toys. It contains 26 ready-to-build paper toy templates by top designers, interviews with the artists and a step-by-step how-to on designing your own paper toys.

SUBWALK’s URBAN PAPER art show brings the best one-of-a-kind handmade paper toys by all Urban Paper contributors such as: TETSUYA WATANABE, BRIAN CASTLEFORTE, BEN O’BRIEN, FILIPPO PERIN, MATT HAWKINS, MCKIBILLO, JACK HANKINS, SHIN TANAKA en KENN MUNK.

It will also premier new paper toys designed exclusively for the expo by DUTCH ARTISTS: LOULOU / MARSHALL ALEXANDER / MAARTEN JANSSENS / MATTHIJS KAMSTRA / RINGO KRUMBIEGEL / DOLLY OBLONG en SJORS TRIMBACH.

The Urban Paper show opens on SATURDAY AUGUST 1st at 8pm with the above Dutch designers on hand and will be on view through August 30th. On FRIDAY the 21st of AUGUST a LECTURE is held by paper toy pioneer SJORS TRIMBACH.

MORE info:

www.subwalk.nl / www.custompapertoys.com / www.sjorstrimbach.com / URBAN PAPER op myspace

CONTACT:

SUBWALK // Roos or Sjors Trimbach

My papertoy got featured in Luna

The latest issue of the German family magazine Luna features some great shots of papertoys by some great papertoy designers and me 🙂

I need to make a photo/scan of the pages I’m in, but for now a image made by Marshall Alexander

There are models and customs by Sal Azad, 3EyedBear, SaltnPaper, JustUs, Nick Knite, Matt Hawkins, Marshall Alexander and me 😀

Another post about Nice Paper Toys

I’m a member of Nice Paper Toys, well I’m also one of the four Featured Members of NPT.

Update #1: it seems that Nicebunny has a identity crisis (read more about this) and wants to be called by his normal name: Castelforte…… no problem…

Brian Castelforte aka “NiceBunny” (Brian) Castleforte (aka “no longer NiceBunny”) started this social network for papertoy designers and it’s still growing. We now close to a 1000 members. Time to celebrate? Yes, I personally didn’t think we would get this much members, but I’m glad that I was wrong. But Nicebunny Castleforte want more, more people should know about papertoys, and I agree.

And as a good “featured member”, I will use my blog to spread the word once again.


Visit Nice Paper Toys

But what is it? What is NPT (Nice Paper Toys)?
NPT is the only papertoy network. You can show your papertoy creations. Collaborate with other artist, share you thoughts and ideas. It’s all nice, warm, fuzzy feelings, but I like it.

It a place that keeps you wanna make better stuff, become a better artist.

So if you have any questions about papertoys or NPT just leave a comment here. Or become a member and place a comment on my NPT page

Viva la paper!

header of NPT

Update #2: it seems that Castleforte is taking controle of NPT and laying down some rules:

Nice Paper Toy rules