I'm looking for something fairly simple for clients to use and very easy for me to skin (somewhat complicated themes). something like Perch or Couchcms, but has to be open source to satisfy some license requirements..

I can't really seem to find any CMS that is like this {Wordpress, drupal etc are way too heavy for this use} , really appreciated

There aren't much requirements, anything will really work - each site gets their own jailed instance and stuff, just PHP/MySQL


My personal favorite is CMS Made Simple

Clients I've worked with have the best success with the editing interface (it uses TinyMCE WYSIWYG), and it's much easier to build templates than WP or Joomla. I've built some complicated templates with it as well. They're based on Smarty markup, i.e.

        <title>{sitename} - {title}</title>
        <div id="footer">{global_content name='footer'}</div>

Content is defined in the editing interface so your users can reach it, and there can be multiple blocks. Global content appears on all pages. There's also custom tags and a good selection of plugins for forms, images, calendars, etc.

  • Do you know if cms made simple's tinymce produces non-crap markup?
    – jae
    Feb 9 '11 at 15:33
  • It's pretty much always validated for me. I tend to disable a number of the functions and leave the basics, bold/italic, lists, links and images. It allows you to insert alt tags and title tags on images and links as well.
    – myrridin
    Feb 9 '11 at 22:02

Have a look at Open Source CMS

It will let you try all of the open source PHP CMSs and figure out which one best suits you.

This is the link to the Lite CMS Section.


I've used FrogCMS with some success: http://www.madebyfrog.com/

The interface is decent. You get your choice of Textile or Markdown, and there's a TinyMCE addon floating around somewhere (oh, check out the Extend->Contributed Plugins page). Uploading and inserting files into pages can be a little tricky for end users.

Hasn't been updated in a while but the author says he's started working on it again.


I'm a fan of DokuWiki for light projects. It's got several authentication mechanisms and ACL security if you need it, and creating a template is just a matter of including the right hooks in a PHP file, so you can include arbitrary PHP in templates. I've used this to change things based on date, who's logged in, and so on. Quite a few modules, and they seem to be on a fairly active development cycle.

Note: it doesn't use a database; everything is either a text file or media file in the data root.

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