10 Ultra-Lightweight CMSes For Simple Projects

Each and every piece of content created is unique in some way and so are the many Content Management Systems available. Content Management Systems were supposed to be a wrapper that holds the content together in a preset format, however, over time, CMS developers have gotten ambitious and started adding as many features as possible to stay ahead of the competition.

The question is, how many people actually use all these features? A bloated CMS can also slow down a website, aggravating visitors. If you just have a single purpose website or focus is only on content that loads faster, flat file CMSes are a viable alternative. Check out our list of ultra-lightweight CMSes that don’t require a database to run.


Also be sure to check out our roundup of 10 fantastic lightweight CMSes you should try!

SkyBlueCanvas

SkyBlueCanvas

SkyBlueCanvas

SkyBlueCanvas Lightweight CMS is an open source, free CMS written in PHP and built specifically for small web sites. After uploading the software to your web server, you’re all set to add content in the form of text and pictures to your web site.

SkyBlueCanvas’ interface is simple to navigate with standard menus, buttons, and forms and, in most cases, it’s just point, click and type to get content changed.

  • Price: Free
  • Server Language: PHP v4-5.x – Only Linux Servers
  • Database: No
  • Self-Hosted: No
  • Plugins: Yes

razor CMS

razor CMS

razor CMS

razor CMS is an opensource fork of nanoCMS and uCMS. It has a great admin control panel that offers a bird’s eye view of the site, complete with feedback on environment, versions, system messages and the ability to monitor all files within the system for permissions to ensure file security.  Like WordPress and other more complex CMSes out there, razor also offers 3 user accounts with varying levels of access. There’s also the automatic invalid login check which blocks invalid logins by IP address after 8 attempts and a maintenance mode to keep visitors informed.

  • Price: Free
  • Server Language: PHP v-5.x
  • Database: No
  • Self-Hosted: No
  • Plugins: Yes

gp Easy

gp Easy

gp Easy

gpEasy is the perfect choice for a personal or commercial web site that requires faster page loads and search engine friendly code. Adding pages is as simple as submitting a new title and with the built in CKEditor, editing pages is such a breeze. From the integrated admin interface users can instantly see page edits and configuration changes as they happen.

  • Price: Free
  • Server Language: PHP v-4.x
  • Database: No
  • Self-Hosted: No
  • Plugins: Yes

Zimplit

Zimplit

Zimplit

Zimplit is an open source CMS that is extremely lightweight, simple and customizable. Thanks to the single core engine file, uploading and installing the CMS couldn’t be easier. After installing, login and select the design that is appropriate for the site from the hundreds available. All the content added is stored as HTML files.

  • Price: Free
  • Server Language: PHP v-4.x
  • Database: No
  • Self-Hosted: Yes
  • Plugins: No. But themes are available.

OneFile CMS

OneFile CMS

OneFile CMS

Can it be any clearer than this? OneFile CMS comprises of just one file that is extremely tiny at 24kb. The CMS comes with all the basic features of an FTP application, built in, so day to day activities like renaming, deleting, copying and uploading files can be done with ease.

  • Price: Free
  • Server Language: PHP v-5.x – Only Linux/Unix Servers supported.
  • Database: No
  • Self-Hosted: No
  • Plugins: No.

Lotus

Lotus

Lotus

Lotus CMS, though lightweight comes with an advanced speed caching system for standard pages with up to a 3 times average speed increase for server-side processing. This should ensure blazing fast page load times for your visitors. It also has a blogging system, multi-tier user roles and a WYSIWYG editor. A classy backup solution and SEO settings are part of the CMS too.

  • Price: Free
  • Server Language: PHP v-5.x
  • Database: No
  • Self-Hosted: No
  • Plugins: No.

Mapix

Mapix

Mapix

Distributed under GPL, Mapix CMS simplifies content management by offering an elegant user interface, flexible templating per page, simple user management and permissions, in addition to other tools necessary for file management. Mapix is both a framework and a CMS which makes it easy for developers to create websites entirely (as far as possible) with the XML/XSL technology. In Mapix CMS, each page can have its own customized parts and they can be reordered by just drag & drop.

  • Price: Free.
  • Server Language: PHP v-5.x
  • Database: No
  • Self-Hosted: No
  • Plugins: No.

Quick CMS

Quick CMS

Quick CMS

Quick CMS is available in three flavors and the base version of which is free. Quick CMS makes it easy to create multilingual pages and has a ton of page customization options. A powerful admin panel helps you manage everything on your site—pages, images and files—as efficiently as possible. Sub pages can be added when required and images are displayed using Lightbox.

  • Price: Free, Paid Versions available as well.
  • Server Language: PHP v-5.x
  • Database: No
  • Self-Hosted: No
  • Plugins: Only in paid versions.

CMSimple

CMSimple

CMSimple

At just a 100 kb, CMSimple is one of the smallest, smartest and simplest content management systems out there. Simple installation and easy modification options are the USPs of the CMS. The entire site is stored as a single HTML file and you can edit it with your favorite HTML editor, upload the content file and get a dynamic website. An integrated WYSIWYG editor with link validation, online editing of system files and an automatic backup on logout make the system administrator’s life easy.

  • Price: Free, Paid commercial versions available as well.
  • Server Language: PHP v-5.x
  • Database: No
  • Self-Hosted: No
  • Plugins: Yes

ecoCMS

ecoCMS

ecoCMS

ecoCMS is another classic example of a light CMS that’s easy to install. There are paid variants available but the free and opensource version comes with the most needed features to build and manage a website. And for a simple CMS, eco has an elegant and powerful admin panel too. A ton of free templates and availability of plugins like shopping cart, blog etc. add to its plus points.

  • Price: Free, Paid commercial versions available as well.
  • Server Language: PHP v-5.x
  • Database: No
  • Self-Hosted: No
  • Plugins: Only in paid versions.

Share Your Thoughts!

Which one is your favorite Light weight CMS? In this day and age, is it alright to run a site without a database?


  • http://fairheadcreative.com Adam Fairhead

    Since I’m used to working with Drupal every day, these certainly look lightweight to me! Great roundup, thanks :)

  • http://azovsky.net/en Paul

    Good selection! But I prefer Drupal (as well as Adam). Convenient, very flexible, you can quickly make any site. :)

  • http://febriansyah.biz febri

    You probably should check this one out : http://cloudhead.io/toto
    it’s super simple and lightweight. But maybe not as user friendly as CMS should do

  • http://techinch.com/ Matthew Guay

    WordPress is usually my weapon of choice, but I may have to give some of these a shot sometime for some who find more complex CMS systems too confusing.

  • Steve

    PulseCMS (pulsecms.com) should be on this list.

  • http://jeclicke.con Dijux

    Great selection thanks for sharing.

  • http://twitter.com/mor4ee mor4ee

    Hey? what about http://staceyapp.com/ ?

  • donvodki

    AWESOME! ill def dig some and will let you know!

  • http://loopion.com loopion

    you forgot http://get-simple.info/ a really good one that does strictly what it does. No extra feature but with now possibility to add plugins

  • Flo

    Okay, you really forgot the Contao Open Source CMS (former TYPOlight). http://contao.org

  • Aaron

    I have used Pixie before, although not lightweight – the new version under development will be. The home of Pixie is: http://getpixie.co.uk ..

    However to view a sneak peak of the new version (v2) go to: http://10k.aneventapart.com/Entry/157 .. very impressive!

  • http://www.blueinkdesign.com Adam

    PageLime (http://pagelime.com/) is my liteCMS of choice. Super easy to implement, and also free!

  • Pingback: Ultra Light Weight

  • http://INDIA SUNIL

    NO

  • http://www.cmsimple-xh.ch/ dpwebmedia

    Peter Harteg actually finished development of CMSimple (version 3.3) 2010. Then development continued to meet XHTML standard and to integrate FCKeditor. Recently updated Version of CMSimple can be downloaded from here:
    http://www.cmsimple-xh.ch/en/
    (backend available in English, German, French, Italian and Spanish)

  • Fred

    I think you forgot Redaxscript: http://redaxscript.com

  • mami

    Scratch

  • Connell Hunte

    Have looked at all the lite cms. For me get simple is the most flexible. If they could develop a sqlite storage engine. It will in my view win this group hands down.

theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow