Web Content Management Systems

10 Best Free and Open Source Flat File Content Management Systems

A Content Management System (CMS) is software designed to simplify the publication of Web content. In particular, it enables content creators to submit content without requiring technical knowledge of HTML or the uploading of files. A CMS is most commonly used in creating an intranet or in establishing a presence on the Web.

This type of software that keeps track of every piece of content on a Web site. Content can be simple text, photos, music, video, documents, or just about anything you can think of.

Most CMS use databases to hold their content. This can make installation and maintenance confusing, complicated, and require some technical skill. Other problems can surface over time. For example, it can be difficult to modify, edit, or migrate content, although some CMS make things a little less complicated.

This article recommends CMS that hold all content in “flat files”. That is simple text files with a very simple structure. This makes it easier to modify, edit, organize, and migrate content. With no database knowledge required, the website creators can focus on their website’s design and content. There are other advantages. For example, smaller website projects will often offer higher speeds than a CMS using a relational database. They also offer simplicity, both in terms of fewer security pitfalls, and easier backups.

Content management systems based on the flat file principle are a half-way house between a regular CMS and a static site.

Our flat file CMS recommendations are captured in a legendary LinuxLinks-style ratings chart.

Ratings chart

Click the links in the table below to learn more about each CMS.

Flat File Content Management Systems
GravSuper fast modern CMS
PicoBlazing speed, flexibility, and a lightweight footprint
OctoberBased on the Laravel PHP Framework
GetSimple CMSXML based data storage
CMSimplePHP based content management system
BluditSimple flexible system storing content in JSON
WonderCMSAnother flat file CMS built with PHP
FlextypeHybrid CMS: headless CMS and full functionality of a traditional CMS
HTMLyPrioritizes simplicity and speed
AutomadIncludes a multi-layer caching engine and elegant dashboard

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