Chris J Powell

The Content Management Conundrum

As I rebuild the foundation of my original home on the Interwebz I am challenged not by what I will post, I have that all plotted out, but how I will display it.  The internet is full of some really stellar choices in Content Management Solutions (CMS) but I have a couple of things that hamper my choices:

  1. My Web Host – iPage while a solid platform and affordable, does not have PHP 5.4, Ruby or node.js enabled on their servers
  2. Weak Programming Skills – training myself in the are of Webfu has proven to be more of a challenge for my aging brain than I thought
  3. The number of choices – There are too many choices, do I go Lite, do I go Design First, Database or no Database will be having a makeover done to it, and Krispy’s Rants will be making a comeback but what will the guts of the site be built with…that is a real tough question for this guy right now.

The world of Content Management has hundreds of choices and I often find myself diving into many of those choices from either a Google Search or by going to but as I build out the next chapter of my Online Life I struggle with what I really want from the back end of my site and what it is that I am planning to accomplish with the site itself.  Sure WordPress, Drupal and Joomla are all great platforms, but as I have found with my current WordPress implementation…it leaves something to be desired when the Database seems to go down on a regular basis.

I have narrowed the selection down to a few contenders (with many more options if my host would at the very least upgrade its version of PHP).

1. Doorgets  –


A “lite” CMS that does use a Database is not only one of the strong contenders, it may very well win out over all competitors.  I found it exceedingly easy to setup and comes with Bootstrap at its core meaning that I am out of the box ready for any device to render my thoughts, meanderings and general Rants.  As a foundation for building upon my PHP skills, this CMS is a clean slate letting me build functionality as I go…but do I want that as there are not many plugins or “free” themes available right now.

  1. PicoCMS


A flat file, no database CMS that does everything in Markdown is very appealing to me.  I would be in complete control of my site, my thoughts and my style…but if the site that I envision grows at the same rate as this WordPress site has…is it really going to allow me to stick with it for the duration?  The dead simple setup though…I can configure on my local machine and then just drag and drop the whole site to my web directory and done…that appeals to me, in a big way.

  1. GetSimple CMS

Another Flat File CMS but that comes with a plethora of documentation, plugins and themes, GetSimple has always been a contender but every time I am about to go live with a site built with it…I find myself wondering…should I?  It is easy to set up, configures the site with XML and no database, renders the page fast but there is always something that keeps me from clicking the go live button at the end of the process.

  1. Respond CMS


This is a system that I got to know quite well and Krispy’s Rants was once build inside of this system.  I really liked how much control I had over everything from my content layout to the addition of advertising…but the number of choices in the display did tend to create a fractured view of what I was doing.  Sure the creation of some real templates would have been helpful but when I ran through and used this on my live site…I was more about churning out content than thinking about structure.

  1. Anchor CMS


I have installed and deleted Anchor no less than 2 dozen times in the past week.  I like it and hate it at the same time.  What is a guy to do, it does 90% of what I want it to do and gives me many, many options to extend it and cut my teeth in the world of PHP programming…but at the same time, there is something that is just missing from what I want from a CMS even though getting 90% of the way there with a 5 minute install should be more than enough.

You see, the top choices are varied and there are many more options out there.  If I had my druthers and an unlimited budget I would make the leap to a host that has node.js enabled so that I could use Ghost CMS…an amazingly light and quick CMS system, or if PHP 5.4 was enabled on my host, October CMS would be there in a heart beat.

I have been building and tearing down for 2 weeks within a XAMPP environment and I have pushed out my release date twice already…but as Friday, October 10, 2014 looms ahead of me…I know that I can not push it off again…so I will make my final choice tonight and then build a bunch of content for the release on Friday…I hope you will join me!!!




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