CMS Made Simple

CMS Made Simple is based on the Smarty template engine and builds on that foundation to create a solid offering that could be compared to the big names like Joomla and ModX.

CMS Screenshot

CMS Screenshot
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Username: admin

Password: demo

This demo provided by OpenSourceCMS.

Current Version: 1.8.2
Cost: Free
Development: Community
Hosting: Own Server
Source: Open Source
License: GNU GPL
Programming: PHP
Database: MySQL

Our Impressions:

CMS Made Simple is kinda like the lighter version of Joomla CMS system. It has all of the basic stuff you want and need in a CMS system without getting too complicated. It has a nice news feature to allow you to keep an updated blog or news section at your website without problems.

CMS Made Simple has come a long way as far as layout and ease of use, but its not fully there yet. It can still feel a little clunky at times, and could use some polish in the design and layout areas.

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  • 4.144.144.144.144.14
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  • 3.143.143.143.143.14
  • 3.293.293.293.293.29
Scores are based on 7 total votes

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User Reviews: Submit Your Own

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Voting has been open for this CMS since Thursday, January 1st, 2009. There are a total of 7 Reviews for this CMS. You can follow future reviews through the RSS feed if you'd like.

Review by Andreas April 26th, 2012 5:08 am

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Strengths: Easy in all ways. I learned a lot through this one and i’m sad to be leaving it. Functions simply great for one language sites.

Weaknesses: Many outdated modules

The biggest weakness is no native support for multilingual sites. There are some workarounds but they are to hard to handover to clients “yeah it’s called cms Made Simple but heres your 20 page documentation on how to handle multiple languages”

Review by Peciura June 1st, 2010 2:17 pm

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Strengths: Easy to ajust HTML and CSS. Suitable for very specific design.
Smarty templateing engine that can use lots of php functions.
Community (forum, irc) is quit helpful. One can find solutions to most tasks. Irc is for quick questions and advice.
Ability to write own php scipts (User Defined Tags).
Module uses operation modes (actions)
Both modules and UDTs takes strings and variables as parameters.
Modules can trigger events, as a result module actions and UDTs can connected to one big logical sequence (including parameters).
Variables available on CSS.
Templates, CSS and UDTs are stored on DB.
Sensible admin interface.
Quick start for new user.

Weaknesses: There are a lot of info but big wiki in one place would be better.
Lots of reading has to be done before going for advance stuff (i guess it is always true).
php knowledge is rather a must than an advantage (smarty templates, UDTs and module mods).
some separate solutions to build multilingual site (should be more consistent way some time in 2012 )
At the moment there is no place to exchange and rate module mods, templates, UDTs and other stuff .

Review by Jessica January 26th, 2010 11:47 am

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Strengths: Very easy to theme. If you can build html/css you can easily get a content managed, static site up quickly. Even my least technical clients have no trouble getting around the admin.

Weaknesses: Most of the extensions are a little rough and need help to work or don’t work as expected. The blog feature isn’t very intuitive or easy to use. This cms is best for simple brochure style sites rather than feature rich sites.

Review by Paulo June 18th, 2009 7:26 am

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Strengths: Flexibility

Weaknesses: Maturity

Review by Musicscore May 20th, 2009 12:20 pm

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Strengths: Fully customable templates using standaard html and css lanquage

Weaknesses: Some modules need adjustments to work

Review by Guilherme May 18th, 2009 9:34 pm

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Strengths:

Weaknesses:

Review by Henry May 10th, 2009 4:25 pm

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Strengths: Very easy to set up a basic site with a few static pages etc. Relatively easy for inexperienced users to add and edit content once the site has been set up. For designers with very little html/programming experience, smarty may be easy to pick up in the short term.

The module manager is very nice to use, as it lets you see all the modules that are available to you without having to visit another website; it’s all accessed through the admin panel.

Documentation as always could use a little work but it’s not that bad for basic CMSMS understanding. There is very little documentation if you which to go ahead and develop or customise your own modules. The community is generally active and most of the time very helpful, though because of the target market there are few highly skilled developers available for guidance.

Weaknesses: As a module developer one of the biggest problems I have found with CMSMS is the api and functions exposed to module developers. For some reason the highly repetitive aspects of module development has not been made easier by the api design – much of module development has to be done manually which could really be done automatically. ie: each time you develop a module you have to re-template the admin area for it.

The way pages and actions work is also rather clunky and very difficult to understand, even after using it for more than two years.

Many of the modules which are available have not been written very well, and can exhibit some rather annoying bugs. This also makes it more difficult to modify various modules.

The admin page layout and design, despite a recent refresh, is still pretty terrible and relies on a lot of inline javascript and inaccessible design practices. Again this makes it far more difficult than it should be to modify the backend design.

Overall though the think I dislike the most is the smarty templating engine. It’s structure and control patterns are so unlike html or php that it makes it difficult to incorporate it into the template. Just figuring out which variables and data sets are available to you at any one time can be very frustrating.

On this topic, I am still at a loss as to why CMS developers do not consider XSLT as the templating language of choice. It’s similarities to html make it easy for those with no prior programming knowledge to pick up. It offers far more control than smarty and is far more unified. Also, as it is a recognised standard, experience and practices gained using one cms can be instantly transported to another. Considering the widespread use of XSLT this is a formidable skill to have.

Overall CMS Made Simple is ok for very simple sites, but because of the pain experienced extending it, it would be far better to jump ship to a more flexible cms, such as Symphony.

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