2014 Will Be the Year of the Flat-File CMS
A recent trend I’ve noticed among designers is ditching WordPress for simpler CMS solutions like Ghost, Kirby, Statamic and Jekyll. WordPress is a great CMS but for a lot of sites it can be complete overkill.
WordPress started out as a simple blogging tool but has since evolved into a complex, feature-rich CMS that can power very large sites. Most sites simply do not need all of the functionality WordPress offers and the bloat and complexity of the software can start to get in the way.
This is where flat-file (also known as file-based) content management systems come into the picture…
What Exactly Is a Flat-File CMS?
A flat-file CMS is a content management system that stores content in files and folders rather than in a database like a traditional CMS. A database-driven CMS needs to query a database to retrieve content but with a flat-file CMS the content is readily-accessible in a simple file and folder structure. This might sound like you can only create basic sites with limited functionality with a flat-file CMS but that isn’t the case…
Do You Really Need a Database?
My web typography side project, Typewolf, runs on a flat-file CMS. It generates dynamic pages — clicking a font name generates a page showing sites using that font — it just happens to store the site’s content in files and folders rather than in a database. This blog you are reading uses a flat-file CMS as well. Each blog post is simply a text file inside a folder.
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