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CMS from Scratch

Although WordPress has peeked my interest lately, I wanted to mention another Open Source CMS that has proved invaluable to my services. Where WordPress, Joomla or Drupal present an overly feature rich environment, this offering from Scratch Media fills the gap perfectly.

CMS from Scratch

CMS from Scratch, as it’s known, is a lightweight, database independent system which can be applied to any static website. The process is fairly straight forward and the guide on the publishers website is simple and easy to follow. A video is also provided demonstrating how to convert your existing site for those that want to see it in action.

The system offers easy text editing via the integrated FCK Editor and the ability to upload files and images to the server, which can then be linked to via the FCK interface. Navigation and galleries are easy enough to construct with the Sets feature and a separate log-in can be provided for clients which will only allow them to access the bits you want them to be able to edit.

Support for the CMS is provided via their forum and the creator of the system, Ben Hunt, is frequently on hand to offer solutions or point you in the right direction. This is also the place to follow the slow, but sure, evolution of the package, as Ben often posts fixes and additions directly to the forum.

I find this the perfect solution for small to medium brochure and marketing websites, providing the client an easy editing function without the complications associated with the more powerful packages.

Being Open Source, there is no charge and it can easily be skinned with your own brand. Their website even offers a white label user guide as a word document which you can amend as you wish and pass on to clients.

You can download CMSfS from it’s google code page.

If you give it a go, let me know what you think with a comment.

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7 Responses to “CMS from Scratch”

  1. Matt Says:

    Hello from MacRumors! I got tired of nerding out over there, so I thought I’d nerd out over here for awhile. I’ll be sure to let you know how I get on with CMSfS, but I can’t say when that will be…

    Thanks for the review!

  2. Doug Says:

    Thanks for popping over Matt!

    I look forward to hearing how you get on with it – whenever that may be :)


  3. Sigmadog Says:

    Thanks for the review. CMS from Scratch sounds like a great solution to add simple CMS to an existing layout. It’s a good middle ground between a full-blown CMS like Drupal, and I don’t have to learn how to build a whole new template – I can just use my existing html. Lovely!

    I think I’ll add it to my toolbox.

  4. Viet Says:

    Thanks for this quick review.
    Do you know any website developed using CMS from Scratch ?



  5. Doug Says:

    Hi Viet

    I do – This site (apart from the blog which is driven by WordPress) has CMSfS under the hood. There are also these that I know of:

    Only the first one was done done by me though.

    In it’s current incarnation CMSfS isn’t the most stable of options and support in the forum has dropped significantly, so I find it hard to recommend it unless you have solid coding ability or feel like chasing down solutions to the many bugs in the latest release. Early versions are still good to use though.

    Hope that helps!


  6. Jimmy Hughes Says:

    Hi Doug,

    Glad you are finding the CMS useful. Ben hasn’t been able to give it the devotion it needs recently but it’s good to hear people are still using CMS from Scratch.

    Site’s looking great by the way!

    Scratchmedia Ltd

  7. Jimmy Hughes Says:

    Oh … by the way. For those of you looking for a site built on CMSfs, have a look at my Band’s website which I built using the system.

    Official DoWnslide Website

    It was very easy to get up and running!


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