Why I chose CMS Made Simple

by Christine Collen |  CMS Made Simple |  August 09, 2013

You have almost certainly heard of WordPress or Joomla as website builders and content management systems.  You may have even heard of Drupal, too. But I will bet that you have not heard of CMS Made Simple?

Well, up until a year ago, I had not heard of this system. I was lumbering around WordPress, getting more and more depressed with it in terms of building websites for my clients. I am a programmer but I found the whole WordPress thing so complicated to develop with. I came to dislike WordPress immensely - I just didn't get it!

And then, almost by accident, I stumbled across CMS Made Simple.  I downloaded it and spent a couple of days getting to grips with it.  It uses SMARTY templating engine which I had heard of but had no experience with.  I purchased a CMS Made Simple book from Packt Press and devoured it in a few hours. And then I was HOOKED.

I just love building sites with CMS Made Simple.  Although it is not too simple, it lets me make it that way for my clients so they can easily update their own sites without giving me major headaches.

And, it has the power to build more complex applications.  I would never have tacked building a bespoke plugin or application with WordPress. But, with CMS Made Simple and armed with yet another CMS Made Simple book, I built a bespoke financial questionnaire application for a client in under a month, including an administration panel, ajax, secured pages.

Now, it was and is not all plain sailing when building sites with CMS Made Simple. But, WordPress is not easy either.  I would imagine Joomla and Drupal have their own idiosyncracies to work around, too.

But, with CMS Made Simple, it does not get in my way with my site designs.  I can lift the css straight from a static page and create page template in seconds. It just does its thing in a logical way. And, PHP coding is kept to a bare minimum - thanks to the SMARTY templating engine.


Main Features

CMS Made Simple is great for both novice and experienced website owners because it has an extremely user-friendly admin panel that makes it very easy to create, update, and modify content without knowing how to write one piece of code.

If you know how to type with a keyboard and edit a Word document, then you will find the editing facilities of CMS Made Simple a breeze!

You don't need any special software on your PC, either.  You access your website's administration area using your favourite internet browser such as Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.  You just login with your security details and off you go.  The changes you make are published to your website in seconds.

CMS Made Simple has a large set of features and facilities built into the "out-of-the-box" system without having to install additional 3rd party plugins like some other cms programs. Here is a short list of these:

  • Image Manager which allows you to upload and carry out basic image editing such as resizing and cropping
  • WYSIWYG facilities to make the editing of your page content as easy as typing a Word document
  • Creating, copying, deleting and re-ordering pages is intuitive
  • SEO-friendly URLs and access to all-important SEO parts of a web page such as title, meta description
  • Menu structures are automatically generated.  When you add a page to your site, it is automatically included in the site's navigation menus including the all-important sitemaps

CMS Made Simple can build a wide range of web sites, including ecommerce. However, I would use another program for that - OpenCart - as it already has most of the features you would expect to find in an online shop.  With CMS Made Simple, you would have to bolt together several modules in order to achieve a fairly decent application.