Creating an ultra simple and light CMS with just some features?

Hi, maby this should be in the CMS section, but wasnt sure if what i want to do is really a CMS.

Im doing a website for a small pre/elementary school and there is some features they want to be able to do, like change content on some pages, upload images to lightbox gallery, blog … and thats about it.

In my eyes it seems that most user dont need all the features of other CMS like wordpress, joomla etc, and sometimes(often) find them to advanced. I would like to create a really simple one that lets you login, change textcontent and upload images, make blogposts.

Im a beginner at php/mysql and my knowledge reaches to making a blog and thats about it. I have made some custom WP theme before by pretty much copy pasting code.

So i would need tips on what to start with? How to target specific divs or areas to be editable etc…

Anything that could help me is appreciated. I know i could google “simple CMS” but most of them aint as simple as i want it to be and i have to code it from scratch as i partly do this as a school project.

thanks beforehand!

I think that first it would be a good idea to create database tables that will hold your content (like pages, galleries, etc.) and code your site to fetch data from them. Then if your CMS requirements are really small you may try Adminer Editor with its upload plugin - it’s a database management tool that is meant to be given to clients so that they can edit their content and not screw up too much by giving them too much access. I haven’t used it myself but I think it’s a nice tool for those who don’t require much (but from experience I know the requirements are likely to change after some time :slight_smile: ).

But things like a blog are not really as simple as you make them out to be, they may involve some more time to code from scratch (features like comments, calendars, tags, etc.). So if you are not ready to dive deep into php programming you may be better off using a ready-made system like wordpress.

Thanks for the tips, will deffo check out the plugin!

i have created blogs before so can snatch some code from there and diving deep into PHP is exactly what i want as I also see this as a way to learn more more about it(php). And its part of a school project so coding myself is a must. And when i do sites for real life customers (although note to many yet) I would like to have a super simple CMS of my own to implement smaller websites on=)

I came across this a few weeks (or was it months?) ago Simple CMS and have extended and adapted the idea a bit more so that I can use it for very a couple of very simple sites - and yet farm out the boring main page text changes to the owner.

thx, i will check it out!:slight_smile:

Reality is that customers and end-users expectations of software change over time. While it might not seem suitable to use a more feature rich system now it will in the future when customer needs change. I’m not saying you should try to anticipate every little thing but using a CMS flexible enough to accomodate most things is a mature decision. Creating your own one off CMS regardless of “great” you think it will be is the wrong decision for what seems like such a small project. You can’t let your desire to learn get in the way of providing a customer with the most appropriate solution given their budget and current/future expectations of software. For example, I really hate WP. However, for this project it seems like a perfect fit – small site w/ blog. It wouldn’t make any *business sense to build your own CMS to create such a simple site. I’m sure this clients budget isn’t through the roof either so either WP or something similar would be an appropriate fit. That said, this response has been formulated based on providing a service to a *paying customer. If your not being compensated for the work than absolutely use it as a leanring experience to do something you want. However, take note that in the real world we live with all existing solutions available creating a custom CMS for a simple site like this isn’t in any way way professional or having the best interest of the client in mind.

Thx you are definitely right, there are many good CMSs out there, much better then i could do one, but as this is a school project and im not getting compensated for the work I do this as a learning experience, the more i learn about php and mysql the easier it will be to understand the structure of already existing CMSs like WP, making them easier to work with and customize. I think. =)

Search for the term “jquery edit in place” that should find you some jQuery based solutions with various editors attached.

I recently came across x-editable (jQuery and Bootstrap) – and note today there is a wysiwyg option too …

Search Aloha editor too.

I like “edit in place” because from a user perspective it is so easy to understand, and the results are immediate (if done properly) – the quandary you will likely face is whether to try to make every thing as obvious and easy to use as that, or decide certain things are off limits and that the user must come back to you to execute certain actions.

Why let people upload photos when the vast majority of the population wouldn’t know a good photo when they see one, never mind be capable of taking a decent photo, and then correctly cropping and resizing it! And god forbid the “I found this photo on the internet, and it looked nice” syndrome and associated lawsuits.

  • decide how much of a gatekeeping role you want to take (are you also the picture editor?)
  • make it obvious which areas they cannot alter
  • make it easy for users to contact you

Sounds very much like my day ahead …