Flat-file content management systems

Bludit Plugins

Plugins are installed in the same way as themes and add new features to Bludit. If you click on Plugins below Settings, you will see that the default installation of Bludit already comes with numerous plugins, some of which are already enabled. You can find more plugins on the Bludit website [6], but many of them are not genuinely useful.

Some of the plugins cost money. For example, the ImageGallery Lite plugin only allows one photo gallery on the website; to create multiple galleries you need to purchase ImageGallery Pro ($5). However, even the pro version is missing important functions such as image titles and descriptions. Some plugins failed to work during testing, while others were difficult to use, such as the Mastodon extension.

However, Bludit is still a likable little CMS. It offers various other functions, which I don't have space to cover in this article. Thanks to the clear-cut graphical user interface, managing Bludit is extremely intuitive, which is why beginners in particular will quickly be able to find their way around Bludit.

GetSimple CMS

One of the oldest flat-file CMSs, GetSimple CMS has the same installation requirements as Bludit, and the first part of GetSimple's installation is also very similar. Download the program archive, unzip, and upload the content to your webroot directory. Then launch the installer in your browser. You additionally need to add the /admin suffix to the domain name to call the installation script. You will then see the results of the system check in your browser (Figure 4).

Figure 4: Installing GetSimple relies on a web installer.

To continue the setup, click Continue with setup on this page. A web form then appears where you can enter the website name, a username, and an email address before pressing Install Now. On the next page, you will see a registration confirmation and a password that GetSimple created for you. Clicking Login here logs you into GetSimple and takes you to the user interface, the CMS's back end.

You will then see the Getting Started page of GetSimple. Click on Settings in the top right corner. At the bottom of this page, you will first want to change the password.

Creating Content in GetSimple

Click the Pages tab to access page management. With a fresh GetSimple installation, you will see a single sample page named Welcome to GetSimple in the list. The page cannot be deleted, but it can be edited. Click on the page to open it in the page editor (Figure 5). Now change the title and content of the page before pressing the gray Save Updates button on the right.

Figure 5: GetSimple's page editor offers numerous settings.

To insert images into web pages, you first need to upload them to the server. To do this, click on the Files tab, go to the top of the tab, and press Browse on the right. Select the image you want to install and press Upload. Then open a page in the page editor and click on the thumbnail image in the editor toolbar. The Image Properties dialog box then opens (Figure 6); you can press Browse Server to view and select the uploaded photos.

Figure 6: Before inserting images, you first need to upload the images to the web server using the graphical upload tool.

A default installation of GetSimple only supports static pages that you access through a link in the website's navigation bar. If you want to create a blog, you will need to install the News Manager (updated) plugin. You can download it from GetSimple's website [7]; unzip the archive and upload the contents to the /plugins/ folder on the server.

To enable the plugin, click on the Plugins tab, where the News Manager (updated) entry now appears in the list of installed plugins. Now press the Activate button in the Status column. Finally, select the page where you want to display the news or blog posts. Unlike Bludit, blog posts can be accessed from any page in GetSimple, not just via the homepage.

To do this, click News Manager on the right side of the Page Manager and then click the dark Settings button at the top. At the very top of the menu, select the appropriate page below Page to display posts: and press Save Settings at the bottom to confirm the change. To create new posts, click Create New Post at the top of the News Manager.

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