CMS Made Simple

Type: Portals (CMS)
License: GPL
Version: 1.5.1

Example of easy-to-use, simply made systems. Meant for amateurs with passion, who enjoy creating undeveloped sites.


Starting the installer causes the display of an error about the copyrights in templates_c catalogue. It's a result of using Smarty's templates system (even when installing) which requires a catalogue where all the compiled temples will be kept.

Whole installation process consists of six stages that do not differ much from other distributions. We enter main user data and database settings, set appropriate rights on the catalogues. Minimal requirement for the system to work is PHP 4.3, however PHP5 is recommended. CMS is compatible with MySQL and PostgreSQL.

Administration panel

Unfortunately visual effect are very poor. Panel is very dark. Adding few colours would definitely cheer things up, especially if the program is intended for a client. Other templates are available, unfortunately there is not many of them.

The panel is user-friendly, it's very clear and easy in handling. There's also possibility of defining one's own short-cuts, that we can use everywhere within the panel.

Files are managed on a "spreading tree" basis, meaning that from the main category minor things are unfolded. Yet, with a larger number of files this method seems to be a bit bothersome, I can't imagine managing the site with a few thousands articles.


Practically the only place where we can get some help is the official CMS Made Simple site. Nonetheless we can also find individual topics on forums.


As I have mentioned at the beginning the site uses Smarty's templates system. It's very popular software among PHP programmers which is why many people won't have to learn new markers.

Also the number of templates available for free downloading is not impressive, as is their quality. We should be aware that we probably won't find a template that will meet our expectations.


There are many extensions, that will increase site's functionality. Some of them can integrate the site with the most popular discussion forums and with the Zend Framework library. There is about 200 modules available.

Language version

Default CMS Made Simple can't handle language version. Fortunately we can install version which is an individual project containing language versions. However this solution requires all language site structures to be identical.


Switching 'friendly links' is possible, although links that are generated by the system already include words from the title. Impressive progress can be seen here, since just until recently only number identification was being done.

Key words and the description can be entered in messages, yet it's very inconvenient way. Namely, we have to enter whole tag, for example:
<meta name="keywords" content="summary, opinion, simple made cms, simplemadecms, portal" />

Source code

Good news is that XHTML code is compatible with W3C code and unfortunately here good news ends. The software is written in a structural way and many parts of the code isn't even subsumed under function. The comments are very poor and usually look like this "Trans SID sucks also..."

CMSMadeSimple uses many libraries like adodb_lite, Smarty or xajax.


Here system comes off very badly. On the homepage we can find 45 queries to the database, however on subpage with an article there is 44 of them. When the cache system is on and set to single query, that numer then drops to 37.


CMS Made Simple sofware can be suitable for simple web sites, where the numer of subpages isn't bigger than 100. Uncomplicated structure will enable to adjust the system to our needs.

Although if we want to use the system in a larger portal, we might as well start to look for something else. That way we won't have problems with managing subpages and efficiency.