Flat File CMS

Flat File CMS are pretty en vogue since some years. These systems store the content of the user in files on the server and do not rely on a database. This has some advantages:

Of course, there are some limitations, too. A flat file system is not a clever solution for a multi user blog with a shop extension and several complex features. But a flat file system is a much more appropriate solution for simple websites, portfolio websites or one pagers. Established systems like WordPress, Joomla! or Drupal are a massive overload for simple use cases like this.

On the other side, most of the flat file systems focus on developers and have a limited set of ready to go templates and themes.

This is a quick market overview:

Name Start Last Costs Website Review
Baun 2014 03.2015 free Baun Website ./.
Blozilla 2014 10.2015 free Blozilla Website ./.
Bludit 03.2015 10.2016 free Bludit Website ./.
CMS Simple_XH 06.2009 12.2016 free CMSimple_XH Website ./.
Daux 01.2016 01.2017 free Daux Website ./.
Feindura 2010 09.2014 free Feindura Website ./.
FlatPress 2007 06.2015 free FlatPress Website ./.
Grav 2014 02.2017 free Grav Website Grav Review
Herbie 2014 10.2016 free Herbie Website ./.
HTMLy 2014 06.2016 free HTMLy Website HTMLy Review
Kirby 2009 03.2017 15€/79€ Kirby Website Kirby Review
Monstra 2012 04.2016 free Monstra Website ./.
Nesta 2010 03.2015 free Nesta Website ./.
la.Plume 2008 02.2015 free la.Plume Website ./.
Phile 2013 04.2016 free Phile Website ./.
Pico 2013 10.2016 free Pico Website ./.
Pulse 2012 (?) 9.2015 50$ Pulse Website ./.
Razor 2008 10.2016 free Razor Website ./.
Statamic 2012 03.2017 199$ Statamic Website Statamic Review
TextPress 2012 03.2014 free TextPress Website ./.
TYPEMILL 04.2017 04.2017 free TYPEMILL Website ./.
Typesetter 2009 02.2016 free Typesetter Website ./.
Sphido 03.2014 12.2015 free Sphido Website ./.
WonderCMS 2012 01.2017 free WonderCMS Website ./.
Yellow 2013 12.2015 free Yellow Website ./.

Depending on your needs, you should give all of the systems above a try. There are some older or more special CMS, that are not that popular but still do a very good job.

General Informations

Option CMS
Ruby Nesta
PHP all except Nesta
Markdown Baun, Bludit, Daux, FlatPress, Grav, Herbie, HTMLy, Kirby (KirbyText), Nesta, Phile, Pico, Textpress, Typemill, Sphido
XML-Content Monstra
HTML-Content Blozilla (in txt-files), Bludit, CMS Simple_XH, Sphido
Twig-Templates Baun, Daux, Grav, Herbie, Phile, Pico, Typemill,
PHP-Templates Bludit, CMS Simple_XH, Feindura, HTMLy, Kirby, Monstra, Razor, TextPress,
Other-Templates Nesta (Sinatra), Statamic (its own similar to Twig), Sphido (latte), FlatPress (Smarty)

Advanced Systems

When it comes to popularity and professionality, there are some systems, that stand out (in my view):

Simple Systems

Many of these systems are great for really quick and simple websites, the two I like most are:

Special Systems

Some systems have specialized for a certain niche, such as documentations or blogs. Some of theses niche systems are: