CMSimple_XH

— a small modular CMS, user friendly and easy to install

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CMSimple_XH

The Origins

Around the turn of the millennium. the Dane Peter Harteg got tired constantly editing the websites of his friends, and wanted to give them an easy possibility to do the editing themselves.

He devised a simple web software with an ingenious method of creating new pages by adding headlines. He looked at websites as if they were a book: The different pages of a website he regarded like the different chapters of a book. As new chapters in a book are started by big headlines, the same he did with his little software!

The whole content of the website went into just one single html-file. From the six headline levels of html he reserved the first 3 for dividing the website into pages, while the remaining 3 were used for normal structuring of the text. Thus his software was extremely simple, small and needed no database. Installation was also simple: just load it on an internet server, give writing permissions to the content.htm, and you are done.
 

1 CMSimple content.htm file would give a website with
4 pages

<h1>page a</h1>

  text text text

<h1>page b</h1>

  text text text

<h2>subpage b</h2>

  text text text

<h1>page c</h1>

  text text text

page a
page b
subpage of b
page c


After having at first written his little program in Perl, he finally shifted over to PHP. Naming his software CMSimple, he released version 1.0 on 10 April 2003,  size: 20.0 KB, on the internet, allowing everybody to use it for free, provided a link to his site was kept visible. Link remove licenses could be bought. CMSimple became well known around 2006, when several good plugins became available.

Then development slowed down and practically ceased in 2008.

2009 some users began working on a follow-up version while keeping the compatibility with the original program as far as possible. In agreement with Peter Harteg it was called CMSimple_XH (X for XHTML- and H for HTML-compliance). CMSimple_XH 1.0 was published in December 2009.

So it came just right when Harteg put his software under GPL3 on Jan 1, 2010, freeing it, as well as CMSimple_XH, from any link requirement.

CMSimple_XH

by now is an up-to-date CMS that offers countless improvements over the old CMSimple while keeping the basic ingenious idea, namely:

  • Content is still saved in a single html file, thus making backup and migration to other servers easy.

The content.htm of XH now looks in principle like this:

1 CMSimple_XH content.htm file still gives a website with
4 pages

<h1>page a</h1>

<?php
$page_data[]=array(
'template'=>'0',
'linked_to_menu'=>'1'
);
?>

  text text text
 

<h1>page b</h1>

<?php
$page_data[]=array(
'template'=>'0',
'linked_to_menu'=>'1'
);
?>

  text text text
 

<h2>subpage b</h2>

<?php
$page_data[]=array(
'template'=>'Alternative',
'linked_to_menu'=>'1'
);
?>

  text text text
 

<h1>page c</h1>

<?php
$page_data[]=array(
'template'=>'0',
'linked_to_menu'=>'0'
);
?>

  text text text
 

page a

(Standard template)
 

page b

(Standard template)
 

subpage of b

(Alternative template)
 

page c

(Standard template,
page not listed in menu)

Under every header that produces a new page, a small php call is added. This call contains a list with instructions for the page, e.g. what template to take or if the page should be listed in the menu. This list is actually much larger, and variables for all kinds of additional functions can be added.

Other improvements are:

  • Users can easily install plugins and templates. Just copy the respective files into the plugins or templates folder.
  • The site stays standards compliant. No mix of html and xhtml, which was usually generated by the old CMSimple.
  • Settings are user-friendly configurable through understandable menus, instead of through complicated scripting as in classic CMSimple.
  • There is a choice of different up-to-date on-line editors like in other popular CMSs. Also for other administration tasks there is a choice of different solutions.

In the spirit of simplicity we aim not to bloat CMSimple_XH with non essential extensions. Users can easily install additional plugins themselves, as needed for their site.

Other CMSimple versions

CMSimple 4.x

The original CMSimple site of Peter Harteg doesn't exist any more. He sold name, website and old code to Gert Ebersbach of Berlin in November 2012. The old code is now available at: 

CMSimple Archives »

Ebersbach was one of the developers of CMSimple_XH. After version 1.5.3 he left the team. Starting from 1.5.3 he expanded the backend and the possibility that different users can administer different parts of the website, and published the resulting CMS as CMSimple 4.

CMSimple Classic

This Danish project is mainly concerned with keeping the CMS small. It is  CMSimple 3.4 with added security, and is maintained by Preben Bjorn Biermann Madsen:

CMSimple Classic »