A flat file CMS is a content management system that doesn't need a database - instead it stores information in files and folders. There have been tools like this for a long time, but only recently has there been a strong trend to favour them. Quite often the reason to use a flat file CMS is, that bigger CMSs have grown into complex systems with more features than are needed with a normal website.(Click the button on the right to view the list of flat file CMSs.)
This dataset contains a list of flat file CMSs, their licensing (mostly open source, some are commercial), links to their homepages, requirements (most are on PHP), and primary way to edit or write content (quite often Markdown).
There are several advantages for creating a websites without a database:
- Simplicity - avoid the hassle of configuring the database
- Fast loading of pages - as there is no database, the website does not have to wait for data loading from the database
- Cheaper (if not free) hosting - typically hosting solutions cost more if you need a database
- Easier version controlling - version controlling a database based CMS can be challenging, but with a file-based system you can use any version controlling software you like (etc. GitHub)
- Security - no need to keep the database administration tools updated
- Portability - moving the website from one host to another is easy as they are just files
The list is a work in progress. If you know a CMS that is not listed, join the project as a collaborator.