The CMS I love & hate.
Anchor CMS is a TINYand I must stress TINY, OpenSource, content management system.
For those of you who aren’t tech savvy, OpenSource means that a community has written the code and worked in collaboration making the product absolutely free to download, use and alter. A content management system is a Web Application of sorts that will help you to organize a website using specific code (like PHP). Content management systems are great for blogs, and big websites that are constantly adding content.
Now I stumbled onto Anchor CMS by checking out others’ code. Yep, when I see a website I like, I check out the source code to see what is beneath the surface. In this case I was browsing the blog entries of internet’s famous Visual Idiot, when I happened to check out his website’s code. I didn’t see the typical heirarchy in his coding that I am used to seeing, whether it be WordPress (which is what I use 95% of the time), Drupal or Joomla. I investigated further until I rested at AnchorCMS.com.
The site is clean, and has the eye catching icons to boot, so first I click onto the “Features” page to see what this Open Source CMS is all about. I mean, if the site looks this good, how have I not heard of it???
Arriving at the Features page one thing pops out at me, although it is gray and is designed to be hidden, it glares out at me.
Anyone else note the asterisk? The message it refers to made me smile. “There may be bugs, but they’ll get fixed.” Hey, at least they are honest.
Well, I downloaded the CMS and installed it on DevinBryce.com – which I use specifically to try new things out on. The install was simple and the admin interface is clean.
Considering the size of this project, (and that it hasn’t even been released as 1.0 yet – as of today we are on release 0.7) there aren’t any themes ready to go other than the default. That being said I took that code, altered it a bit and added my own graphics and created my own theme. (Which is responsive). Creating themes at this point is a scary thing to do, as new features are released, your themes will need to be updated. However by the same token, the simpler CMS, the simpler it is to theme.
The problem I have run into with this CMS is what some may argue is it’s biggest Strength. Each post/page are to be hand coded using html. Now that is great for developers/designers… but for my clients, not so much. This CMS isn’t very lay-person friendly when it comes to content creation, although I am sure this will improve as the project moves forward. In the mean time, I find that writing blog articles take a bit more time, especially when adding photos, (currently the only way to add photos is to FTP upload them and then link to them in the html).
I absolutely love the size of this CMS. At times I don’t like how many options and how convoluted a WordPress site is. Anchor seems to really be standing behind the statement of, “less is more” with their CMS.
In actually using it for a constantly updated blog, nope, I would hold off a little bit longer. At least until there is a photo uploader and a WYSIWYG editor.
Will I use it? Heck yes. I will continue using AnchorCMS on DevinBryce.com – applying the newest releases as they come and adjusting accordingly.