Css Friendly Cms

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An overview of how easily and fully various Content Management Systems can be customised using CSS

Contents

Bitweaver (http://www.bitweaver.org)

The CMS comes fully xhtml 1.0 strict compilant direct after installation. It uses Smarty templates for skinning, which allows for great flexibility. Preinstalled themes (skins) are using Layout Gala, so you can choose between 40 css-driven layouts in one theme. Menus are usually handled by lists, that are prestyled as the suckerfish dropdowns (and as table-injected lists for IE). Icons sets are compartible with official Icon Naming Specification.

In general the CMS designed with the specs in mind and is quite CSS-centered in design, but it sometimes fails to render fashionably in IE (so by default it uses javascript to help this CSS-impaired brouser out) It's PHP based and utilises multiple databases, MySQl, Postgres, Firebird etc.

Bricolage (http://www.bricolage.cc)

Bricolage is really more CSS-agnostic. It can manage both text "documents" (which are made up of many elements) and media. Media can be any sort of other file, including CSS, and you can configure it so that CSS files are deployed along with documents. Note that it doesn't actually help you with CSS, but it won't get in the way of being fully standards-compliant.

City Desk (http://www.fogcreek.com)

Has a simple scripting language that lets you loop through articles to create lists of links from headlines and other useful tricks. You create XHTML/CSS templates and then use Word-like articles made up of fields (headline, body, sidebar, whatever) that you associate with the templates using City Script , their scripting language. There is a local preview feature and a built-in FTP client so it's very easy to test and upload your pages. Beware the internal editor, as it can change your tags to uppercase and non-XHTML things like that, but if you use an editor, it's a great tool for daily article publishing or building sites using CSS that non-programmers will maintain. The 50 item test version is free.

concrete5 (http://www.concrete5.com)

concrete5 is an open source content management system (CMS) for publishing content on the World Wide Web and intranets. It enables users to edit site content directly from the page. This makes the platform easy to use with a minimum of technical skills. This feature, combined with a version management for every page, are typical of wiki software, another type of web site development software. concrete5 allows users to edit images through an embedded editor on the page.

Dot Net Nuke (http://www.dotnetnuke.com) asp.net based

This portal system/CMS uses a skinning engine to separate content from presentation. A html file is uploaded with the proper tags where the portal content will be placed. Although the original skin is table-based there are already a of freely downloadable css-based versions. It also has a separate menu object; right now it is javascript-based. However there are other 3rd-party menu objects that work with a styled list as their menu.

Drupal (http://www.drupal.org)

((Drupal)) is software that allows an individual or a community of users to publish, manage and organize a great variety of content on a website easily. Tens of thousands of people and organizations have used Drupal to set up scores of different kinds of web sites, including:

  • community web portals and discussion sites
  • corporate web sites/intranet portals
  • personal web sites
  • aficionado sites
  • e-commerce applications
  • resource directories

Drupal includes features to enable:

  • content management systems
  • blogs
  • collaborative authoring environments
  • forums
  • newsletters
  • picture galleries
  • file uploads and download

and much more. And it is GPL, free and respects web standards.

Elixon WCMS/XUL (http://www.webdevelopers.eu/)

Very simple CMS for editors yet extremely powerful for designers. Full support for per-browser type CSS, CSS variables and expressions (width: `$pageWidth - $leftPanel`px;), optional XSL supported. The administration is running on Mozilla's XUL/AJAX technology.

  • News
  • Tree document structure automatically reflected by menu.
  • Validated web forms
  • File Manager
  • Designer
    • Unlimited conditional CSS
    • CSS Variables
    • CSS Expressions
    • Array of optional XSL transformations
    • XHTML/XML compatible
    • Unlimited number of designer-defined editable areas in the layout
  • True WYSIWYG Editor (editor really sees the page including the design, menus and everything)
  • Simple role-base right management
  • Powerful file manager (drag&drop of files into content supported)

Etomite (http://www.etomite.org/)

Finally a CMS focusing on 'normal' websites (not forums/blogs/...) and on being easy to use. For both - the the end user as well as you, while setting everything up. It is entirely up to you, how compliant the generated pages are.

  • You have full control over the template(s)
  • Thus full control over the CSS
  • Over the programming parts as well, if you want to: Etomite allows you to insert your own PHP-Code via so-called 'Snippets'. If one of the default-snippets (for example for the navigation) doesn't put out, what you want, get a better one from the Snippet Library :)

Etomite is PHP/MySQL-based and is available under the terms of the GPL

KarmaCMS (http://karmawizard.com/)

Modular CMS that can handle just about any type of site from musician to corporate. It is bound to the hosting company, Host Karma, so there is no set up involved - just sign up for an account and go. To assist in designing around this CSS Zen Garden style format where the HTML cannot be altered, a wizard has been built for your convenience. There you can choose a layout and plug in your style. In addition you can write your style in the Custom CSS box.


  • Free Pre-Made designs available
  • Fully customizable through CSS
  • Valid XHTML Strict output
  • Semantic markup
  • Fast support
  • Reseller program available

Kentico CMS (http://www.kentico.com) asp.net based

Kentico CMS for ASP.NET is a full-featured content management system for building web sites, on-line stores, intranets and Web 2.0 community sites. It's easy to use for content editors and provides unmatched flexibility for web developers. It features workflow, permissions, multilingual support, full-text search, on-line forms, newsletters, forums, e-commerce, blogs, polls, web analytics, geo-mapping, event calendar and other modules. Download the Free Edition.

  • Free Templates available
  • Easy editable and managable CSS Site Stylesheets and Page Style Sheets
  • Printer friendly CSS styles
  • Styles according the client's browser
  • Fast and professional support

liveSTORYBOARD CMS (http://www.livestoryboard.com)

liveSTORYBOARD CMS is built with web standards in mind:

  • supports and encourages CSS for layout
  • clean, valid XHTML default output
  • semantic markup
  • customizable XML content schemas
  • XSLT templates
  • RSS, Atom, RTF, txt, ect. additional generation options
  • human readable URLs
  • search engine friendly

Mambo (http://www.mamboserver.com)

Unfortunately Mambo uses tables for much of the layout. Even if you lay out the page in CSS you are still going to struggle with table-based navigation, comments, etc. Open Source

MamboXML or MOSXML (https://sourceforge.net/projects/mosxml/)

This takes the back engine of Mambo and uses it to output XML, which is then turned into XHTML with XSLT sheets which can be styled with CSS obviously. (XSLT sheets can also be created for PDF and print versions.) Open source

Microsoft CMS 2002

An ASP.NET-based CMS for which you need Visual Studio.NET. The supplied HTML placeholder outputs terrible, Word-like HTML. However, if you know C# you can override the Html_Placeholder_Control class and, as it saves, tidy up its HTML. One way is to use HTMLTidy. Once you've sorted out the HTML the templates are ordinary ASP.NET pages, which means you control what goes on them and you can make them 100% CSS-driven.


MODx (http://www.modxcms.com)

MODx is the alternative to hacking blogging tools and other tools to death, extended learning curves, and changing your workflow to fit software that just doesn't quite "get it". MODx allows you to focus on usability, design, content and building great sites, not on the tools that build them. MODx does not force you into awkward and confusing blocks-this or channels-that templating engines or layout rules. You can build XHTML 1.1 Strict sites just as easily as a tag-soup laden table layout. MODx is the dream CMS for CSS designers.

Mooodle (http://moodle.org)

A CMS for the educational institutions. CSS-based themes.

Movable Type (http://www.movabletype.org)

Although the post generating this page stated that using a blog tool felt like a hack, I have to differ a bit. A blog tool is merely a micro-content management tool. More so with Movabletype (MT) than some of the others. Expression Engine (http://expressionengine.com) may come close as well... it allows for greater taxonomy control, customized fields, and more granular permissions. Anyway, these tools, especially MT, drive many large sites that are not blogs. I use it for data capture areas within sites, largely static sites, serial sites like a news section on a college site, and more... it has flexibility, can be modified, has meta-data possibilities, and a high level of template control. If your magazine site is so large than you might be better off going with a commercial solution as part of your budget. What is a magazine but a collection of stories (entries) with sections (categories) that are archived by issue (day, week, month, whatever).

Nucleus (http://www.nucleuscms.org)

An Open Source, PHP/MySQL system which is tailored to be used in blogs, but is very easy to adapt to other uses. Highly modularized, tens of available plug-ins and uses no tables for layout.

Plone (http://www.plone.org)

Plone is a ready-to-run Open Source content management system that is built on the free Zope application server. Plone is very modular using several mechanisms to change layout and functionality. Plone uses seperate CSS files to control the layout of different parts of a site. All CSS can be altered. Also freely programmable conditions control what CSS files are shown in what circumstance.

Silverstripe (http://www.silverstripe.org)

Silverstripe is an open source CMS system. Very intuitive for the user and very easy for the developer to elaborate, build your own themes and templates from scratch. Lots of resources and documentation and also has a large community base.

Supports work flows, has page version history and has many supported modules (or you can build your very own!).

Sitefinity (http://www.sitefinity.com)

Sitefinity CMS is a ASP.NET based CMS that utilises multiple databases, MySQL, SQL Server 2000/2005/Express, Oracle 8+. Offers free community edition with various modules (news, blogging, polls, etc.) Offers XHTML-compliant editor for editing content, and supports theming through Master page / Template architecture. Fully supports separation of content, presentation & behavior.

sNews (http://www.solucija.com/home/snews)

sNews is a completly free PHP and MySQL driven tool for publishing and maintaining news articles on a website. It's easy to integrate into your existing design, or can be a simple content management system on it's own. sNews is extremly lightweight because it consists of only one file. Extremely easy to install and use through an easy to use web interface.

Textpattern (http://www.textpattern.com)

Open Source, very simple default template ripe for customisation.

Umbraco (http://www.umbraco.org)

Umbraco is an Open-Source Content Management System that is easy to setup and allows full customization for (x)HTML & CSS layouts. Umbraco is written in C# and will run on any server that supports ASP.net and MS-SQL Server.

TweakCMS (http://www.tweakcms.com)

Tweak CMS, created by Agency Fusion, was built for designers and developers who are passionate about custom design and quality code. The CMS supports templating using semantic, standards-compliant code -- no proprietary template tags needed. The CMS is hosting-platform-independent; you can publish many file formats to any kind of server. The product is in use by small companies and Fortune 500 companies alike.

Vine Type (http://vinetype.com/)

ASP.NET-based Content Management System that requires no scripting language nor database installation. Vine Type uses simple customizable templates for page framework, a config file for page internationalization, and CSS for page presentation. Includes integrated PNG alpha transparency support and :hover pseudo-class support in IE5/6. Free for personal and non-profit use.


Website Baker (http://websitebaker.org)

Websitebaker is a free Open Source Content Manangement System. CSS Layouts are easy to implement.

Word Press (http://wordpress.org/)

Word Press is a free, open source personal publishing platform committed to elegant architecture, aesthetics, web standards, and usability. Built on PHP and MySQL, Word Press is a mature and stable product that has spawned a vast network of supporters and an active community. Word Press is extremely extensible and loaded with features that makes the publishing experience intuitive and enjoyable.

WYMsite (http://www.wymsite.org/)

WYMsite is a free, opensource content management system made with web standards in mind. WYMsite is written in PHP. It's multi-sites approach makes it a good choice for web professionnals who can centralise and reuse their work accross projects. WYMsite uses a simple yet extremely flexible approach to create web pages, it's interface is very simple for the end-user. WYMsite does not need a database but uses a simple system of XML files, which allows for easy manipulation and development using your preferred text editor. WYMsite integrates WYMeditor(http://www.wymeditor.org/): a free XHTML/CSS web-based standards-compliant web editor, and WYMstyle(http://www.wymstyle.org): a CSS framework which allow for very fast stylesheet development and efficient reuse of work accross projects.

Xaraya (http://www.xaraya.com)

Uses templates for all output and is XHTML 1.0 Strict and CSS compliant. Open Source

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