About CMS Made Simple™

CMS Made Simple is an Open Source Content Management System. It’s built using PHP and the Smarty Engine, which keeps content, functionality, and templates separated.

For Editors

At its most simple level, CMSMS is a system to help you keep a website updated through a comprehensive Content Manager, which allows both editing and creation of new pages in real time, and a News module which allows the creation and control of article-based content such as news or blog posts. Supported by a File Manager for uploads and images, a frontend and backend Search Module, and a permissions-based Backend Users manager, CMSMS is extremely easy to use, making it a delight for non-technical content editors to manage the day-to-day running of a site.

For Designers

Beyond content management, CMSMS is actually a powerful and customisable system that makes the perfect core for markedly more advanced sites and applications. For designers, the Smarty-based templating engine means that there are virtually no restrictions on how the site can look. Unlike many other systems on the market, you will not be forced to shoehorn your design ideas into a pre-purchased template structure. Although there are commercial and free themes available, templating is so simple (with no need to know PHP!) that most design find themselves adapting an existing design—or building a new one from scratch—in no time. The system lends itself to responsive design, and works extremely well with responsive frameworks such as Twitter Bootstrap and Zurb Foundation.

For Developers

CMS Made Simple's core provides for powerful expansion through the use of the Smarty templating engine, a robust module API, and the ability to include your own PHP functions via User Defined Tags. Combined, these provide the ability to make your sites into powerful applications while keeping the content and design separate. You have the option to choose between file or database templates (including template inheritance), complete control over caching, and a granular permissions system.

For Everyone

In addition to the above sections there is a vast array of powerful modules created by the extended CMSMS community, many of which can be installed and ready to use at the click of a button within the Module Manager. Adding a suite of modules, combining them with templates and core or user defined tags, rapidly allows for the creation of sites and applications with complex functionality without ever losing the simplicity of use for the website editor.

You can find out more about why CMSMS is ideal for your project here.


CMS Made Simple™ first released in July 2004 as an open source ( GPL) package, which it remains to this day. That separation of content , function and design has been a key ethic from day one and it’s why so many of our users stop looking for further solutions once they have found us.

It’s not just our own user base that has given us such great support. CMS Made Simple has garnered a number of awards since its creation including runner up (twice) and winner of Pact Publishing’s ‘Best Overall Open Source Content Management System’ in their annual Open Source Awards.

Since 2004, the core system has been regularly improved and updated with features, security releases, code improvements and much more. In that time, we have released over countless new versions, each an improvement on the previous. In the summer of 2015, we released version 2.0, which was a nearly complete overhaul of the system. As we noticed our user base changing to more advanced developers creating the sites, and larger design firms producing hundreds of CMSMS sites, it helped steer the project to the powerful application base it is today with the 2.2.x branch.

The Development Team

CMSMS is developed by an international team of professionals who volunteer their time and efforts to design, develop, maintain, and market the system. In many cases this is in addition to running busy web and software development businesses themselves. Over the past years, many outstanding individuals have contributed their time and helped to shape the system that you can download today. You can find out more about the current Dev Team here, as well as what they can offer through their own professional services.

The development team meets officially once a month, but remains in contact daily, collaborating within a defined organisational structure. The Dev Team is always delighted to hear from individuals who feel they have the resources and time to get involved. If you think you may be one such person, click here to find out more.

You and CMS Made Simple

CMS Made Simple is available for you to download and use for free under the tenets of the GPL license. You can use it on commercial or personal projects and in many cases will be able to use the third party modules that have been developed (though you should check their individual licenses). If you have not already tried the demo or downloaded the core package, please do so.

Our Partners:
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