Top 40 Free Lightweight Simple Content Management Systems

This is Vivalogo's list of best free, downloadable, light-weight simple content management systems.
Unlike some other lists you may find on the net, this one contains only really downloadable and functional software. So, there are no hosted solutions (like CushyCMS etc).
Most of them don`t even use MySQL, but flat-file databasing or XML, ...
Note: listed in no particular order. Last update: February 2012

GetSimple

Features: XML Based (no MySQL required), You can "Undo" Almost Everything, Easy to Learn UI, Simple Installation, Simple Theme Customization, Designed for small sites.

Requirements:
PHP 5.1.3+
SimpleXML
mod_write

 

Features: Easy-to-use, Easy-to-install, XML Data Storage (no database required), Extensible, Flexible & Powerful Plugin API, Skinnable, Built-in RSS feed creation of pages, articles and news items

Requirements:
Linux / Unix / FreeBSD / OpenBSD / MacOS X
PHP 4+

 

phpSQLiteCMS

Features: Simple and lightweight, Runs out of the box (no database setup required), Optional caching to save server performance, Supports news, overview and commentable pages, photo galleries, search function, RSS feeds and XML sitemaps ...

Requirements:
Apache with mod_rewrite
PHP 5 with PDO and SQLite driver enabled

 

Pluck

Features: create an unlimited amount of pages, create your own blog, create an album to show images or photos to your visitors, include a contact form in your page(s), easy-to-use theming system

Requirements:
Apache
PHP 5.2.0+
php-gd, php-zlib, curl

 

cms.libe.net

Features: Easy-to-use, Easy-to-install, Flexible, Fast and Simple, content is stored in flat files no database required, unlimited number of submenues, image upload function, Template integration, WYSIWYG editor

Requirements:
PHP5

 

LotusCMS

Features: State-of-the-art, easy to use, flat-file / Databaseless Content Management System, ...

Requirements:
PHP 4+

 

OneFileCMS

Features: Small footprint (24 kb), Possibly the easiest installation process ever, Smart alert if you try to leave without saving your edits, ...

Requirements:
UNIX/Linux
Apache
PHP5

 

Symphony

Features: XSLT-powered open source content management system, Elegant, Flexible, Powerful, Extensible

Requirements:
Apache / Litespeed
mod_rewrite or equivalent
PHP 5.2+
PHP's LibXML module, with the XSLT extension enabled (--with-xsl)
MySQL 4.1+

 

Pixie

Features: Intuitive interface, Easy installation, Clean URLs, WYSIWYG Editor, CSS themes, ...

Requirements:
PHP 4.3.0+
MySQL 4.1+

 

CMSimple

Features: Small (100KB), simple to install and easy to modify, no database required, WYSIWYG editor ...

Requirements:
Apache / IIS / Abyss
PHP 4.0.4+

 

sNews

Features: one core engine file, easy to install, lightweight, simple and customizable

Requirements:
Apache with mod_rewrite enabled
MySQL
PHP 4.3+

 

Frog CMS

Features: Drag and drop page ordering, Flexible page content (body, sidebar, extended, summary), Per page layout customization, Simple user and permission management, File manager (plugin) allows you to upload, browse and edit files

Requirements:
Apache / IIS / Nginx
PHP 5+
MySQL 4.1+ (with or without PDO) / SQLite 3 with PDO

 

Wolf CMS

Features: As this is a fork of Frog CMS, features are pretty much the same ...

Requirements:
Apache / IIS / Nginx
PHP 5+
MySQL 4.1+ / SQLite 3
Native PDO support

 

Mapix

Features: Mapix CMS is a very simple CMS that allows to modify any content in your websites without using a database. XML/XSL/XSD

Requirements:
Apache with mod_rewrite
PHP 5.2+ with DOM, XSL and CURL extensions

 

CMS Made Simple

Features: SEO Friendly URLs, Modular and extensible, Easy user and group management, Group-based permission system

Requirements:
Apache 1.3 / Apache 2 / IIS 5+ / LightTPD 1.4+
PHP 4.3+ / PHP 5+
MySQL 4.1+ / MySQL 5 / PostgreSQL 7+

 

Skeletonz

Features: Simple admin section, Responsive interface, Super perfomance, Simple and intuitive syntax, Powerful plugins.

Requirements:
Python 2.4+
MySQL 4.1+
MySQLdb 1.2.1p

 

le.cms

Features: fast-loading web pages, the content is stored in text files, ...

Requirements:
Apache with mod_rewrite

 

la.plume

Features: Simple to install, One click page create, edit, or delete, Very fast-loading pages, Contact page with contact form, Custom 404 "Page Not Found", Doesn't use a database, Edit stylesheet in backend admin, ...

Requirements:
Apache with mod_rewrite

 

CMS from Scratch

Features: No database, No programming knowledge, Super-quick to install and set up, Quick & simple AJAX-powered interface, ...

Requirements:
PHP 4.3+
ionCube extensions

 

Radiant

Features: An elegant user interface, Flexible templating with layouts, snippets, page parts, and a custom tagging language, A first-class extension/plugin system, Simple user management and permissions, ...

Requirements:
Ruby
MySQL/PostgreSQL/SQLite/SQL Server/DB2

 

Enano CMS

Features: Set it up fast, Full user management, Add features easily, Take feedback, AJAX, Protected against attacks, Search engines just love it, ...

Requirements:
PHP
MySQL

 

EliteCMS

Features: easy to use and install, configurable page to page sidebar, WYSIWYG page editor, customizable meta tags, extremely easy to use template system, ...

Requirements:
PHP
MySQL

 

CompactCMS

Features: Easy hyperlinks management, Fully optimized for speed, Low code to text ratio, Support for multi-lingual sites, SEO friendly urls, ...

Requirements:
PHP4+
MySQL

 

Quick.CMS

Features: No database, Flat Files, compliant XHTML 1.1, compliant CSS, compliant WAI, Lightbox, TinyMCE, ...

Requirements:
PHP 4.3.3+ with sendmail, qmail

 

Cotonti

Features: Secure and Reliable, Fast and Lightweight, Modular and extensible with Modules and Plugins, Easy to understand, easy to customize, Internationalized.

Requirements:
PHP 5.1+ and gd, mbstring, mysql, pcre, session
MySQL 4.1+

 

ecoCMS

Features: Easy to install and configure, no MySQL database required, Dynamic meta tags

 

Features: simple, lightweight (400KB), no database required

Requirements:
PHP 4.1+

 

miniCWB

Features: NO DATABASE required, text based, Web-based administration, Search engine friendly URL, Newsletter distribution, News module, WYSIWYG

Requirements:
Apache 2+
PHP 4.3+

 

PivotX

Features: uses Flat files or MySQL, Multiple authors, comments and Spam protection, themes with Template engine, SEO friendly

Requirements: unknown

 

Redaxscript

Features: Manage categories, articles, pages, extras and comments, Includes archive, sitemap, contact form, breadcrumbs and search form, Statistics to monitor visitors for each content, RSS generator and reader, Multi-language and multi-template support, Extensive setting options, ...

Requirements:
Apache / Microsoft IIS
PHP 4.3+
MySQL

 

WhiteCrane

Features: Very lightweight (100KB), perfect for wiki-like and developement sites, built from the ground up to bring you cutting edge performance, simple file editing, very efficient, secure hash based authentication, ...

Requirements: unknown

 

gpEasy

Features: WYSIWYG, Galleries (ColorBox), SEO Friendly Links, File Upload Manager, Editable Theme Content, Deleted File Trash Can, Multiple User, Flat File Storage, Fast Page Loading, reCaptcha for Contact Form, ...

Requirements:
PHP 4.1+

 

Vanilla CMS

Features: Fast FULLTEXT search engine, Flexible layout options for designers, Fast, Built-in AJAX file management, Supports PHP page creation, Custom META data for every page, Handy Autosave Feature, Drag and drop content sorting, Supports multiple user roles with Access Control, Friendly URLs, Built-in RSS features, ...

Requirements:
PHP 4+
MySQL 4+

 

razorCMS

Features: Flat File design, no database required, Simple, fast and security conscious installer, Small and fast footprint, Modular framework, Support for multilingual translations, Simple backup manager, ...

Requirements:
PHP 5+

 

phpCMS

Features: The parser module, The cache module, The menu module, full text search, statistics module, high performance, flexible, no database needed, ...

Requirements:
PHP 4.0.6+

 

Auto CMS

Features: Less than 10kb in the main file, No database required, Only one user, Password is protected with md5, ...

Requirements:
PHP 4+

 

ReloadCMS

Features: flat files, modules (articles, news, files archive, statistics, forum), Good security, Templates support, ...

Requirements:
PHP 4.3+

 

Zimplit

Features: No admin area - you just log in and edit on-site, no database, SE friendly, ...

You have to keep their link on every generated page. However, rebrandable version is available.

 

Features: Multiple users, Multidomain Management, Multilingual, Skinable, Modular and Expandable, Ability to unzip files, Image Editor, super-easy install, ...

Requirements: unknown

 

LightNEasy

Features: has database and no-database version, SEO friendly, fast loading, ...

Requirements: unknown

 

Clesto

Features: Super Simple, Highly Search Engine Optimized, Flexible, High Performance, there is no database but a flat file system.

Requirements: unknown