Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Easy-to-use blogging systems

I’m redesigning a site for someone. I won’t reveal the details yet (since the site will have to be accepted after it’s done) but I need a backend CMS. The main person who will be updating the site isn’t particularly computer literate, so it needs to be pretty easy to use.
I’m leaning towards Movable Type as it should fit the bill, but I’m unsure what the arrangements are with regards to Perl on the server. It’s a standard Apache server. The current site uses PHP, and presumably has a MySQL database somewhere, so that’s not a problem.
So, if I can’t use MT, what do I use? I had a look at WordPress (the successor to b2) but from the screenshots it appears to be a bit overkill. TextPattern also looks cool but I don’t know anyone who has used it before. I was also thinking about Sofamatic, the backend for, which works but would be difficult to port to another server since its custom-made for the site. So basically, I want a PHP-based CMS that is open source, gives me a high level of control over the output, can have multiple users, and can be configured such that a relative novice can update it.
There’s no real deadline for this but I’d like to get a testbed site running soon, which will be on this server. Any suggestions are welcome. I’ll work with MT for now.


  1. It’s hazy in my head, but isn’t there something like PHPNuke or some such that is an open source CMS? I could be way off, of course, but for some reason that’s popping into my head.

  2. you might want to have a look at
    it lists a great deal of opensource CMS written in PHP. They are all installed and free for you to try. Enjoy

  3. I’ve heard that is a brilliant system, it might be a bit overkill for a personal site though.

  4. Typo3 is great. You can try it out at the site mentioned above. It’s got a nice and elegant design, really easy for users to (surprisingly enough) use and is simple as a trice to install. Word of advice though, if you’re installing it on a system with a pre-exisitng MySQL database then don’t use the simple 3 step install.

  5. Incidentally, there’s another b2 offshoot called b2evolution that you could consider.