This is our first in a series of content management system previews. Church Website Ideas is taking time to highlight content management systems that we come across that might work for your church website. Today we take a look at Simple CMS, a basic but very powerful CMS that offers some unique features!
From the start, Simple CMS promises a few features that most designers and developers will love: it is fast, plugs into your existing site, no template system to learn, edit on-page content, and it’s insanely affordable.
Simple CMS has a very simple pricing structure: Demo, Professional, and Business. The demo, is well, free, and a demo. It will allow you to setup a site, but that’s about it.
The Professional is only $7 a month, which includes all the CMS features, but it will also allow you to run multiple sites, re-brand the CMS, setup your domain name, and make SEO changes as well.
The Business plan, is $70 a month, and for that extra cash, you are adding dedicated phone support.
Best Church Option: The Professional Plan at $7 a month.
Installation & Setup
The real magic of Simple CMS is that you don’t have to install anything on your FTP server, configure any PHP files, or really do anything special. As part of the setup, you just point the CMS to your FTP, give it the login credentials, and you’re set.
The only other setup you need to do is define the content areas, which is simple a simple click and define process. Much easier than other CMS systems.
While at first glance, the design of Simple CMS is nothing amazing, but as you start to use the system, the real power starts to show. The design is based around a collection of blue hues and feels a little dated. I would love to seem them give it nice clean refresh, to really make me want to interact with it more.
Since this is a simple CMS it lacks a few advance features that I would want for my church website. It would be nice if there were a audio manager, or shopping cart, or really anything extra. The way the CMS sits right now, I would still have to write my own PHP or use a 3rd-party plug-in to get more advanced features.
A huge benefit of Simple CMS is that it can be setup in minutes and that it plugs into your existing site. For me, as a designer and developer it is important that I don’t have to modify my code drastically to fit a CMS. Simple CMS does this brilliantly, all I had to do is point the site to my FTP, and then click on the areas that I want to define as editable. No more adding CMS specific code to my sites!
Simple CMS does exactly what it promises: a simple to setup and run content management system. It is a painless process to setup and get your design to work with Simple CMS. The design and interface could use some work, it feels a little dated, but is still useful.
I found myself wishing that more advance features would be available, such as a audio manager, or shopping cart (for donations), or some type of photo gallery feature.
Overall this is a good CMS for your basic church website. The price is right at only $7 a month, and I believe you can hand this CMS to anyone on your church staff to update. Which is reason enough to give Simple CMS a try.