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Please Support My New DietCMS Project

Some of you may remember CMS from Scratch [site], the lightweight content management system I created single-handedly a few years ago.

I released the code open-source back in 2009, and it has since been downloaded over 26,000 times from the Google Code repository (proof).

There were lots of things I (and others) loved about CMS from Scratch.

  • It requires no database. You really can install it in a few moments.
  • Its system of simple includes makes it impossible to lose content! (Have you ever spent half an hour trying to find WHAT bit in WordPress is generating a certain chunk of HTML? I have!)
  • It’s super-fast
  • It just does everything you need to help you build a small website fast – and nothing you don’t.

However, It also had its problems. For a start, I did the coding myself, and to be honest I’m not a top-drawer programmer. So there were certain areas that could have worked better.

Yet, I still have a couple of really old clients whose websites are still on CMSfS, and it’s actually a JOY to dive in, make changes they need, and be able to carry on with my other work, in minutes – literally! – which is so much faster than many of the WordPress sites I’ve built.

So this project has been sitting on the shelf, but also sitting burning in the back of my mind for the past few years.

Then Something Changed…

Over recent years, I have become more and more convinced that it’s now possible for web designers to work much faster, and much smarter!

That is due to the incredible range of tools out there on the market – like WordPress, Facebook, Joomla, Drupal… But also the huge range of themes, stock imagery, and graphics libraries that are available today.

I have long had this growing suspicion that there was a gap in the market for a simple content management system. Something much smaller, lighter, and easier to use than WordPress, that could be perfect for all those smaller sites where a bloated WordPress install would be overkill.

It would have to be at least as fast and simple as CMS from Scratch, but professionally programmed, and should have a free library of really nice themes and other assets.

In other words, it should be possible to make a great-looking basic website in a few minutes, that will also support the latest standards and great SEO.

But, although there are a lot of free and paid CMS systems on the market, I couldn’t find one that fitted the bill.

DietCMS Was Born

So one day I just decided to sit down and figure out exactly how this perfect CMS for small websites would work. Then I just needed to find a kick-ass developer who could build it, with all the security and cool AJAX stuff it would need. Luckily, I found that person in Doreen Hulsey, who has been a heavyweight software engineer for many years, and has all the skills I’d need.

I spent a few weeks developing the specification, and Doreen said she could build it for under $9000 (about £5900 in British money).

I’ve called it “DietCMS”, because it really will make any other system seem bloated, overweight, slow, and sluggish! It takes the very best bits of CMS from Scratch, and perfects them!

Then I came across Kickstarter, and decided it was time to see if I could get this built, with the support of the worldwide community.

I would LOVE to have your support, through a small donation, to help this project get the funding it needs to fly.

It will always be a free, open-source system that I believe will be a web designer’s DREAM!

Here’s what’s in it for you…

A Unique Reward System

This is a 100% free system (even including the themes and graphics), so what’s in it for me, and – more importantly – what’s in it for YOU?!

Here’s the clever bit. DietCMS will use a novel system of acknowledging everyone who supports the project by providing links from thank-you or credits pages on every site (by default, I’m sure some people will remove the pages).

Imagine you put up a great-looking site in super-quick time. You add your own name and website address in the settings. You also grab (in just a couple of clicks) a nice theme, a forms addon, and maybe some graphic assets.

As soon as the site is live, it will have a small link in the footer that goes to the credits page. And on that page you’ll find credits, just like at the end of a movie, saying “Designer: You“, “Contact form plugin by DeveloperA“, “Theme design by DesignerB“… and so on.

PLUS (and here’s the bit that will get your attention if you’re interested in SEO), every site (by default) will also acknowledge the people who funded the project in the first place!

The maximum sponsorship on this project is £1000 (remember, we only need £5900 for the build to go ahead), and that would give you a mention – including a backlink – pointing to your website, from every site that runs DietCMS and has the credits page.

Just Think About That For a Second…

CMS from Scratch, the ugly and less capable ancestor of DietCMS, was downloaded over 26 thousand times! Downloaded!!

It’s impossible to say how many websites are out there running CMS from Scratch. But it has to be in the thousands.

Imagine how much it would cost you to buy one thousand, maybe ten thousand good links all from different domains. Apart from being bad practice, it would be extremely time-consuming and horrendously expensive.

What that means is, for just one thousand pounds (about US$1500), you could get thousands of new links, tens of thousands, maybe more! They’ll appear gradually, over time, not all at once, and they’re there to say a big “thank you” to you for helping this innovative project come to light.

Obviously, we have to ask if Google would approve. Google says you can’t sell links, absolutely. But there’s nothing at all wrong with being part of the team that launches a new product. How many WordPress plugins insert backlinks to their development team? This is exactly the same.

So if you’re in the position to give £100 ($150) or £1000 ($1500) towards this project, just head over to the Kickstarter project page, where there’s a short video.

When you join my team, I’ll send you regular updates on our progress (aiming for launch by September this year). And you’ll be a hero!! :-)

SUPPORT THE DietCMS PROJECT HERE

Thanks in advance,
Ben

About the author

Ben Hunt

Ben is the creator of Web Design From Scratch. He started writing articles about web design to kill time on a long train commute, and is now one of the most influential figures on the subject of effective web design. He has written three books and spoken at multiple conferences internationally.

NickW - last year

I loved the concept of CMSfS, but I gave up with it when first development, then official support and then community support all fizzled out.

Since then, GetSimple has come on in leaps and bounds and is my CMS of choice (and that of a few others — downloaded 120,000 times). And it’s always been GPL.

I fail to see your USP. I think you’ve missed the boat.

    Ben Hunt - last year

    Thanks for your message Nick.

    I know GetSimple is good, but I think DietCMS does have unique advantages.. Really just down to sheer performance.

    Watch this space..

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