GetSimple is another good quality open source CMS

GetSimple is a content management system that ensures to have everything you need, and nothing you don't, designed for small websites. Since it is XML based, the installation process is a breeze even for those with little experience.

When it comes to open source/free CMS, the most commonly used systems are Wordpress, Joomla and Drupal, we even wrote a comparison article where we analyzed the pros and cons of each one of them. But what if you need a software that is even easier to use than WordPress, designed for small to medium size sites with no special need for extended customizations?

GetSimple is a XML based CMS that claims to be "The Simplest Content Management System. Ever." It is beyond the scope of this article to analyze the advantages or shortcomings of storing data in a structure such as XML instead of using a more traditional approach of a database (usually mySQL for CMS), but without a doubt, by cutting of the database layer you save configuration time and certainly make the installation process easier for the less advanced users.

GetSimple doesn't try to rival the extensibility of the Big Three, instead it targets small business and startup web designers/developers with little to none experience who want to put online a website in short time with a professional and fresh look, but it offers for them a reasonable number of extensions such as templates and plugins. I must say that most of the extensions I have used are pretty lean and well rounded considering that almost all of them are distributed for free.

I have worked myself for a while with other CMS, specially Joomla, but I have found GetSimple quite useful for small projects or those that have to be turned around in a very short time. But if there is something I specially like about it is when it comes to teaching your customers how to use it, because it is extremely direct and even intuitive, easy to learn. Those who have ever tried to explain the difference between a plugin, a module and a component to a customer, or even to a peer, will know what I mean.

We are working on tutorials on how to get a website up and running in short time with GetSimple and also on how to develop simple themes for it, but meanwhile, here is a quick reference guide on how to get it on a local environment so you can start testing it at your own will:

1- First things first, you need to have a web server installed on your computer. If you don't know how to do it, you can read our tutorial about installing WAMP, a free source development platform.

2- Go to and download the latest stable version available (3.2.1 as of the time of this publication)

3- Create a new folder in your web server's root and name it "Get-Simple-Now", then copy the downloaded file ( to the folder you just created and extract it.

4- Open a web browser and navigate to: http://localhost/get-simple-now/ You will see the GetSimple installation screen. Make sure all the required settings are green (it is common to see a cURL Module warning, disregard it for testing environments) and select the language for your admin interface. Click on Continue

GetSimple installation is very easy.

5- The second screen will ask you for Website name, Username and Email. Provide those and click on Install.

That's it! You have just installed GetSimple! For security reasons, you should delete now the downloaded .zip installation file or alternately you can decompress it first and then move the contents to the folder you create.

GetSimple is not the only lightweight CMS based in XML out there. If it doesn't quite fit all your needs, you can also look into XMLNuke, INGENIUX and HANNON HILL XML CMS, but the last two are not free.

We want to see the websites you create with GetSimple! Post them in the comments!


Article was originally posted on June 12, 2013