A flat file CMS is a Content Management System (CMS) that eschews database connection in favor of simple text files which the system uses to dynamically build web page views as they are visited. Its advantage is speed. Because the system doesn't need to "find" the contents of the page from within a database, server response time is faster and page load times quicker. Well that is in theory, just last week I made some speed tests comparing Flat file CMS's with Joomla CMS and found that although the flat file CMS systems in most part outperformed Joomla, properly optimized Joomla sites with a fast template could outperform a flat file CMS making the decision not so cut and dried.
Joomla vs Flat file CMS?
It wasn't supposed to be "Flat file CMS vs Joomla" test, I just wanted to see if I should be spending my energy looking into Flat file CMS's as an alternative to Joomla. For the moment I'll stick with Joomla because you can do so much with it, I know it and I love the new page builders appearing (making it very easy to add contet to the CMS). Although I like the look of using markdown to create pages from simple text files, I found they weren't as expansive as I would have liked. I often have to create pages with mutliple media types, columns with justified text, maps, quotes and lots of other special data. I couldn't find one flat file CMS that made this easy <enough for me>.
But don't take my word for it. In order for you to get to know some of the new Flat file CMS's around, here are fifteen I have hand picked, because... I like the look of them. That is to say, I like their potential, their technology and the way they look. As a designer of both products and grpahics I simply cannot accept that a product whitout enough care given to it's appearance might otherwise hava had ther right amount of care elsewhere. So if the system didn't look pro, it didn't make this list.
I still think a flat file CMS is a great idea and that they are already a great alternative and probably ideal for some, just not me; Yet. Check them out for yourself. To make things easier I have linked flat file CMS's listed and set them to in a new tab so you can click em all and take a look at each flat file CMS for yourself.
These Flat file CMS's are in no particular order, I simply present them to you and recommend you do your own due diligence. Please make a comment if you know of any other quality alternatives.
Note: I make no distinction between free and paid. In my opinion that depends more on your budget but despite this, the overwhelming majority of this list are fee flat file CMS's.
Should I change form Joomla to a flat file CMS? Again, I'm sticking with Joomla. I know how to make it load fast and the thing that is stopping me from choosing a flat file CMS right now is the inability to find a flat file CMS or a tool/app which will allow me to prepare the page the way I want (visually and without writing code of any kind - I use page builders). Most flat file CMS's use Markdown, an easy way to write content using a simple text and symbols to denote formatting. The problem is I create pages which a rich in images and video and can't find a single flat file CMS to allow me to do this quite the same.
What are your thoughts?