This site was purely built with HTML, CSS, and a PHP variant like content management system called CouchCMS. What is CouchCMS you say? Well it was created by a guy that had the idea to make installing a content management system entirely easy for anyone from a pure designer perspective all the way up to someone who’s been developing code their entire life.
Couch’s main selling point is that it’s easy to use and most of all free which is huge for anyone trying to do freelance on a budget of some sort. However, the free part is subjective and if you use the “free” version, it puts a link at the bottom of your website directing back to their site. A pretty simple promotion that really isn’t obtrusive in any way and doesn’t alter the code or change the looks of the site you’re working with.
None of the above listed features will require you to write even a single line of PHP. As a web-designer or front-end coder, we want you to concentrate on what you do best – design and create HTML/CSS code. Leave the rest to Couch.
Now, I will say while you’re not technically doing “a single line of PHP,” you’re actually doing their version of it. Their version however coupled with the tutorials on the CouchCMS site had me learning their way of doing things rather quickly. We’re talking maybe a few hours of learning curve. After that, whenever I had issues it was mostly due to the fact that my eyes went wonky and missed a line of code or read something wrong. It’s incredibly in depth and really the limits as to how far you can take CouchCMS is pretty amazing.
I learned it fast enough and well enough that I decided to do the $19 licensed version for this site, and it’s most certainly going to be a strong option for when I have a freelance client who’s in the need of a site and not big on budget. I mean it literally comes with a back end state that’s so easy to update that literally even my parents could probably figure it out rather quickly.
What I absolutely love about this CMS the most though, is the fact that you can select certain regions so if you only want your client to be able to edit that text, they can. It’s true power though is when you have the ability to put multiple editable regions on one page and seeing it all come together is fantastic. For the price of free, I’m going to have a hard time even going back to working on WordPress.
The only negatives that I have with it, is that unlike WordPress, it’s bare bones. You’re left doing most of the work and it doesn’t have the awesome mods that you’re used to working with on WordPress. I will say though that they’ve at least accepted this and will be working in the future to provide some better updates with Couch. All in all though? I’m happily pleased, and I’m totally going to tell everyone about this CMS when I can.