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Author Topic: CMS lite with fine RTF editor  (Read 1453 times)

Steven Avery

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CMS lite with fine RTF editor
« on: February 14, 2014, 08:56 AM »


Been awhile.  Always appreciate this forum.
Have a question.

Now I know we have some fine CMS and lite website builders here on the forum.  

A while back I tried playing with the blogging platforms, WordPress and Blogger, they are nice
for my type of quick posting, however I don't like having to work around the sideways blogging
architecture, to mimic the top-down structure of a website.  (Maybe this is not as awkward
as I think? With a special admin panel, eg. on WordPress? On Blogger, extras are minimal.)

One of my major goals is simple.  Pages with fine RTF for basic color, size of fonts, italics.
And easy insertion of pics, usually simple screen pics of a manuscript or from a book (all
copyright fine).  The best is cut-and-paste, also very good is an upload facility that integrates
nicely, I don't mind the extra steps of creating a disk folder and save to file from a screen pic.

Also I want a good webpage administration architecture, built in. This item is underneath this, and then
when you  move that, maybe some tabs and links automatically recognize the new architecture.  In a blogging
platform that is probably doable with modules, however unless there is some special implemenation,
I prefer a more elegant CMS-website building architecture.

Now, I looked at CMS Made Simple. The adminstration architecture looks very fine, exactly what I like.
However RTF is not directly implementable on the page through the editor, RTF works through style sheets,
which seems like it would  be overly structured for my purposes, which are more ad hoc.  This Bible verse
is purple, this quote is brown, this is highlighted and in italics. etc.  I want that type of formatting
through normal editing (like when I work here, or on Eudora) not front-ended. (Unless I am missing something.)

Oh, an extra plus is if you can RTF cut-and-paste from an existing document (e.g. my Eudora email, or a web
forum) and keep the formatting intact.  However, the extra steps of reformatting in an editor are not too bad, if



So anybody have a suggestion?
Likely a CMS (reasonable cost ok) that:

a) is easy to use and rarely if ever has to fall down to code on simple pages.

b) has a fine administration center, where pages are edited, moved around, structure is built, pages are disabled, etc.

c) has a good regular editor, with color, sizes, maybe fonts, a step or three beyond the underlining etc.
that is in the rudimentary editors (e.g. MicroTiny that is bundled with the CMS Made Simple install).

Any help appreciated.


Here is my discussion on CMS Made Simple forum. (What puzzled me was that one of the CMS
videos I thought showed a nice full-featured editor. And I thought maybe loading the TinyMCE
module would accomplish my goals. The answers I got seemed to indicate not.)

editor functionality, RTF - text colors, size, fonts

I thought I put the following post in, as a follow-up.
Possibly, my error. Possibly not.




Eudora has simply a normal easy-to-work editor, with good RTF functionality.  

Plus it has a special nicety, that you can paste pictures directly in from the clipboard (they don't have to be uploaded attachments.) So I think when I was playing with Wordpress I used that feature combined with emailing to the blog. However, I do not particularly like trying to mold a blog architecture to mimic a website. Seems unelegant.

With CMSMS I gather if I use style-sheets for RTF it would be hard to go in and out of different color and size on a web-page, in a free-form, not previously sectioned, manner.  Without tweaking in HTML after the fact. That sort of free-form writing (e.g. Bible verses in one color, quotes from books in another, my text in another, some words might be in italics) is an ongoing part of my writing and what I am trying to accomplish on my web-pages.


Note: I test on my XAMPP installation.  I don't mind testing a couple of CMS or similar platforms.  Right now WordPress, CMS Made Simple and some others are "installed".  (Also Concrete5, getsimpleCMS, ProcessWire, WolfCMS and MediaWiki, the last for a different purpose)

My goal is to to decide the best without too much extra testing of a tool, especially not one that might not have the basic features or on the flip-side one that requires too much initial coding expertise.

Steven Avery
Bayside, NY
« Last Edit: February 14, 2014, 11:43 AM by Steven Avery »


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Re: CMS lite with fine RTF editor
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2014, 12:15 PM »
Hey Steve! Good to see you back around. It has been quite awhile.

I hear you about the complexity of most of those platforms. Almost like learning a new OS with some of them.

Being but dumb (or maybe just too impatient at this stage of life) I went searching for a simple, clean platform for blogging. Something that would let me put a post together and present it with some tasteful graphics and text. And pretty much little else - although an easy way to administer and customize it would be nice. And....as of right now....I think I may have found it.

Although it doesn't quite meet your specifications, you may want to take a look. I'm experimenting with something called Ghost that seems to be what I'll eventually end up using. It's clean and simple. Emphasis is on writing and content presentation rather that additional features. And, as they describe it, it's specifically designed to be "just a blog." it uses Markdown (which is about as easy as it gets) for formatting - and has an editor that gives you a side by side live preview of what your page will look like when posted. Image loading is a "drag & drop" deal.

Hosted plans start at a reasonable $5/mo with no contract or lock-in. If you want to host it yourself, the software is available free for download and has been released under the MIT License, which is about as 'open' as it comes.

I'm playing with it using Softalicious's AMMPS :-* stack running on Windows 7. If you just want to set it up locally for testing, this is the easiest way to take it (or dozens of other hosted web apps) out for a drive. More on AMMPS here. And here's the Ghost info/install page for it.

Ciao for now! :Thmbsup:


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Re: CMS lite with fine RTF editor
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2014, 06:04 PM »
I know that you said RTF, which implies WYSIWYG.  But if you don't mind writing in Markdown (more straightforward even than using an editor, IMO), Jekyll might work for you.  Its free to host on github also.  There are concessions to be made in your requirements, but I think it pretty much meets a lot of what you've said you're looking for.

Steven Avery

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Re: CMS lite with fine RTF editor
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2014, 09:34 AM »

Thanks for the two suggestions. 

Right now, I am going back to Concrete5 (I had never really tried to work with it.) It seems to be a good mid-range CMS that is designed for what they call "in-context editing".  The administration looks good, like CMS Made Simple (which was in some ways a tad more elegant) and it has a good support base.  I was able to look through many free themes that look fine and there are a gazoodle of others for $25-$40.

Will report back. Right now I am uploading a group of files, creating pages and sub-pages, stuff like that.  Plus I read a lot of comments from the "common man" that is friendly to the program. (Not to slight Silverstripe, Processwire, Modx, CushyCMS and 100 or 1000 others, besides the big boys.)

I think the desire for real easy editing is not emphasized enough in the reviews here and there.  Where the RTF editor functions cordially right as you design the pages in a full-feature mode. (As I mentioned, CMS Made Simple put the RTF in style sheets.)  And the question as to whether a light webpage implementation  needs to fall into code. (eg. The CushyCMS demo surprised me by showing some code-tag changes, and that is a Lite product.)

If all goes well I have some decent looking pages designed shortly and get it uploaded to my server account at Knownhost (which I have never used).  I do have good domain names available for what I am doing.