Wordpress, Expression Engine and Movable Type may be out front in the Micro CMS space, but a little competition is always a good thing. That competition comes in the form of New Zealand based Silverstripe who have released an updated version of their open source CMS product. Silverstripe is marketing itself as a system that is powerful enough for any website or intranet design, yet “simple enough for your Mum to use”. Although my Mum would have little interest in setting up a CMS-based website, Silverstripe seems straightforward enough to be teachable to someone with an utter lack of technical know-how.
Silverstripe claims their product is scalable from one page to a million, and with Ajax support, the interface is intended to be as responsive as a desktop app. It is also fully XHTML compliant, highly modular, and perhaps best of all, open source!
Mauricio Freitas from Geekzone went through a guided tour of Silverstripe with the Chief Marketing Officer and co-founder, Sig Magnusson. During the demonstration, Sig installed a demo version of Silverstripe in three minutes, and quickly set up a test website. The new version will include an easy-to-set-up default theme that can be customized as users become more comfortable with the interface. Users can also add modules that can work as plug-ins.
Although the core team is only 16 people, Silverstripe is currently hosting ten interns chosen from Google’s Summer of Code, which offers brainy students from around the world a chance to work on projects with approved companies who have chosen to make their projects available.
Silverstripe currently uses PHP 5 and MySQL, but they are working with their Summer of Code team on adding support for a wide range of database platforms. They also plan on adding OpenID support, extended reporting, localization features and Google Maps integration.
The product provides a clean and simple UI that allows non-technical users to manage website content, assets such as files and images, newsletters and user/group permissions. The site content types currently supported include Web pages, contact forms, newsletter subscription forms, forums, Flickr galleries, redirectors and even virtual pages. Silverstripe Back Office Another cool feature is the inclusion of web marketing promotions tools which make it easy to create Sitemaps and automatically generate Google AdWords blocks.
Silverstripe is available for free download at their website. They also have a (very slow running) demo for the curious, available here.