A complete list of Flat File Content Management Systems (FFCMS).

CMS refers to Content Management Systems. Content Management Systems are computer programs that allow organizing, editing and publishing content. One most commonly known example would be blogs, online shopping sites and webpages with regular updating of news. These sites generally store their content in a database thus allowing data to interact with each other on a more complex level.

A recent trend that can be observed is that web designers are moving away from traditional CMS to Flat File CMS. Flat File CMS is also a type of Content Management System but of a smaller scale. They generally store their content in folders and files instead of a database. Below are some advantages and disadvantages of implementing a Flat File CMS instead.

Advantages:

  1. Faster Loading Time

    Having a Flat File CMS will increase the loading time of the web page as compared to a traditional CMS. This is because that a traditional CMS has to constantly check back with its database in order to retrieve the necessary content. Flat File CMS, however, has the content ready in folders and files that make it very accessible for content retrieval.

    Imagine 2 waiters serving customers in 2 different restaurants. For the first restaurant, waiter A has to be at the frontlines in order to attend to the customers’ needs. Once the food is ready, waiter A has to go into the kitchen to collect the food and come out again to serve. For the second restaurant, waiter B also has to be at the dining area with the customers to attend to their needs. However, waiter B is pushing a cart around with ready-to-serve dishes. Flat File CMS is like the second restaurant whereby traditional CMS is like the first one.

  2. Higher Security

    The database that traditional CMS has is similar to the vault of a bank. To the bank, the vault stores its greatest assets. To the CMS, the database stores its most precious content. Robbers normally target the vault of the bank. Likewise, hackers will look for database to rob valuable content.

    In the case of Flat File CMS, there is no ‘vault’ to begin with. The content are kept safe in the folders and files. This makes it more difficult for hackers to target. As a result, Flat File CMS is more secured in comparison.

  3. Easier and Move-able

    In traditional CMS, time and effort is required to monitor and configure the database. The process of installation has to be repeated in the event of switching servers. In comparison, Flat File CMS installation process is simply the uploading of files with no configuration required.

    A similar analogy would be building a table that needs screwing and hammering as compared to opening up a folded table. The latter would require much lesser effort and time to set up.

Disadvantages:

  1. Simpler alternative

    The traditional CMS is able to build complicated relationships between data and content that Flat File CMS could not. The traditional CMS is also much richer in its feature as well.

    Linking back to the restaurant analogy, the kitchen from the first restaurant will be able to whip up warmer dishes with varying flavors according to each customer’s taste. The pushcart in the second restaurant will only be able to have ready-made dishes for the customers to choose.

In conclusion, the Flat File CMS may not be better in terms of features. However, Flat File CMS may be of more relevance than traditional CMS. The user may not need all the features of a traditional CMS. Instead, they may need the speed and security that Flat File CMS are able to provide. This may be the explanation of the recent trend that shows the transfer in users from traditional CMS to Flat File CMS.