Bludit CMS review

12/20/2016

by Alistair Grant George. December 2016

Ive used several web page creators over the years including:

  • WYSIWYG web editor
  • Drupal CMS
  • Joomla CMS
  • Wordpress CMS
  • KompoZer WYSIWYG

The easiest of these is Kompozer, but its unstable and support has ceased and WYSIWYG. Recently I had a need to do quick but tidy web page to upgrade my various sites. WYSIWYG is a Windows based program. I needed something that would work reliably under any web environment as I develop in localhost or web host modes.

Criteria:

  • Free/Open Source
  • Quick and easy install
  • Very short learning curve
  • From idea to creation in minimal time eg supports plugins/templates/themes
  • WYSIWYG page creation
  • Minimal host resources used.
  • Minimal disk space
  • Minimal file count
  • Preferably coded in PHP.
  • Reliable and bug-free.

I'd looked at CMSimple, Grav, Monstra, Typesetter, with a leaning towards Grav. Did a google search "compare Grav CMS" and a user commented on Bludit and how good that was. When I found Bludit download was less than a megabyte, and its online demo admin panel gave a good idea this would likely be suitable CMS.

A quick install to localhost and five minutes later I was editing. It looked great with plenty of plugins and themes to suit most folks needs. Then the dissapointing part - inserting an image with default editor made no sense to me. So I used a plugin editor CKeditor which is excellent full of features but it did not seem to work with Bludit. Tried another favourite plugin editor "trumbowyg" which was worse; showed no controls in its interface. At this stage I was almost ready to quit, but commented on github to the creators of Bludit to tell them of my plight and almost immediately a kind gentleman "Edi" told me to look a bit harder at the screen and image insert would become clear (it was a separate menu on right side). Thanks to Edi I have not looked back since. I am a programmer of 20 years and sometimes it really does pay to read the documentation which I didnt do!!

Tip - if you develop using localhost and want to move your localhost to web host its very easy with Bludit. I suggest you zip your localhost directory, upload to web host working directory, then extract (if using cpanel). You also need to log in to webhost Bludit admin panel and change the url. In my case it didnt work because .htaccess was cached in some dns. So ensure you clear all caches on your browser, and give your dns caches time to reset to the new Bludit .htaccess.

Negatives:

  • With default editor there are no wysiwyg methods for resizing images and justifying text.
  • Some of the plugins are maintained by their respective owners which can cause incompatibility with Bludit.
  • Image uploader is archaic. Only 1 image upload at a time, and the image selection preview shows only 6 images (there is a button to show the rest).
  • The script doesnt detect any images in uploads folder and include them automatically; you have to upload them 1 by 1.
  • Images are not inserted at the current cursor position. They are inserted at end of Page (although trivial to move).
  • Page & Post management is lacking. There is no easy method to arrange, or show/hide them.
  • At the moment, tags are possible in Posts, but not Pages, and I have some stability issues with tags.
  • Various bugs that Ive experienced though not major, are an annoyance.

Positives:

  • Design methods for any software is vital. Bludit removes added complexity of a mysql db, and uses flat file as its database. Makes it easier to manage for non-savy admins. Also, say you want to migrate a site to another with maybe a few changes, simply copy the directory from one directory to the other; all images theme and layouts were replicated. Then it was a very simple matter of customising. Would have been perfect if extra images could have been added to uploads folder directly.
  • Support is excellent and there is an active forum.
  • Learning curve is short, but a read of documentation is recommended.
  • For a small distro, there are plenty of themes and plugins available.

I rate this product as almost perfect if your criteria concur with my previous. Its not your Wordpress, and there are times where Wordpress or similar is required, but where appropriate, Bludit comes up with great results very quickly and easily and will continue to improve.

Here's one users comments: I'm currently building 3 websites with Bludit, one website and two Bludit/ECWID powered web stores. There still many features i would love to see but the custom theme development time is so much faster and 10x more customizable than with Wordpress.

Once bug issues are sorted, Bludit will become the defacto standard of lightweight CMS im guessing mid 2017 if not before. In the meantime, its still the best small easy to use CMS available in this writers opinion. However, if you are looking for a more powerful but lightweight WYSIWYG I highly recommend TYPESETTER Any comments or Bludit tips are welcome below. Alistair.


PS Bludit home page is HERE Dont forget to read the excellent Bludit documentation HERE

Review comparison Bludit and Typesetter is HERE

This Blog was written in Typesetter, to view the same website designed in Bludit go HERE

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