by Alistair Grant George. December 2016
Well, I never thought I would be doing this review. I have been deliriously happy with Bludit (see my Bludit review HERE), and its saved my bacon today 19th Dec 2016. Please bear with me while I digress.................. Phone webmonitor alerted me at 1am that my Wordpress website thehomenz.com was hacked yet again. Spam emails were passing through the site like a nest of hornets, so in public concern, I dragged myself out of bed, and deleted the directory apart from an underconstruction html and image. This has happened several times, and the hackers hide their code in several of about 6,000 files that make up Wordpress, so the only method is to get totally rid of Wordpress files.
Morning job was NO MORE WORDPRESS! Ive had enough of its vulnerability. My Wordpress sites had spam and file protection (Ninjafirewall and WP Doctor) and file and directory permissions and passwords; everything was as per the book.
In the morning I made a quick and easy new website using Bludit. Note all these Blogs and this site is Bludit. I've spent very little time using a stock Theme and very little coding in the boxes to keep everything simple.
Needs using Bludit have not totally been met, as smtp contact mail is one of the site requirements, better scalable images and ease of image manipulation. I realize however, without Wordpress the site would never be as powerful with various booking tools and other methods that it allowed me to do with relative ease. Problems:
1..Bludit contact addon uses the PHP function mail() which is not compatible with SMTP mail which is what we use for added security (due to aforementioned hacking).
2..I had changed to TinyMCE editor in Bludit and its only the default editor which auto-saves edit progress.
3..Images are not easy to manage in Bludit (Ive mentioned this in previous Blog).
Ive had various similar small CMS under consideration, Grav is most popular, but it requires some markup skills so its not a true WYSIWYG editor. But another CMS had been interesting me prior to using Bludit.......
First impressions are wow, this looks like a squeezed version of Wordpress. It has similar menu layout and functionality, without any of the bloat that is the behemoth Wordpress. I believe that any user used to Wordpress will be delighted at this intuitive similarity the designers have adopted.
Like Bludit, Typesetter has got similar flat-file specifications and uses an arguably better editor for WYSIWYG editing. Its a 4Mb install compare Bludit 1Mb but effectively they are similar, as 3Mb of Typesetter is 3rd Party Tools.
Because Im an old computer expert, I rarely read read manuals. Ive always designed software to work in a way that others would expect it to work, and when I use others software, I expect similar (just letting you know, because my review is going to have some anomalies in it due to this mindset) ;-).
Typesetter and Bludit use theme templates and Bludit is simple; you install a template and use it or not. Typesetter you install the template and there is a method to set it as default, but its not clear how to unset it from default, or remove it completely. Bludit you simply remove the theme from themes, but Typesetter doesnt seem to like this method, as it still shows the theme. In fact, I couldnt be bothered fighting with the theme manager and just reinstalled Typesetter to get rid of an unwanted theme which worryingly had this notice 'The download for this addon has been disabled. The package contents were compromised and now contains malicious code.' there were also plugins with this message which Bludit doesnt have. However accolades to the Typesetter team for being up front with this issue, but better would be to remove the addon/theme altogether.
Unlike Bludit, when I wanted some 25 odd images for upload, functions work perfectly Admin/Uploaded/Images and drop the lot to be uploaded, then when you need them later, they are simple to use.
Page creation is easy, but page management seemed a bit clunky. I made a page which was then not in the main menu by default. It took a few minutes to figure to use Page Manager, Insert After (Home) and select the missing page. Its a case of ReadTheFManual because a new page will not automatically be added to the menu. Most people are irritated by this fact but it's for good reasons: Typesetter pages and menu hierarchies are not tightly connected, as they often are in small CMS. Actually, Typesetter can have multiple menus containing even the same pages in a different order. Once multiple menus are required, this concept will instantly become not only comprehensible but appreciated.
Typesetter requires mod_rewrite to be on, which is pretty standard. Unlike most other distros, it does not require .htaccess unless working in a subdirectory it will allow you to construct one by using admin/Permalinks. Answer a few setup questions and it produces a text content you can copy to .htaccess. Ive spent a lot of time making .htaccess files for various sites and this method is brilliant
Support via Forum (like Bludit) was great. I had a couple of issues which were sorted by an admin promptly. This is a good sign when you ask a reasonable question especially to get a polite and accurate answer.
Reminds me - free CMS do take considerable time from the devs. If you find the product useful, make a Paypal donation to the kind folks who created them. More donations usually = more support and better development. To continue..............
Typesetter auto saves your work as you progress, with versioning as well which allows you to revert back or forward.
Plugins can easily be removed by going to Plugin Manage/Options/Uninstall.
Important is SEO optimise and screen versatility of CMS eg you should be able to view websites just as well on mobile devices as desktops. Ive found both Bludit and Typesetter perform reasonably well, with Bludit best; you make the pages, Bludit ensures they fit.
Spam/Hackers was the reason I shut down my Wordpress Sites. With Typesetter and Bludit, we just don't have to worry this issue, unless you are negligent about security.
There is so much to this CMS that isn't immediately apparent. Unfortunately, documentation is lacking but the inherent engine that is Typesetter is a quantum leap advanced over Bludit.
Bludit had several bugs, whereas Typesetter seems to have a robust structure which I havent found any bugs yet; just questions due to lacking documentation.
The proof is in the pudding they say. The two sites below were made with same needs.
It took longer creating with Typesetter due to my ignorance of some of the methods to achieve.
I can continue to improve Typesetter site whereas Bludit is probably as functional as it gets.
Typesetters default ckeditor is streets ahead of Bludit SimpleMDE. Bludit has ckeditor addon, but it doesnt work for the latest version. The editor is a major consideration with any CMS.
To summarize Typesetter can clearly provide a better end result than Bludit. If you want a very easy to use virtually nil learning curve small CMS then Bludit is ideal. However, if you want to play seriously without all the overheads of Wordpress Typesetter is a better option.
Your comments below are welcome. I hope this comparison has been helpful, and appreciation to Jurgen of Typesetter for his valued input. Kind regards, your blogger,