CushyCMS or FTP Client?

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CushyCMS is a new hosted Content Management System from Stateless Systems – the people who brought you bugMeNot.com, PDFMeNot.com and other similar services. It’s a dead simple CMS that requires no software install and no real programming knowledge. Found out about it via this Techcrunch post.

I don’t like to make judgements about things I haven’t actually tried, but this app is so simple that I think the video is all the explanation I need – I mean that as a compliment.

I’m a huge fan of simple solutions that solve specific problems really well and I think CushyCMS is a big step in the right direction. A lot of CMSes are extremely complicated to install, setup and do a poor job of actually managing content easily.  Cushy is simple to set up and simpler to use.

It does a few things that I can’t really call good or bad,  just “interesting.”
Hosting the CMS on a third party site definately makes it simpler to set up, but it has some obvious privacy concerns, you’re giving cushy access to your own site, not just setting up an account on an isolated service.
Using the CSS class property to define content areas is also interesting. I really want to say that this is a good solution to the complexity of implementing a templating language. I just can’t stomach the ideal of defining a CSS class that isn’t actually used to display a visual style, it’s just wrong; but I’ll admit, it is a pretty ingenious solution.

Even though I really really want to write a positive review about this app – I honestly think it’s a big step forward for simplicity – in it’s current itteration it has one serious flaw that makes it almost completely unusable. It is not at all possible to add any dynamic content! It’s only possible to edit existing HTML pages, with CushyCMS defined elements. The Administrator has to add individual pages with statically defined content areas. CushyCMS can’t even re-generate this content to create repeating elements within this HTML page. This means that Cushy can’t even be used to manage the even simplist newsletter, blog, photo gallery or photo gallery. Essentially, it’s only really good for managing what I would normally consider “static content areas,” things like about us, privacy policies, contact us pages, intro blurbs. For the most part this type of content doesn’t need to be updated often and therefore, doesn’t really need a management system.

Because of this, CushyCMS is almost nothing more than a glorified FTP client.