CMS Made Simple

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  • About

    CMS Made Simple is an Open Source Content Management System. It’s built using PHP and the Smarty Engine, which keeps content, functionality, and templates separated.

    CMS Made Simple™ first released in July 2004 as an open source ( GPL) package, which it remains to this day. That separation of content , function and design has been a key ethic from day one and it’s why so many of our users stop looking for further solutions once they have found us.

    It’s not just our own user base that has given us such great support. CMS Made Simple has garnered a number of awards since its creation including runner up (twice) and winner of Pact Publishing’s ‘Best Overall Open Source Content Management System’ in their annual Open Source Awards.

    Since 2004, the core system has been regularly improved and updated with features, security releases, code improvements and much more. In that time, we have released over countless new versions, each an improvement on the previous. In the summer of 2015, we released version 2.0, which was a nearly complete overhaul of the system. As we noticed our user base changing to more advanced developers creating the sites, and larger design firms producing hundreds of CMSMS sites, it helped steer the project to the powerful application base it is today with the 2.2.x branch.

  • Deployment

    Step-by-Step Guide to Deploying an EC2 Instance Using a Custom AMI


    • An AWS account.
    • Basic knowledge of navigating the AWS Management Console.

    Step 1: Launching the EC2 Instance

    • Log in to the AWS Management Console and navigate to the EC2 Dashboard.
    • Click on Launch Instances which will start the instance setup wizard.
    • Choose an AMI: On the "Choose an Amazon Machine Image (AMI)" page, select "My AMIs" from the sidebar. Find the CMS Made Simple AMI and select it.
    • Choose an Instance Type: Select the appropriate instance type for your needs (e.g., t2.micro, t3.medium). Click "Next: Configure Instance Details".
    • Configure Instance Details: Set the number of instances, network, and subnet settings according to your requirements. You can leave most options at their default settings, but make sure to configure the IAM role if necessary.
    • Add Storage: The storage settings should be pre-configured in the AMI, but you can adjust them if more storage is needed.
    • Add Tags: Optionally, add tags to your instance for easier management by key-value pairs (e.g., Name: CMS Web Server).
    • Configure Security Group:
      • Either select an existing security group with the correct rules or create a new one.
      • Ensure the following rules are set:
        • HTTP: Type HTTP, Protocol TCP, Port Range 80, Source Anywhere (, ::/0)
        • HTTPS (optional): Type HTTPS, Protocol TCP, Port Range 443, Source Anywhere (, ::/0)
        • SSH: Type SSH, Protocol TCP, Port Range 22, Source Your IP (for secure management access).
    • Review and Launch: Review your configuration. When satisfied, click "Launch".
    • Select a Key Pair: Choose an existing key pair or create a new one. This key pair will be used for SSH access to the instance. Acknowledge that you have access to the selected private key file and click "Launch Instances".
  • Setup

    Step 2: Accessing Your CMS

    • Access the Instance: Once the instance is running, select it in the EC2 Dashboard.
      Note the Public DNS (IPv4) or Public IP address.
    • Navigate to Your Website:
      • Open a web browser and enter the public DNS or IP address of your instance. For example, or
      • You should see the CMS Made Simple setup or landing page, confirming that the instance is configured correctly.

    Step 3: Configuring Your CMS

    • Your default database name is: cmsms_db
    • Your default database username is: cmsms_user
    • Your default database password is: <your instance id>

    Step 4: Final Configurations

    • Complete the CMS Setup: Follow any on-screen instructions to complete the setup of CMS Made Simple.
    • Secure Your CMS: Consider additional security measures, such as setting up HTTPS, configuring backups, and applying CMS-specific security best practices.

    Wrapping Up

    After completing these steps, your CMS should be operational. Make sure to regularly update both the CMS and server components to protect against vulnerabilities. If further customization or scaling is required, refer back to AWS documentation or consult with AWS support for best practices and guidance.

  • Support