When should I use a flat file CMS?


Recently there was a question on Quora about flat file CMS. Since Sitecake is flat file CMS I answered the question:

Flat file CMS are good for small business websites with little content, personal websites or light blogs. We developed a simple CMS for static websites called Sitecake and our customers are web designers who use Sitecake mostly for restaurants, bed and breakfast websites, lawyer websites, private clinics, psychology practices, pilates / yoga studios etc.

Websites are usually custom designed and there is no need for frequent content changes. Some websites are fully static and only one page is being changed (for example, daily menu of a restaurant).

Advantages of flat file, static websites are:

  • they are loading a lot faster than regular Wordpress, Joomla website since there are no database queries, no PHP pages
  • they can be easily cached and made even faster and more secure with free CDN service like Cloudflare
  • Google ranks them better because they are fast
  • they are more secure and crash proof. There is no database to be hacked. Flat file CMS is used only for editing a website, not running it. So if a flat file CMS crashes or if it’s even deleted website will keep working without problem

On the other hand if you need a website with product search functionality, user registration, structured content best suited for databases — use regular CMS with a database.