Is there a CMS (Content Management System) that has no PHP or external database (such as MySQL)?

So basically what I'm looking for is a CMS that is based entirely around HTML and JavaScript. I know "flat" CMSs such as Razor CMS exist, that don't use a database, but these still use PHP.

Is there a CMS that doesn't have PHP?

Clarifications due to comments:

  • requiring no other server-side language, such as C#, ruby, JAVA* -


  • Is file-based storage, such as sqlite acceptable?

    Yes, as long as PHP isn't needed to access it.

  • or locally on your machine + uploading the HTML files

    No, this would basically take away the need for a CMS.

  • Do you need a Web interface (for logging in, editing content, creating new pages, etc.)


  • What content should be managed?

    Text and images.

  • Is a "fancy WYSIWYG editor" needed

    No, HTML is fine.

Just to clarify a bit more: I'm running a test on using Dropbox to host a website. Right now I can only use static HTML files on it, as there is no "server side", so PHP pages can't run, there is no MySQL database handy on the localhost, which all means the 100% of all the CMSs I know cannot function in these circumstances. So the next phase in the test is to find a way to manage content via an interface, instead of just using static HTML.

  • This isn't an answer, but since you can't use server-side languages, that rules out sqlite or any storage more sophisticated than a file. An interesting set of constraints... Basically you're looking at a js file editor/manipulator optimized for writing HTML/CSS/JS, if I understand correctly.
    – user151841
    May 4, 2016 at 13:13
  • 1
    @user151841 you can use sqlite with sq.js and do querys, create tables etc all in javascript
    – CalvT
    May 4, 2016 at 15:20
  • 2
    You're ruling out all server-side programming languages but still managing the content on the server? Then the answer has to be 'No', because that's a contradiction. You have to have some kind of program that does the work of managing the content, and that program has to be on the server. It can't be on your local machine because you ruled that out, and it can't be a client-side JavsScript program because of the security implications. There just isn't another way of doing what you want. Which may explain why everyone is using the mainstream CMS products.
    – Simba
    Jul 7, 2016 at 14:50
  • I thought that CMS matrix used to have a wizard, where you can search by language. Would you accept Node.JS ? E.g strapi.io
    – Mawg
    Nov 10, 2020 at 7:01

4 Answers 4


As Simba said, it is fundamentally impossible1 to have a CMS (which is, by definition, server-side) without some kind of server-side programming, be it PHP or any other technology.

However, you may want to look into a static site generator like Jekyll or Hugo. Unlike a CMS, which dynamically loads content from a server-side database1, you edit the web site on your local computer, and the programs generate pure, static HTML files you can upload onto any server (including Dropbox).

ad 1: You talk about client-side loading of a SQLite database in a comment. However, you will not be able to modify the contents of the database from within the CMS without a server-side component that receives your changes.

  • Since the OP seems to know JS, he might perhaps find a CMS coded in Node-
    – Mawg
    Nov 10, 2020 at 6:59

Netlify CMS https://www.netlifycms.org Uses Git as a backend, surprisingly awesome Demo enter image description here

IMP! (Its My Page!) https://github.com/girobusan/imp WORKS ON NEOCITIES EVEN!

When you load IMP! Locally, it opens up an editor, where you can enter or import your text, setup SEO tags and custom CSS. When the very same page is served over http, user gets a light, static HTML. Page does not require Java Script to be viewed, it's just plain HTML. Demo. enter image description here

Defunct - I found "Vapid" https://www.vapid.com/ - Defunct Pic here

Then it might be easiest to use this, and just totally "web interface it" using https://edithtmlonline.com/ enter image description here

or https://htmeditor.com/ enter image description here

You can even save your "working edit"folders to a cloud instead of pc (like degoo's free 100gb cloud storage)

Then Finally use your perfered online "file minimizer for css/html/images etc" (BUT KEEP YOUR WORKING COPIES FOR EDITS)

Example I made for you today to show it works: https://aazard.neocities.org/ enter image description here

edit: see here




Lektor - An easy to use static CMS and blog engine. - #Python <PURE HTML STILL NOT ON THE SITE HEADLESS CMS, TESTED BY ME, EASY/WORKS

^ THIS IS A "HYBRID" SSG/SSR, think less-techie user focused jekyll with "live in browser refresh" on file save (at this point its a "HOW NICE IS "WYSIWYG" YOUR TEXT EDITOR" issue)

Once all setup (very techie) this is it: enter image description here

Publii - Easy-to-use desktop app to generate static websites. - #JavaScript #Electron DESKTOP TESTED BY ME, EASY/WORKS THE BEST, but its desktop only

Here is the "WYSIWYG" part, super no tech easy:

enter image description here

Tipe - An easy to use API-first CMS engine to generate static sites. - #JavaScript UNSURE

Yellow - For people who make websites. - NO ITS: #PHP


TL;DR: You want to go here: https://getpublii.com/ , Its a "DESKTOP" SSG with Upload Its the current popular "heavy" app, along with Open element (mid-weight) and Rocket-Cake (pretty light/portable). If desktop is forever "NO" run it from gitpod or w/e

Its not "an online csm" but even Bludit CSM (https://www.bludit.com/) & Pico CMS (http://picocms.org/)... the most minimalistic I can find (ps Bludit rocks) use PHP with JSON and both use a simple WYSIWYG interface to HTML via markdown

Jump over to https://neocities.org/tutorials

Neocities is DESIGNED on purpose as "exactly what your doing" a non-php based HTML/CSS BASED "static host"

They understand 99.9% of ppl are used to CSM's like Wordpress/Joomla. They suggest the "most used" generators.

I will directly reproduce the paragraph below:


Static Site Generators

Static site generators allow developers to make a web site that has many properties of dynamic web sites, except it generates static HTML which can then be uploaded to Neocities.

  • Hugo
  • Jekyll
  • Next.js
  • Gatsby


I also suggest you check the article: https://dev.to/matfrana/server-side-rendering-vs-static-site-generation-17nf

As the title says its about the world of SSR (server side rendering) vs SSG (static site generation).

SO, unless you get a way around needing a "SSH to PHP" process thats that.

Good luck


If every change is done completely client-side that means any user of your website can make any changes to the website that he wants to make. A CMS that runs on dropbox would need to expose the dropbox username and password to every user that interacts dynamically with the website and submits data to it.

That makes it unattractive to build software that does this task for dynamic websites and the only choices you have are static site generator like Jekyll or Hugo.

  • Wrong. Why would I need to expose the username and password? I can make files public in dropbox if I wanted. However, I'm using a better method, google host website on dropbox to enhance your understanding. And , the theory is there for an html CMS - read the question properly, which includes the comments, before answering
    – CalvT
    Oct 11, 2016 at 13:06

With all those things narrowed out, you're left to only a few choices. Have you considered a cloud-based solution? If so, check out tractfile.com and explore their options. I'm not sure exactly what you're looking for when it comes down to minuscule details but I think checking this out would definitely be of benefit to you.

  • Thanks for your answer. But: Did you even read the question? I quote I'm running a test on using DropBox to host a website. How does that fit with using a cloud-based solution? And anyway, tractfile.com is a Contract Management System, and I wanted a Content Management System. This is not really an answer, you should of posted it as a comment.
    – CalvT
    Aug 11, 2016 at 11:06

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