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We have a company website that built with 10 static HTML pages only (not even CSS). Recently we got a request to update the content of single page (it is just some text) regularly. Our manager want to build a method to allow end user update the content himself but the end user do not understand HTML. Also, for security concern, we cannot provide FTP access to him.

I have considered some popular web applications like WordPress but it is too big for my scope. I have to install PHP and re-build my current page layout.

Do you have any existing web applications/open source project that fulfill my requirement? Thank you.

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For this sort of website I usually use a MultiMarkdown implementation driven by simple text files. Usually I set the tool to generate a HTML snippet rather than a complete page, I insert the snippet into a standard template that takes care of headers, navigation-menus and footers.

In one case I have it arranged so that uploading a text file causes a new HTML page to appear - which is generated by PHP using parsedown.php and parsedownextra.php.

For a different site I run a Makefile on a WIndows-10 PC that uses multimarkdown to convert the text files to html ready for upload.

To allow someone to update a single text file without giving them a ftp account you can set up a file upload script using PHP, CGI etc. This will cause their browser to prompt them to select a file from their local disk using a typical file/Open dialog.

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Not actually a web app but one possibility would be to set up an email account that is watched and responds to emails. You could respond to an email, from email addresses in a list of approved addresses, with the word template in the title with the current page content as the html body of the email possibly with a token to validate the reply.

Replies, again from valid email addresses, would have the html content extracted and inserted into that web page.

  • The end user is validated by their email address, (plus possibly a token included in the template).
  • They don't need to know any html, most email clients these days accept and send html formatted pages, they user has all of the layout options of their email client available. Even images could be included with the majority of email clients & their work will most likely even be spell checked.

  • Only the single page has any chance of being changed.

  • This could all be done with a simple python script based on the examples that you could have run periodically.
  • To disable the facility simply stop the python script.
  • If you wished to use ftp to upload the changed file then the actual ftp to the web server would be done by the script using the built in ftp library which would live exclusively on one of your machines - the user would have no access to it.
  • Python also has numerous other mechanisms you could use to perform your uploads.
  • Python is free, gratis, open source & cross platform.
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