I'm looking for a CMS that can do the following two things:

  • Reusable, named blocks (modules) of text that can be inserted in the content (i.e. articles, posts - the terminology differes between various CMS-es). The obvious example is a header/footer block, but I want to build all content from such blocks, so any solution that can only place blocks on the sidebars etc. is inadequate.

  • Variable substitution (extrapolation). The blocks described above would serve as templates, and would contain stretches of text with "inline" variables. For example, "Click here to download {app-name}". The CMS would look up the declaration of "app-name" in the db and replace it with the actual value on the fly.

I am aware of TextPattern, which does the blocks quite nicely (they're called forms in TP), but not the substitution. Its management of static pages seemed somewhat limited, too. Is there anything else?

Must be non-commercial (this is for a hobby programming site), and ideally be php/mysql or php with flat files. (I am trying to escape Joomla, which for all the complexity does little to actually reduce the time spent on maintaining content - in fact, hand-crafting HTML would sometimes be faster.)

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    I'd say Drupal, but if Joomla's not a happy fit for you I doubt Drupal would be either... – squillman Sep 22 '09 at 14:57

You can try Typo3.

But, compared to Drupal or Joomla, it has a really big learning curve and can be very unfriendly...


I would look at CMS Made Simple. It uses Smarty as the underlying template engine which does the variable substitution your looking for.

  • CMS Made Simple is quick to learn and fairly easy to hack (PHP) for custom play. – Jakub Mar 4 '10 at 20:12

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