CushyCMS is a very nice little ‘CMS’ tool/service that lets you edit content on your pages easily and simply. It’s by a small Australian startup (another Australian web company?!) called Stateless Systems.
To call it a CMS is perhaps a bit much. It’s basically a clever and lovely way for you to edit content on a static webpage via FTP, along the same lines as Contribute. Oh, so you think Contribute is a CMS, and therefore so must CushyCMS be? Well then I suggest you take a cold shower and come back after the next full moon. For the rest of us, this type of paradigm is nice for editing content, but it certainly does nothing for truly managing it.
Of course Cushy’s nothing like as complex a beast as Contribute, which is in fact a big selling point. With CushyCMS I had a basic page up and edited on my website in just a couple of minutes of logging in. Nice clean user interface, filled with healthy web2.0ness. Nothing scary for a webophobe.
You also don’t have the disadvantage of having to get a copy of all that expensive Adobe stuff, because CushyCMS is not only a web application, but it’s a free one too. There is an option to pay for a ‘pro’ version, which lets you change the design of the editing interface, and thereby fool your hapless web editor into thinking they’re really logged into your/their site when they edit content, and not the CushyCMS site. Is that worth $28 a month?
Before we get too filled with shock and awe, this system isn’t going to be the ultimate answer to CMS woes for everyone just yet. To set it up, you have to have a static page already on your site. This isn’t so much about content generation as it is about content editing.
And you have to manually edit those existing pages to contain bits of html that tell Cushy ‘this is an editable section’. Again, all very similar to Dreamweaver and Contribute. So you need a slightly web-savvy person to set up a site in the first place, and then a webophobe can edit the stuff that they need to.
Another drawback is that you’re very much reliant on their (not open source) software because all content editing is done through the web application. OK, no worse than being reliant on a desktop application that costs bundles of cash, but still… what if the site goes down, or they go out of business. You won’t lose your site, but you will lose your nice little system.
In conclusion, this is actually a very simple system which lets a web developer set up a simple static site and pass over editorial control to a non web-savvy editor. It is not a CMS in any meaningful sense of the word. But it is great at what it does.