Web Templating Systems/CMS?

This is a really long lead in to a simple question–basically I’m just fishing for free advice (or commentary) from the knowledgable people here. :slight_smile:

Up to this point I’ve always written all my HTML from scratch and pasted content into templates manually, but that’s getting really unweildy so I’ve been hunting for a decent CMS-type system to get modern.

The problem I’m having in my search is that most CMS systems build everything on the fly, which I really don’t want–I’m pretty sure my SQL conquery limit isn’t going to like that much, and my content is static anyway, so it’s a waste of server CPU cycles. The other issue is that I need the directory/file name structure to be the same as it is now, to save me the hassle of dealing with a massive number of outdated links from other sites (besides, I like the way its organized now!).

Since it’s a sole-proprietor site, I don’t really need a full CMS anyway, so I’ve been considering rolling my own HTML templating engine from scratch, finding somebody to do it for me, or best of all finding a good pre-built one. Pretty much something along the lines of Links 2.0 ( http://www.gossamer-threads.com/ ), which is nice and easy to use, but for HTML.

Then I stumbled across WebMake:


It’s basically a perl module that uses meta tags to build HTML. I fiddled with my local perl install and spent some time with CPAN, and eventually got it working at home (which is fine, although there seems to be a CGI version that I could run on a DH server if I wanted).

It does EXACTLY what I want and is very powerful, but my only issue is it’s got a fairly steep learning curve–it seems to be designed for UNIX guru-types, which I’m not really–just a casual command line user. I’m willing to teach myself, but I’m wondering if there’s an easier option or some alternative I’m ignoring entirely before I commit to this.

Any useful (or useless) thoughts on any of this?

I could be out in left field for this, but I’m not entirely sure what you need the CMS for. Have you looked at Macromedia Contribute?

Thanks for the suggestion, but that’s a) commercial and b) Windows-only. I run a Mac, and even if it weren’t I prefer to stick to open source software whenever possible–I like the ability to hack around a bit, for one thing. Besides, I’m poor.

I understand. I’m on a Mac most of the time too, but my clients… I gotta find solutions that work for them.

A mac version will be out in spring.