For a while now I have been using a basic FTP system called Surreal CMS, this service connects via FTP to your web host pulls the page you want to edit down and then allows you to edit it, when you done it saves it back to the FTP server. For basic sites this type of thing is great as there is nothing to install and you can be up and running really quickly.
About a month ago I needed to setup about a dozen single page websites, I was after something simple so I turned to Surreal CMS again. For this project I wanted to be able to customise the branding on the interface, Surreal CMS does offer this but their pricing structure was a little steep for what I wanted to use it for. With this in mind I decided to create my own system.
It took a week to develop but I came up with a simple, easy to use FTP based CMS system which I called FTP-CMS.
The system is built in PHP using the CodeIgniter framework; PHP has built in functions for interacting with FTP servers so it was easy to connect and download and upload pages from the server.
When the page has been downloaded from the server I run it through the PHP Simple HTML Dom Parser which does a fantastic job of locating the editable areas of the page, these areas can then be edited by the end user using the CKEditor.
After I built and tested this system I decided to turn it into a web service and make it available to everybody, this stage took a couple of weeks primarily because I had never dealt with recurring payments before and I wanted to make sure everything was going to work correctly.
The service called FTP-CMS is now available for anyone to use but unlike the few other similar services this one has a very different pricing structure.
I am charging £1 per site per month, this means if you only want to manage one or two sites its a lot cheaper than anything else. For £1 a month you get full access to the branding features so the end users who use the service wont ever come across the FTP-CMS name only the generic content-cms.com domain and site.
The service has a 1 week free trial available to all new accounts so it can be tried out before subscribing although with no contract period it would only cost £1 to test for a whole month.
Depending on how the service is used over time I will probably add an unlimited sites package for a fixed monthly payment as the £1 a month will built up if a lot of sites are being used.
For now I am going to monitor the system closely to make sure its functioning as expected and work on adding new features to the system.
If you have any feedback or comments please email me.