Grav CMS

Flat file database free web sites

Recently I have had the opportunity to play around with a database free CMS called GRAV. What a pleasure it is to code and use!

First of all it comes with an admin plugin, where I can publish new pages, view stats, edit content, upload images, basically everything a CMS with a database can do. I often forgot while working with GRAV that there isn’t a database driving it, which just shows how flawless the admin interface is.

Taken from the GRAV website below:

Grav is not your average CMS. It’s an open source, flat-file NoDB CMS written for PHP 5.5.9+ that is focused on being crazy fast, easy to learn and use, with powerful features to enable it be easily extended.

Content is just simple markdown files in folders, with no complicated databases to deal with. A powerful API and extensive hooks allow for plugins to extend Grav and a comprehensive package manager provides easy installation and updating of extensions. Flexible Twig templating allows easy realization of your designs.

The website I used GRAV on is my personal project at There is a learning curve of course, but if you’ve managed Drupal or similar, the learning curve with GRAV is far easier. Basically all you are doing is learning the file structure and where template files are stored, what each .twig is doing etc.

It’s fabulous to see such innovation. It does feel that web development is returning to it’s roots, simple flat file structures, cut your cloth to fit the suit. Does every website need Wordpress, Textpattern, Drupal? Of course not. As web designers we should have a couple of tools under our belt and know which one is suitable for each job.

Keep websites fast loading, secure and search engine optimised (which includes mobile first responsive design).

To download GRAV go to

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