ProcessWire CMS – A Review


There is no need for an intro about CMS in Web Word. It is popular in many names as Joomla, Drupal and mighty WordPress. Though name and approach differs, all of them serve on purpose : Manipulate the Data > Store & Retrieve to display. The Model : View : Controller paradigm is the industry standard structure of most of all CMS.

Well, we have WordPress, Joomla and Drupal but sometimes its good to check out alternatives. Lets take a look over a simple CMS called ProcessWire.

ProcessWire in short ( PW ) is actually a popular CMS, slowly coming out of the shadows of mighty other CMS fellows. PW stands between a pure PHP framework and Full Featured CMS for example ( Concrete 5 ) . PW ships with very minimal and basic functionalities of a Framework but can be extended to any requirement via modules and custom coding. A very important feature of PW is it has no template language. You can code yourself the way you need to display the data.

I know, its a topic of debate : the use of template engine ; but this is all about choice. There are CMS which uses template engine, which does not ; support both.

PW has the philosophy : Everything is a page. Yes, inside PW everything is a page though we can use it as per the requirement. There are 3 main components in PW.

  • Page : serves as the actual page of website. ( home, about, contact )
  • Field : serves as field types ( images, files, forms, text area etc )
  • Template : The structure of data visualization – you can use different templates for different pages or one template for many pages.

So the idea is simple, Build a page with fields in a particular way which is a template. Then call the PW to display it. One another good note of ProcessWire is, no need to tamper with Databases. Whichever fields, we create via Admin, corrspoding tables and types will be created in database. Easy right ?

Like, I said, ProcessWire is somewhat between a framework and CMS ; there are some pitfalls. For examples, there is no site wide settings or global parameters like Site name, Site logo which often we know in WordPress. But its not a big thing for a developer, one can always assign a logo, title for the home page and call it in all other pages dynamically. PW is useful to create medium level websites, as company corporate, NGOs, schools etc. But it is not limited, the real power of PW lies in the core API, which can be used as a Web Application Framework to any extend. Your imagination is the only limit.

ProcessWire image library is really a strong arsenal. A lot of image manipulations are possible. The API is really vast, you can refer the long list of tools here : http://processwire.com/api/ref/

ProcessWire is an open source project with Mozilla Public License. The documentation is good and the community is so active. No need to be afraid of being alone 😉

Here is one website, I have done in ProcessWire : http://insignnia.in

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