Bricolage vs. CMS Made Simple: A Comprehensive Comparison Guide

Bricolage vs. CMS Made Simple: A Comprehensive Comparison Guide


Welcome to our comprehensive comparison guide of Bricolage and CMS Made Simple. As digital leaders and decision-makers, finding the right content management system (CMS) for your organization is crucial. Both Bricolage and CMS Made Simple offer unique features and functionalities that can enhance your website's performance and user experience. In this guide, we will delve into the various aspects of both CMSs to help you make an informed decision.

Foundations of CMS

When it comes to the foundations of a CMS, Bricolage and CMS Made Simple have distinct approaches. Bricolage is an open-source CMS built on Perl, which offers powerful content management capabilities while allowing developers to easily extend its functionality. On the other hand, CMS Made Simple is built on PHP, making it more accessible to a wider range of users. It provides a user-friendly interface, making it suitable for non-technical users as well. Both CMSs prioritize stability, reliability, and modularity to ensure efficient content management.

Additionally, Bricolage has a more flexible architecture, allowing you to organize and manage complex content structures. It enables you to create custom workflows, define content types, and implement sophisticated publishing processes. CMS Made Simple, however, focuses on simplicity and ease of use. Its intuitive interface and drag-and-drop functionality make it ideal for small to medium-sized websites that require a straightforward content management solution.

Overall, understanding the foundation of a CMS is essential in determining how well it aligns with your organization's specific needs and technical requirements. Bricolage offers robust functionality and customization options, while CMS Made Simple prioritizes simplicity and usability.

Important to note: Bricolage requires a higher level of technical expertise to set up and maintain compared to CMS Made Simple. If you have a dedicated IT team or the resources to manage a more complex system, Bricolage may be an excellent choice to leverage advanced content management capabilities.

Design & User Experience

Design and user experience play a vital role in engaging and retaining website visitors. Bricolage and CMS Made Simple offer different approaches when it comes to designing and managing the user interface. Bricolage provides the flexibility to create highly customized templates using the Template Toolkit, allowing you to design unique website layouts. Its separation of content and presentation layers enables greater control over the design process.

CMS Made Simple, on the other hand, offers a range of pre-designed templates and themes. Its intuitive drag-and-drop interface allows you to easily customize the layout, colors, and fonts without the need for coding. This feature makes CMS Made Simple an attractive option for organizations with limited design and development resources.

Additionally, both CMSs prioritize responsive design, ensuring that your website looks and functions optimally across various devices. Bricolage and CMS Made Simple provide extensive compatibility with modern web standards, ensuring a seamless user experience on desktops, tablets, and smartphones.

Ultimately, the choice between Bricolage and CMS Made Simple depends on your organization's design requirements and the level of control you desire over the visual elements of your website. Consider whether you prefer a fully customizable approach or a simpler, drag-and-drop interface.

Content Management

Efficient content management is crucial for any CMS, and both Bricolage and CMS Made Simple offer features to streamline the process. Bricolage boasts a sophisticated content workflow system, allowing you to define custom workflows tailored to your organization's publishing processes. It enables you to easily manage content revisions, approvals, and publishing across different stages.

CMS Made Simple, on the other hand, focuses on simplicity and ease of use when it comes to content management. Its intuitive interface allows users to create, edit, and publish content effortlessly. With its WYSIWYG editor, you can easily format and style content without the need for coding or technical knowledge.

Both CMSs provide robust content organization and categorization features. They allow you to create custom content types, taxonomies, and metadata structures to organize and tag your content effectively. Bricolage's flexible architecture is particularly advantageous for organizations with complex content structures, while CMS Made Simple's straightforward approach is suitable for smaller websites.

Furthermore, Bricolage offers multi-site capabilities, allowing you to manage multiple websites from a single installation. It provides a centralized dashboard for content management across multiple sites, streamlining your workflow and allowing for efficient collaboration.

To decide which CMS suits your content management needs, consider the complexity of your content structure, the size of your organization, and the level of collaboration required among content creators and editors.

Collaboration & User Management

In today's digital landscape, collaboration and user management are essential features for CMSs. Bricolage focuses on providing advanced user management capabilities suitable for enterprise-level organizations. It offers granular user permissions, allowing you to define roles, access levels, and workflows for different user groups. This enables efficient collaboration and ensures content creation and editing are done by the right individuals.

CMS Made Simple, although more simple in comparison, still provides sufficient collaboration features. Its user-friendly interface allows you to manage user accounts, control access levels, and assign roles with ease. It enables you to create and manage user groups, facilitating efficient content collaboration.

Both CMSs offer features for content versioning, allowing you to track changes made by different users and revert to previous versions if needed. Bricolage's advanced content workflow system further enhances collaboration by providing a clear overview of content status and approval processes.

Ultimately, the decision between Bricolage and CMS Made Simple depends on the size and complexity of your organization, as well as your specific collaboration requirements. Bricolage is more suitable for enterprises with complex workflows and multiple user roles, while CMS Made Simple is a great fit for smaller teams with simpler collaboration needs.

Performance, Scalability, & Hosting

Performance, scalability, and hosting are critical considerations when choosing a CMS. Both Bricolage and CMS Made Simple prioritize performance optimization, ensuring fast page loading speeds and efficient resource utilization.

Bricolage is known for its robust performance and scalability. It implements a multi-tier caching system and provides support for high-traffic websites. Bricolage can handle a large volume of content and efficiently deliver it to website visitors.

CMS Made Simple also focuses on performance and offers various caching options to optimize page loading times. It has a lightweight codebase, making it suitable for smaller websites that require fast performance.

Regarding hosting options, Bricolage can be self-hosted or hosted by a provider of your choice. It offers flexibility in choosing a hosting environment that suits your organization's needs. CMS Made Simple, on the other hand, primarily offers shared hosting. It is easy to deploy and can be hosted on various hosting providers.

You should consider the size of your website, expected traffic volume, and performance requirements when deciding between Bricolage and CMS Made Simple. For organizations with complex websites or high traffic volumes, Bricolage's scalability and caching capabilities may be more suitable. CMS Made Simple is a great choice for smaller websites that prioritize simplicity and fast performance.

Customization, Extensions, & Ecosystem

The ability to customize and extend a CMS's functionality is crucial for many organizations. Bricolage and CMS Made Simple offer different approaches to customization and provide an extensive ecosystem of extensions and plugins.

Bricolage allows for extensive customization through its robust templating system, which uses the Template Toolkit. It provides a high level of flexibility, enabling developers to create custom themes, layouts, and functionality. Bricolage also offers a wide range of existing extensions and plugins created by the community, allowing you to extend its capabilities.

CMS Made Simple, although less customizable in comparison, provides a range of themes and templates that can be easily customized through its user-friendly interface. It also has an active community of developers who contribute plugins and extensions to enhance its functionality.

When choosing between Bricolage and CMS Made Simple, consider the level of customization you require. If you need extensive customization options and have a skilled development team, Bricolage's flexibility is a significant advantage. On the other hand, if you prefer a simpler customization process and value the availability of pre-built themes and plugins, CMS Made Simple may be the better choice.

SEO, Marketing, & Monetization

A successful website involves effective SEO, marketing, and monetization strategies. Both Bricolage and CMS Made Simple offer features to optimize your website for search engines, implement marketing campaigns, and monetize your content.

Bricolage provides SEO-friendly features, such as customizable URL structures, meta tags, and XML sitemaps. It allows you to optimize your content for search engines and improve your website's visibility in search results. Additionally, Bricolage integrates well with various marketing tools, enabling you to track website statistics and implement marketing campaigns.

CMS Made Simple also provides SEO features, including customizable URLs, meta tags, and search engine-friendly markup. It offers integration with popular SEO plugins, allowing you to further optimize your website. CMS Made Simple includes built-in email marketing tools and supports various e-commerce plugins, enabling you to monetize your website effectively.

When considering SEO, marketing, and monetization, evaluate the specific requirements of your organization. If you prioritize SEO and require advanced marketing features, Bricolage provides a solid foundation. If monetization plays a significant role, CMS Made Simple's built-in tools and e-commerce compatibility may be more suitable.

Security & Compliance

Ensuring the security and compliance of your CMS is critical for protecting your website and sensitive data. Both Bricolage and CMS Made Simple prioritize security and provide measures to maintain compliance.

Bricolage offers role-based access control, allowing you to assign specific permissions and access levels to different user groups. It has a comprehensive user management system, ensuring only authorized individuals can access and modify content. Bricolage also provides options for encrypting sensitive data and integrating with external security systems.

CMS Made Simple emphasizes security through user management features, role-based permissions, and secure login mechanisms. It regularly updates its software to address vulnerabilities and offers protection against common web security threats.

When it comes to compliance, both CMSs can meet industry standards with proper configuration and adherence to best practices. However, it is crucial to consult with your IT and security teams to ensure compliance requirements are met specific to your organization.

Considering the sensitivity of your data and the security requirements of your organization is essential when choosing between Bricolage and CMS Made Simple. Evaluate the security features provided by each CMS and assess your organization's specific compliance needs.

Migration, Support, & Maintenance

Migration, support, and maintenance are essential aspects to consider in the long-term use of a CMS. Both Bricolage and CMS Made Simple offer features and support to facilitate smooth migration, as well as ongoing support and maintenance.

Bricolage provides documentation and guides for migrating from other CMSs, making it easier to transition to its platform. It also has an active community and dedicated support channels, ensuring you can find assistance when needed. However, as an open-source CMS, Bricolage relies on community support for ongoing maintenance and updates.

CMS Made Simple offers migration tools and resources to help you transfer your content from other CMS platforms. It has a strong community and provides professional support options, allowing you to get assistance when required. As a commercial CMS, CMS Made Simple offers dedicated support, ensuring regular updates and maintenance.

When considering migration, support, and maintenance, evaluate the level of assistance you require and the resources available to your organization. Bricolage's community-driven support may suit organizations with in-house technical expertise or developers, while CMS Made Simple's dedicated support is suitable for organizations that prefer professional assistance and continuous updates.


In conclusion, both Bricolage and CMS Made Simple offer unique features and functionalities that cater to different organizational needs. Bricolage excels in providing advanced customization, flexibility, and complex content management capabilities suitable for enterprise-level organizations. CMS Made Simple, on the other hand, focuses on simplicity, ease of use, and performance optimization, making it ideal for smaller to medium-sized websites with straightforward content management requirements.

When selecting a CMS, it is crucial to assess your organization's specific requirements in areas such as design, content management, collaboration, performance, customization, SEO, security, and ongoing support. Use this comparison guide as a starting point to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of Bricolage and CMS Made Simple, and make an informed decision that aligns with your organization's goals and resources.


Martin Dejnicki
Martin Dejnicki

Martin is a digital product innovator and pioneer who built and optimized his first website back in 1996 when he was 16 years old. Since then, he has helped many companies win in the digital space, including Walmart, IBM, Rogers, Canada Post, TMX Group and TD Securities. Recently, he worked with the Deploi team to build an elegant publishing platform for creative writers and a novel algorithmic trading platform.