Pico vs. Yellow: A Comprehensive Comparison of Lightweight CMS Options

Pico vs. Yellow: A Comprehensive Comparison of Lightweight CMS Options


Welcome to our comprehensive comparison guide of Pico and Yellow, two popular Content Management Systems (CMS). As digital leaders and decision-makers, it is crucial to choose a CMS that aligns with your organization's goals and requirements. In this guide, we will dive deep into the various features and functionalities offered by both Pico and Yellow, enabling you to make an informed decision about which CMS is the right fit for your organization.

Foundations of CMS

Pico and Yellow are both lightweight CMS options that focus on simplicity and ease of use. Pico is a flat-file CMS that uses plain text files instead of a traditional database, making it fast and secure. On the other hand, Yellow is a file-based CMS that also uses plain text files but provides additional features like support for dynamic content and built-in extensions.

When it comes to performance, Pico has the edge as it does not require database queries, resulting in faster page load times. However, Yellow offers more flexibility with its templating system and an intuitive user interface that allows users to modify themes and layouts effortlessly.

In terms of ease of installation, both Pico and Yellow are relatively simple to set up. Pico's installation involves downloading the CMS files, configuring a few settings, and you're good to go. Yellow has a similar installation process but comes with an installation wizard that guides users through the initial setup.

In summary, the foundation of Pico lies in its lightweight and simplistic approach, while Yellow offers a bit more flexibility and dynamic content capabilities. Consider your organization's specific needs to determine which foundation aligns better with your requirements.

Design & User Experience

Both Pico and Yellow offer a range of customizable themes and templates to create visually appealing websites. Pico focuses on minimalism and simplicity, providing clean and elegant themes that are easy to navigate. It offers limited customization options, which may be suitable for organizations seeking a streamlined and efficient design process.

Yellow, on the other hand, offers a broader selection of themes and templates and allows for more extensive customization. Its intuitive user interface makes it easy for users with no coding experience to modify the design and layout. Yellow also provides a built-in CSS editor, making it simple to customize the appearance of your website without the need for an external text editor.

When it comes to user experience, both CMS options offer a straightforward interface, ensuring that users can manage their content with ease. Pico's interface is minimalistic, with a simple dashboard, making it suitable for users who prefer a no-frills user experience. Yellow offers a more feature-rich interface, with a sidebar navigation menu that provides quick access to different sections of the CMS.

In conclusion, if you value simplicity and prefer a streamlined design process, Pico's minimalistic approach may be ideal for your organization. However, if you require more customization options and prefer a user-friendly interface, Yellow offers a more extensive range of design options and a user experience tailored towards ease of use.

Content Management

Pico and Yellow excel in providing efficient content management solutions, enabling users to create and edit content effortlessly. Pico utilizes plain text files, making it easy for users to create, modify, and organize content with a basic understanding of Markdown syntax. Users can create folders to organize their content and have complete control over the structure of their website.

Yellow provides a more robust content management system with support for dynamic content. Users can create pages, blog posts, and even forms, empowering them to create complex websites. It offers a user-friendly editor that allows users to add images, format text, and embed multimedia content. Yellow also provides version control, allowing users to revert to previous versions of their content if needed.

Organizations that prioritize simplicity and a more structured approach to content management may find Pico's file-based system appealing. On the other hand, Yellow's dynamic content capabilities and versatile editor make it a suitable choice for organizations that require more advanced content management features.

It is worth noting that if your organization heavily relies on collaborative content creation, both CMS options may require additional plugins or extensions to facilitate real-time collaboration. Consider your organization's specific content management needs to make an informed decision about which CMS aligns best with your requirements.

Collaboration & User Management

Collaboration and user management are essential aspects to consider when selecting a CMS. Pico offers a straightforward user management system whereby users can have different roles assigned. However, it lacks native support for real-time collaboration. If your organization requires simultaneous content creation and editing by multiple users, additional plugins or integrations may be needed.

Yellow, on the other hand, provides a more robust user management system, allowing administrators to create and manage user accounts with different levels of access. It also offers a collaboration module that enables multiple users to work on the content simultaneously. Users can track changes made by others and merge conflicts easily, ensuring a smooth collaborative workflow.

Both CMS options can be extended with third-party plugins or tools to enhance collaboration features further. However, Yellow's native support for collaboration makes it a more convenient choice for organizations that prioritize seamless teamwork and content creation.

Consider your organization's specific collaboration and user management needs to determine which CMS provides the necessary features to support your workflow effectively.

Performance, Scalability, & Hosting

When it comes to performance, Pico's flat-file structure allows for fast page load times since it does not involve database queries. Its lightweight nature makes it suitable for smaller websites or projects with minimal traffic. However, Pico may face limitations in terms of scalability when dealing with large amounts of content or high-traffic websites.

Yellow, on the other hand, offers a more scalable solution as it can handle larger websites efficiently. Its ability to support dynamic content and built-in extensions makes it suitable for complex projects that require extensive scalability. However, it is worth noting that Yellow's performance may be slightly affected by database queries and the server's processing power.

In terms of hosting, both Pico and Yellow can be hosted on various hosting providers, including shared hosting, virtual private servers (VPS), or dedicated servers. Their lightweight nature makes them compatible with most hosting environments. The choice of hosting depends on your organization's specific requirements and budget.

In conclusion, if your organization's website is expected to handle significant amounts of content or experience high traffic, Yellow's scalability makes it a better choice. However, for smaller websites or projects with moderate traffic, Pico's performance and lightweight structure can be advantageous.

Customization, Extensions, & Ecosystem

Customization and extensibility are crucial factors to consider when selecting a CMS. Pico offers a limited but solid set of themes and plugins, allowing users to customize the appearance and functionality of their websites. However, it is worth noting that Pico's ecosystem is smaller in comparison to other CMS options, which may limit the availability of third-party themes and plugins.

Yellow, on the other hand, provides a more extensive ecosystem with a wide range of themes and plugins to choose from. Its community-driven development ensures that new themes and plugins are continuously being added, providing users with greater flexibility and options for customization.

Both CMS options allow users to extend their functionalities using custom code if necessary. Pico's minimalistic approach may appeal to developers who prefer building custom solutions from scratch, while Yellow's more extensive feature set and ecosystem make it an ideal choice for organizations that prefer to leverage existing extensions.

Consider your organization's customization and extensibility requirements to determine whether the limited but solid customization options provided by Pico suffice or if Yellow's broader range of themes and plugins better align with your organization's needs.

SEO, Marketing, & Monetization

Search Engine Optimization (SEO), marketing, and monetization are crucial aspects for any website or organization. Both Pico and Yellow provide basic SEO features, including customizable meta tags, clean URLs, and automatic XML sitemap generation, ensuring that your website is search engine friendly.

Yellow offers additional SEO plugins and features, including automatic social media integration and support for Google Analytics, enhancing your organization's digital marketing efforts. It also provides built-in monetization capabilities, allowing you to easily integrate advertising or e-commerce functionality into your website.

Pico, on the other hand, relies more on manual configurations or third-party plugins to achieve advanced SEO and marketing features. While it may require additional setup, it provides a solid foundation for implementing custom SEO and marketing strategies.

Consider your organization's specific SEO, marketing, and monetization requirements to determine whether Pico's simpler approach is sufficient or if Yellow's additional SEO and marketing features are essential for your organization's success.

Security & Compliance

Ensuring the security and compliance of your website and organization's data is crucial. Pico's flat-file structure contributes to its inherently secure nature as it minimizes the potential attack surface. Additionally, Pico's simplicity and lightweight nature also make it easier to maintain and keep up to date with security patches.

Yellow takes security seriously, offering features such as SSL support, IP blocking, and password-protected pages. It also provides regular updates to address security vulnerabilities and ensure data integrity. However, since Yellow uses a database, it is essential to ensure the proper configuration and security measures are in place to protect sensitive data.

Regarding compliance, both CMS options allow for GDPR compliance through customizable consent banners and cookie consent features. Pico's minimalistic approach may appeal to organizations seeking a simplified compliance process, while Yellow offers additional tools and extensions to streamline compliance efforts.

Prioritize the security and compliance requirements of your organization to determine which CMS offers the necessary features to safeguard your website and comply with relevant regulations.

Migration, Support, & Maintenance

Migrating from one CMS to another can be a challenging process. Pico helps simplify migration as its file-based structure makes it relatively easy to transfer content without the need for complex database migrations. However, it is worth noting that theme and plugin compatibility may still require adjustments during migration.

Yellow also offers migration tools to streamline the transition process. While migration may require some technical knowledge, Yellow's user-friendly interface and documentation make the process more accessible.

When it comes to support and maintenance, Pico has a small but dedicated community, providing support through forums and online resources. While there may be fewer resources available compared to larger CMS platforms, Pico's simplicity makes it easier to troubleshoot and resolve issues.

Yellow benefits from a more significant and active community, offering a wealth of online resources, forums, and documentation. Additionally, Yellow provides official support plans, ensuring timely assistance for any technical issues or questions you may encounter.

Consider your organization's migration requirements and the level of support and maintenance you prioritize to choose a CMS that aligns with your needs.


In conclusion, both Pico and Yellow are excellent options for content management systems, each with its own strengths and specialties.

  • Pico's minimalistic approach, lightweight structure, and file-based system make it a suitable choice for organizations that prioritize simplicity, security, and fast performance. It is ideal for smaller websites or projects with moderate traffic and content management needs.
  • Yellow, on the other hand, offers a broader range of features, customization options, and a larger ecosystem. It is suitable for organizations that require more advanced content management capabilities, scalability, collaboration, and enhanced SEO and marketing features.

Consider your organization's specific priorities, requirements, and goals to make an informed decision about which CMS, Pico or Yellow, best aligns with your organization's needs. Remember to evaluate factors such as design and user experience, content management capabilities, collaboration features, performance and scalability, customization options, SEO and marketing, security and compliance, as well as migration, support, and maintenance.

By carefully assessing these factors, you can confidently select the CMS that will empower your organization to create, manage, and grow your online presence effectively.


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.