capsule review

MojoMotor: Easy-to-Use Website Content Management System

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder MojoMotor

    PCWorld Rating

    MojoMotor is a simple and affordable content management system for small websites.

Here is a problem both website designers and owners share: Once a website is created, who has to update its content over time? And how should they do it? The traditional solution for this problem is a CMS, or content management system, such as WordPress (aimed mainly at blogs) or Weebly. MojoMotor is one such content management system, but it prides itself on "doing less" and providing a lightweight interface both for developers and content editors.

MojoMotor's installation interface is stylish, but requires familiarity with database configuration settings.
For a content editor, MojoMotor can't be much simpler to use: There is no administrative backend to log in to, or a complex workflow with multiple page states and drafts. You do need to log in so that MojoMotor knows you're allowed to edit, but once that's done, the only special bit of interface you see is a toolbar on top of the screen. The rest of your browser window contains your website just like everyone sees it, but with one important difference: You can edit the text and images.

MojoMotor features an easy WYSIWYG editor for website text.
While you're viewing the website in MojoMotor's administration interface, certain parts of the page (such as its main content area, usually) are marked as editable and highlighted in color. To edit, just click anywhere in the highlighted area, and it morphs into a WYSIWYG editor with a simple toolbar for formatting text, creating links, and uploading images. You don't need to know HTML, Markdown, or any other special syntax. You do need to make sure that any images you upload are in the correct size for the website.

The default theme provided with MojoMotor looks a bit like a basic WordPress installation.
MojoMotor is easy to use for designers, too. To design a website in MojoMotor, you don't have to know PHP: MojoMotor websites are created as static HTML files with special MojoMotor tags that the system uses to make certain areas user editable. This makes MojoMotor an ideal tool for front-end designers who can create great layouts, HTML, and CSS, but don't know the first thing about back-end coding and working with PHP.

Behind the scenes, MojoMotor works by using special tags.
MojoMotor is not a one-size-fits-all solution: It is clearly aimed at small websites containing just a handful of pages. The system doesn't even include a built-in blogging engine, but third-party website MojoAddons offers a plug-in, MojoBlog, that lets users create a blog within their MojoMotor installation. Fortunately, MojoMotor makes it very easy to migrate your project to ExpressionEngine, a CMS from the same vendor that can easily support large-scale websites.

Because MojoMotor focuses on a specific use case and doesn't try to please everyone, it succeeds in creating a truly simple way to develop and maintain small personal and business websites. Its reasonable price tag and extensibility add to its allure, as well.

--Erez Zukerman

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    MojoMotor is a simple and affordable content management system for small websites.

    Pros

    • Simple to use
    • Allows nontechnical users to update websites
    • Allows designers to offer working websites

    Cons

    • Only per-installation pricing available
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