FuelCMS is described as, simply, a CodeIgniter Content Management System.
CodeIgniter, for those that don’t know, is a very popular open source rapid development web application framework. It’s rise to fame is due to being based on the popular Model-View-Controller (MVC) development pattern and it’s speed.
Rasmus Lerdorf, creator of PHP, noted, in a critical take on PHP frameworks, that he liked CodeIgniter “because it is faster, lighter and the least like a framework”.
FuelCMS was built for developers who need a lightweight, highly customisable Content Management System that is easy to integrate with your own code.
FuelCMS evolved out of the need for having a development platform that was a framework first and a CMS second. CodeIgniter was chosen as the framework because it is a popular, well documented, lightweight, PHP framework and allows you to cleanly structure your code using MVC principles.
If you’re only interested in the Content Management System aspect and have no interest in writing your own code, then FuelCMS is probably not going to be the right choice.
Since 2013, the creator of the CodeIgniter framework, EllisLab, has been seeking a new owner for the project. In October of 2014 at the ExpressionEngine Conference in Virginia, EllisLab CEO, Derek Jones announced that the CodeIgniter project had been transferred to the British Columbia Institute of Technology.
CodeIgniter’s popularity, documentation, and ease of use, plays a great part in making it a great fit at the heart of FuelCMS.
FuelCMS was created by David McReynolds, Daylight Studios, first released as open source on GitHub on Oct 27, 2010.
The company, “Run for Daylight LLC” is a small digital agency based in Portland, Oregon, USA. It’s not working on the same scale as Automattic (WordPress) or Acquia (Drupal) meaning that the developers of FuelCMS must strike a balance between client work and other projects such as this.
As we’ve seen with EllisLab this can lead to a lack of resources to give the project the attention it probably deserves.
That’s not to say that FuelCMS isn’t a great product, as it’s already extremely comprehensive in it’s functionality and features.
The future of the product much depends on it’s ability to adapt itself to the ever changing beast that is the web development environment.
Much like PHP, you should treat FuelCMS as a simple tool to solve your problem and get the job done.
FuelCMS isn’t without it’s issues though and releases are few and far between, that’s why we’ll be using the development branch (GitHub) next time.