Nebula CMS is a hand crafted Content Management System specifically designed and built for Catserver.net and i's related sites by their creator, Victor Rossi. Though only in a fairly early stage of development, Nebula CMS will eventually replicate and expand upon the practical core features that popular systems (such as Wordpress) possess, while maintaining simplicity and flexibility.
Why build your own?
Nearly all of code that's been part of Catserver, since its early days, has been the product of countless hours of experimentation. Though I've reverse-engineered more open source scripts and code snippets than I can count, that was (and is still) all part of the educational process that's led to numerous original creations. Eventually it became a point of pride that my site - and the server it's hosted on - are all a product of my handiwork, with relatively little outside help. I didn't need a hosting company, and for years I didn't even have a proper domain name. And I liked it that way.
When I began to play around with Wordpress and some similar systems, I began to realize that Catserver - despite it's wholly home-grown status - was built on a sorely outdated way of thinking. Essentially I had been using databases and dynamic content to do what I'd always done with hundreds of unnecessarily replicated pages and lines of code, and for all that the site was still incredibly difficult to maintain beyond simple updates. I realized I needed to change. Catserver needed to be reborn - but not as another rehash.
So why not just use Wordpress, then? Well, it comes back to that pride thing. Despite my utter lack of formal education or general knowledge of programming, I felt compelled to take on the project just because it seemed like I sort of had to. Resorting to a well-established system would take away the only part of the site I felt was really worth anything - the ability to say "I made this". So, custom content management system it was, then. That was late 2011 - now here we are, after a two year hiatus, and what do I have to show for it?
From its inception, I knew Nebula CMS had to be lightweight and easy to use - I didn't want it to feel so "behind the scenes". I needed to be accessible to myself any anyone else that might poke around with it. So I set some simple goals:
1. Unobtrusiveness - I didn't create Nebula CMS to dictate the way your site was built. Ideally, you could build a theme for Nebula, include a single page, and everything would be at your disposal.
2. Cleanliness - It seems like many systems spatter your server with countless files and folders which don't seem to be clearly named or, in some cases, even serve a purpose. Let's not do any of that.
3. Customization - You don't want to use the included theme? Well obviously. You don't want to use the included Admin interface either? Not a problem.
4. Ease of use - I wanted to quickly and easily edit or embed text blocks, comments, images, pages, or posts into any other page, without having to fuss around with it. Putting a gallery into a page shouldn't require tons of custom code by the end user (unless they want it to). Why can't it just be simple?