A really easy to use file based CMS with powerful drag and drop editing features

File based

No wrestling with SQL imports or the like.

A basic installation consists of: Upload the zip to your hosting, expand it, log in and set an admin password... and you're good to go.

Live editing

Make changes or additions to your pages  direct in the browser, and see the effect right as you type.
No editing in a popup and then having to save and refresh the page.. only to see it's not what you want!

Drag 'n drop

Adding pictures, logos or videos couldn't be easier. Just drag the files or links into your page from Explorer, or from a YouTube page. Or, paste a snippet directly from your graphics program.

Instant preview

Other CMS require you to upload images before you can try them in your page. Mara allows you to see what the result will look like before you upload. The time this saves has to be seen to be believed.


"Hell, I made a real mess of  that last edit.. and oh damn, I forgot to take a backup before starting!" Don't panic. Mara stores your last ten saves in a special folder from where you can select and restore the last good copy.

Easy themes

Mara themes use a concise, lucid syntax which anyone can learn without having to be an ace programmer.

-Wouldn't you rather have your own website instead of a copy of someone else's?

Standards based

Mara uses HTML5 and CSS3, the current industry standards for Web markup. No need to learn oddball markup systems, means that if you know these familiar standards already, you hit the ground running.

Secure by design

HTTP or HTTPS, passwords are always encrypted before sending. Passphrases can be used instead of passwords. Tarpitting makes it harder to bruteforce accounts. IP based editing restrictions can protect against hacker havens.

Ajax uploads

Save your work anytime without page refreshes, and without losing your place in the text. Upload media in the background whilst you work.  -Accidentally logged out? Log back in without losing your work.

Mara cms is a flatfile or file-based website editing platform. If you've tried file-based systems in the past and been disappointed with their 'bulletin-board code' page editing mechanisms, then you will be pleasantly surprised to see that Mara integrates CKEditor, arguably the most popular and powerful in-browser editing package. The same editing platform used by the majority of database-driven CMS products. So, you no longer have to accept clunky text-entry arrangements to go file-based.  Being file based means no database, and hence no complex setup procedure or code-injection hacking risks. Oh, and we use HTML5 and CSS3, the latest and best markup languages, while many big-box competitors are still using old-fashioned XHTML4.

OK, so why go file based, anwyay? File based CMS are typically smaller, faster and simpler to manage than their database-backed behemoth cousins like Wordpress, Joomla and Drupal. The main difference is that webpages are actual disk files on the webserver, instead of records in a database. This has advantages of security and portability - If you have a copy of the files, then you have a backup of the website. If you need to transfer your website to other, similar hosting - transfer the files and that's basically it.

Mara cms isn't a 'website builder' though. Unlike such 'beginner grade' products it doesn't have to be on special hosting, and you are not restricted to a supplied set of layouts and styles.  Basically, any layout or styling you can create with a website, can be done with Mara cms. No cloning jobs here, just original creativity.


Why might I choose Mara cms, over other products ?

  • You want a site that's quick to load, and works in all the popular browsers
  • You want to be able to edit your pages in a browser, and with a proper WYSIWYG editor
  • You'd prefer something that 'just works' to packages that call for complex installation procedures 
  • You want your own layout and styling, not a stock theme 'Dolly the Sheep' job
  • You want to use HTML5 and CSS3, the latest and best markup systems
  • You want a website, not a blog made to look like one
  • You're sick and tired of products that keep getting hacked


Test drive available. Log in with guest. All functions available except save.

Direct download from our main site.

Sourceforge project.


Requires: Apache 2.x webserver with php5.2 or later. Most commercial hosting accounts will meet these requirements. 

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