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Smallbox CMS is a content management system marketed by Smallbox Software that integrates the user interface design of a company's website with a powerful content management engine. The first version of Smallbox CMS was released in 2000 as TheSmallbox CMS. The software has undergone several code revisions, the latest revision is Version 5[1] released October 2008. Smallbox CMS is a hosted solution that runs on a Linux server running on Apache HTTP Server, PHP and MySQL.


The concept for Smallbox CMS was originally conceived in 1999 by Ken Spencer in partnership with Michael Williams and Ion Design. The product eventually launched in 2000 as a content management platform developed for rich user interface designs. Early versions of the software required manual builds for each development project. With each successive code revision, the CMS has made significant improvements. The software is written in PHP and integrates a MySQL database to manage content and render page requests.

Early Versions[edit]

Early versions of Smallbox CMS required dedicated code development for each instance of a website build, essentially requiring bespoke coding for each project.

Smallbox CMS Version 3[edit]

Version 3 of Smallbox CMS deployed a template page management structure that required a preset format for page layouts. This version of the system was in release from 2002-2005

Smallbox CMS Version 4[edit]

Version 4 of the software represented a major step forward in terms of functionality and design flexibility, however site development timelines were impacted by the requirements to customize each site build. Smallbox CMS 4 was in release from 2006 - 2008.

Smallbox CMS Version 5[edit]

The most recent version of the software is Smallbox CMS Version 5, released in October 2008. Smallbox CMS 5 is a modular system and represents a complete code architecture rewrite. The core engine at the heart of Smallbox CMS 5 is able to dynamically integrate new modules with little or no impact on core functionality. Each module (articles, blog, gallery, etc.) can have its own functionality set, which ties into the content management system's core functionality. Site development is more efficient in this new format and allows for a more stable code base.

Software Features[edit]

The CMS features a simple to use WYSIWYG editor that allows page edits to happen in situ on the site. The feature-rich toolset enables individuals to update and maintain website content without having to know how to edit or program HTML/PHP. The user interface is unique in that it enables site administrators to update site content through their existing website structure. Pages, modules and content is managed through edit points visible in administration mode or through a toolbar that sits above the site's primary navigation.

Standard Content Management Modules[edit]

Standard content management modules include: article management, blogs, calendar of events, discussion forums, document library, FAQs, image gallery, polls, search, sitemap, and video display and management. Because Smallbox CMS is flexible, modules may be added or deleted as required.

Each module ties in to the core application, which enables edit/version tracking, date publishing, search engine optimization (SEO) and user administration.

Add-on Components[edit]

Because Smallbox CMS deploys a modular development architecture, modules can be added or removed without altering the base structure of a website. Add-on components include the full range of standard modules (page, article, blog, calendar, image galleries, polls, rss feeds, search, and video. A full-featured eCommerce module and eNewsletter module for e-marketing are available as add-on components.

Notable Websites Powered by Smallbox CMS[edit]

Smallbox CMS powers many notable websites including: BMO Vancouver Marathon; British Columbia Film Commission[2]; Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC); Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC); International Council of Graphic Design Associations (Icograda); International Council of Society's of Industrial Design (Icsid); and United States Green Building Council's Green Playbook.

Service Level Agreement Software License[edit]

Because Smallbox CMS is a hosted solution and uses a Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery model, each website hosted on the software requires a service level agreement (SLA). The SLA covers the performance environment provided for each website development as well it includes core functionality upgrades as they become available.

SLA License Options[edit]

There are three SLA license options (basic, standard and dedicated server).


  1. ^ "CMS Wire". Retrieved 2009-04-22. 
  2. ^ "Ion Design". Retrieved 2009-04-22. 

External links[edit]