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An Introduction to Refinery CMS - A Rails Content Management System

In Miscellaneous

Refinery CMS is an open source Ruby on Rails CMS for small businesses. The project was originally closed source for 4 years at Resolve Digital until it was finally released to the open source community in mid 2009. Refinery focuses on doing things "the Rails way" where possible. This means you don't have to learn too much to start theming it and building your own custom plugins.


What it's it good at?

Refinery is great for small business sites where the client needs to be able to update their website themselves without being bombarded with anything too complicated.

Unlike other content managers, Refinery is truly aimed at the end user making it easy for them to pick up and make changes themselves. The UI is clean and simple so the end user feels at ease and hopefully won't bug the developer with questions!

What Features Does It Have?

  • Theming support
  • Easy to use Rails-like plugin generator and plugin architecture
  • WYSIWYG content editing
  • Localisation (currently supports 10 langauges)
  • Page management
  • Image and File management
  • Contact form and inquiry management
  • Search Engine Optimisation

How do I install it?

Firstly install the Refinery CMS gem. This gives you a 'refinerycms' command you can run that creates a new Rails project with Refinery CMS hooked into it.

gem install refinerycms
refinerycms path/to/project

Finally change into the project start the web server

cd path/to/project
ruby ./script/server

Visit http://localhost:3000 and set up your first Refinery user.

What's coming up in Refinery CMS

Refinery is gearing up for it's 1.0 release with Rails 3.0 support. There is also a Refinery Day coming up where members of the community will be combining efforts to support Rails 3. Check the Google Groups below for details.

Useful Links

  • Refinery CMS Website
  • GitHub Repository
  • Official Demo Site
  • Refinery CMS Google Group
  • Official IRC Channel

david-jones.jpgPost written by David Jones. David started Refinery CMS in 2004 and is the Technical Director at Resolve Digital, a Rails development company with offices in New Zealand and California.

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One Comment Response to “An Introduction to Refinery CMS - A Rails Content Management System”

  1. #1
    Carlos Taborda Says:

    This sounds like an interesting addition to the ReadyApps.

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