I’ve currently got an ongoing project at work, part of which entails redeveloping a website and providing a news section. Given the functionality needed (not a lot) I would normally knock something together with PHP and MySQL, give it a basic admin panel and make do. This is totally sufficient, and would normally take maybe 4-6 hours depending on the day of the week and my caffeine intake (you think I’m kidding? ;) )
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on which way you look at it) I’ve got a lot on at the moment so I’m looking to efficiently reduce my workload without sacrificing quality of code. In this scenario I would normally resort to the likes of WordPress, but given the size and scope of it I felt it was more than overkill for this particular website. Instead, I looked to Chyrp.
I downloaded Chyrp, and had extracted the zip and installed the script in less than 30 seconds. WordPress has a famous “5 minute install”… well, Chyrp should market a famous 1 minute install because assuming you are able to create a database, that’s all it takes. Despite the fact that I have never seen, let alone used Chyrp before, I thought it was quite impressive that I’d mastered the basics of the script in less than 30 minutes and had fully integrated it into the redeveloped site in around two hours. There are a few things I need to tweak layout-wise, but everything is working.
Chyrp is seriously lightweight. I’m talking better than WordPress before the bloat fairy got her grubby mitts on it lightweight. The unzipped script comes in at less than 1MB (with WP weighing in at around 5MB) and given the speed and the way it handles, it shows.
That said, I don’t think Chyrp is necessarily a beginners script. It comes bare-bones in terms of formatting, which means knowledge of HTML is a requirement unless you add a module to do it for you. The themes are based on a templating system which, although not overly complex, does require some initial brainstorming to understand the structure and methodology behind it. There is no structured ‘codex’ like WordPress — although I’m led to believe a wiki is in progress — and support seems slow in places because the script author seems to be the only one with the required knowledge of the whole shebang (understandably).
I can certainly see the benefits of such a small script, and assuming the project really takes hold and gains the support of other knowledgeable developers (i.e. people who know more than me) I can seeing it being a great contender in the blog-script arena. I certainly find myself looking for excuses to play with it at the moment!
Screenshot of Default Theme