Lightweight Open-source Web Engine for Your Web-based Learning Portal

The List of Web Engine

Here are the list of web engine sorted based on the ease-of-use. I have personally tried each and I was impressed with features each offers. The most prominent feature each web engine offers is open-source - meaning that each is free to be configured and applicable for any purpose.

#1 PicoCMS

Individuals behind PicoCMS declares PicoCMS as lightweight web engine which is capable of making information accessible online through the internet. The installation is relatively simple. I have designed some websites based on PicoCMS and they all work as expected.

I personally admire PicoCMS for its simplicity. Yet, it is open-source. It enables installation and configuration even by individuals who do not really into web coding. The installation and configuration are also well-documented. In addition, it has abundant plugins and supported by fellow PicoCMS users around the world.

PicoCMS is downloadable at

#2 GravCMS

Grav is also lightweight web engine which allows easy installation and configuration. It is open-source CMS that is fast and flexible. In addition, it offers multiple-sites just by installing single GravCMS on your hosting. Grav CMS is available at

#3 Bolt CMS

It is available at The team offer the Bolt CMS at no cost at all - open-source. Bolt CMS has been trusted by many web developers for its lightweight and its ease-of-use. Educational organization accessible at, web offering insurance accessible at, and web on finance accessible at trust Bolt CMS to run their website.

#4 Microweber

As the name suggests, Microweber really comes in micro in terms of size. The most promising feature offered by Microweber is drag-and-drop or live edit feature which allows you to compose you teaching and learning content just like you design your Power Point slides or Keynote slides. This web engine is also supported by active members and equipped with complete documentation. To opt this, visit

#Bonus: Wordpress

To be clearly out-of-the-box, I placed Wordpress as the last web engine to opt. It is not because Wordpress is not capable of handling teaching and learning purposes but because it is not a kind of lightweight CMS. The size of it is approximately 40MB and that is only for the Wordpress itself - without plugins, without web content (post, picture, etc.).

Basic Installation Process

Each of web engine mentioned in this post requires you to buy hosting and domain. Hosting and domain providers nowadays provide hosting and domain in package. So that you can buy both at once.

The hosting can be analogized as drive where all of your website data are stored so that they are accessible online worldwide. However, your website data cannot be accessed without a domain name. A domain can be analogized as virtual address where people should visit to get information you store inside the web. The most common domain ends with .com, .net, or .org.

After geting your hosting and domain, here are things you shold do next in general:

  1. Download your preferred web engine.
  2. Upload it to your web server (hosting).
  3. If it is compressed file (ended with .zip, .rar, .tar.gz), simply find the 'extract' button on the menu of your web server.
  4. After exctraction is completed, access your domain on the new tab on your web browser. The installation process will apply.
  5. Fill the information needed: The name of your website, short description, your email, etc.
  6. Fill your web with content.
  7. Design the flow that meets the pedagogical flow of your course (such as creating menu called 'lesson' containing list of material; 'activity' containing list of activity; etc.).
  8. Announce your website domain (url) to your students.

The steps above are provided just in general since the steps are too technical. For compplete information regarding installation and configuration, kindly visit the homepage of each web engine mentioned in this post. The installation process is there. In case you experience difficulty in installing and/or configuring the web engine, join the forum/community and address the technical issues you experience there.

Also Read: Instructional Learning in Web-based English Coursebook

Content posted on blog may contain subjective interpretation. You are highly suggested to check the reference quoted in every page of the blog to ensure the validity of information provided.

This blog may also contain affiliate links which send me some bucks if you take action on my referrals.