Welcome to Speck, a free open-source content management system for ColdFusion. Speck was inspired by Spectra, hence the name, but was designed to be much smaller in scope and cut out lots of the complexity for both developers and users - we just stole the good ideas! Speck is...


Speck is a grandaddy of a CMS. It has been in active use on various production servers since 2003 and although it is still evolving, almost all changes are backwards compatible (they have to be, because we deploy updates to production servers).

High Performance

Speck never suffered from the same performance problems as Spectra, and has been tweaked over the years to deliver very high performance, handling large numbers of concurrent users when the built-in caching features are used.

Simple to Use

Speck concentrates on the core problem of making it easy for users to manage content and does not come with many enterprise level system management features built-in. There is no admin section, just an admin toolbar. In edit mode, users edit content items from the pages on which they are published, using administration links embedded into the page.

Developer Friendly

Speck was originally designed as an object-based content management framework, but not necessarily a complete system out of the box. This means it has a nice neat API to enable developers to rapidly configure and extend the system to meet specific requirements. It also creates database tables and indexes automagically and creates a simple admin interface on the fly, so there is rarely any need to code your own forms for managing content.

Feature Rich

The core Speck content management system provides an API for defining, storing, retrieving and displaying content, and an interface for managing content. It makes very few assumptions about how it will be used and as a result is pretty lightweight in terms of features. However, Speck also comes with what we've called our portal development framework, which is what we use to build Speck sites ourselves. It includes features which appear to be missing in the core CMS, tools for managing users and site navigation, tags for rendering pages with breadcrumbs and menus, a tag to maintain a content index, search engine optimised URLs, an integrated file manager and I'm sure there's some other stuff, but I forget what at the moment. As long you can live with our conventions, you get lots of extra features to play with.

Documentation Poor :-(

Usual story isn't it. Although there is quite a bit of documentation for the core system, there isn't very much for the portal framework. We are slowly documenting it, but for the time being, the best way to figure out how the portal framework works is download the demo and hack the crap out of it yourself.

Platform Independent

Speck requires Adobe ColdFusion but has been designed to be operating system, database and web server independent and has been tested on Windows and Linux with Access, SQL Server, Oracle, PostgreSQL, MySQL, DB2 and Firebird/Interbase and both IIS and Apache. It may work with other CFML engines too, but we haven't tested it.

Free and Open-Source

Speck is licensed under the Academic Free License version 2.1, a non-copyleft license once recommended by the Open Source Initiative. We've been planning to review the license for some time but haven't gotten around to it. If this license doesn't suit you, just let us know.