List of Free, Open Source Content Management Systems (CMS)

Jan 14, 2013

A list of best, free and open source Content Management Systems. The idea of content management system (CMS) started about 20 years ago. In simple words, CMS is a computer application designed to help create, edit, publish and manage content efficiently from a central interface. There are different types of CMS for different content such as text, documents, multimedia, computer files etc. Also not all of them are open source or free. Looking for a good CMS script or application to build & run your new website? Not sure which script is right for you? In this article we will try to list the best open source Content Management Systems for web content or websites. Read on to discover the world’s most popular free CMS scripts.

Best Free Open Source CMS

Best Free & Open Source CMS Applications:


Drupal is one of the most popular CMS software available in market today. First released in 2001, Drupal is a free, open source application. It is written in PHP and is released under GNU GPL license. The Drupal core comes with many essential features of a CMS. For example: system administration, user management, layout customization, blogging, forums, RSS feed, contact forms etc. With thousands of available modules and themes, Drupal can be easily extended and customized to run virtually any kind of website. Drupal also comes in many custom distributions, which allows users to easily setup and run specific types of websites. Examples of Drupal distributions: OpenPublish for new sites, Commerce Kickstart for ecommerce, Open Enterprise and more.

Drupal official website:


WordPress is the most popular blogging tool or blogging software available today. Initially released in 2003, WordPress now has the ability to perform as CMS. This open source application is continuously being developed and released under GNU GPLv2 license. WordPress features include user accounts, multi-user support, multiple blogs, theme management, plugins system, media management, custom URL permalinks, comments, RSS feeds and more. There are thousands of plugins & themes (free & premium) for WordPress. The CMS functions of WordPress can be easily extended by using suitable plugins or themes. Example use of WordPress as CMS include: e-commerce sites, news sites, college website, community portal and more. Technogadge runs on this awesome open source application.

WordPress official website:


Another extremely popular CMS released under GNU GPL license. Joomla came into existence in year 2005 as a fork of Mambo. Today Joomla is a powerful application backed by lots of core features & thousands of available extensions. From personal websites to full fledged corporate portal and from e-commerce sites to intranets, Joomla powers all sort of websites. Some core features of this open source CMS include: user management, content management, language management, media manager, template system, menu manager, banner management, RSS feed, extensive administration area etc. The Joomla extensions offer additional functionality and makes it suitable for almost any kind of web project. Also there are many premium extensions, which offers out of the box solution for specific types of websites.

Joomla official website:


Plone is a powerful CMS built on top of Zope and CMF. It is a open source application and was first released in 2001. Plone today powers thousands of websites – from blogs to large corporate websites. Plone CMS is known for it’s extensibility. It has advanced features like inline editing, collaboration & sharing, multilingual content management, load balancing, powerful workflow, portlet engine, caching (Squid), rules engine for content, ZEO (Zope Enterprise Objects), resource compression, live search, etc. Also add-ons extends a Plone site with additional functionality. Plone works on all modern operating systems. But it is a CPU & RAM heavy application, which runs own daemon processes. So, minimum requirement for Plone hosting is a virtual private server (VPS).

Phone official website:


The MODX is a open source CMS and PHP application framework. It was first released in 2005. The classic code base of the application is called MODX Evolution, which is suitable for running smaller websites. On the other hand, the current production release (MODX Revolution) is feature rich and highly scalable. Some features of MODX include Object-Oriented API, Content Filtering, Attribute Based Access Control lists, caching system, core logging, Database-managed sessions, multi-language support etc. The free CMS also supports add-ons, which one can download from the official site. MODX can work on Linux, Windows & Mac OS X platforms, provided the web server meets minimum requirements.

MODX official website:


Concrete5 is a free, open source CMS application released under MIT software license. Some core features are: integrated server caching, developer API, optional openID, version tracking system, and search engine optimization. One of the unique features of Concrete5 is inline content editing. The in-content editing eliminates the need for login to backend for editing web pages. The concrete5 Marketplace offers many add-ons for extending the capabilities of the CMS. Note that Concrete5 may not work well on all shared hosting environment.

Concrete5 official website:


The TYPO3 is a free, enterprise class content management system and web application framework. First released in 1998, TYPO3 is one of the oldest CMS applications. Some features of the current version of TYPO3 include stable core, API-driven extension framework, permissions system, scalable architecture, template system, user-friendly rich-text editor, etc. The best thing about TYPO3 CMS is that it offers out-of-the-box solution for both small and larger sites. This robust web content management framework will work on almost any standard hosting with PHP and MySQL.

TYPO3 official website:


DotNetNuke is a web content management system for Microsoft .NET platform. Some key features of this CMS include multiple portals on single install, File management, cloud compatible, banner advertising, recycle bin, security roles, host & administrator accounts, Bulk email, newsletter etc. The catch is that only the DotNetNuke Community Edition is free and open source. The Professional and Enterprise editions comes with advanced features and are priced at four figures per year. Overall, DotNetNuke is a good CMS for building web sites and web applications on Microsoft server.

DotNetNuke official website:


The e107 is an advanced CMS designed to be flexible and easy to use. It is open source and free. Some of the key e107 CMS features include easy installation, powerful administration area, user-registration system, plugin system, News/Blog/Poll/Event Posting, template system, multiple-language support, WYSIWYG editor, RSS & Newsfeeds, event calendar, discussion forum, advertising module etc. The official site offers several plugins and themes for easy customization. To run e107 CMS, you need a web-Server (Apache or Microsoft IIS) with PHP 4.x or 5.x and MySQL 4.x or 5.x.

e107 official website:


XOOPS is dynamic and open source CMS written in PHP. It is driven by MySQL database and can be used as a web framework to create and run small, medium and even large websites. XOOPS features include modular architecture, user management, group permissions, theme-based skinnable interface, template-based messaging system, multi-language support, etc. The features & usability of a website can be easily extended by using suitable XOOPS modules

XOOPS official website:


phpWebSite is a free, open source web content management system founded by Web Technology Group at Appalachian State University. It is written in PHP and is released licensed under the GNU GPL license. The phpWebSite can be use to start and run both personal and community-driven websites. Some features include modular design, CSS based layout, easy-to-use web based administration, user & group permissions, event calendar, developer API, bulletin board module, sitemap etc.

phpWebSite official Website:

CMS Made Simple:

CMS Made Simple is an open source and free content management system released under the GNU/GPL license. It is a modular & easily extensible application. Some notable features of CMS Made Simple include installation wizard, admin panel, content hierarchy to unlimited depth & size, group permissions, template support, file manager etc. The functionality of a CMS Made Simple website can be easily extended by using extra modules. Minimum system requirement in an web server with PHP 5.2.4+ and MySQL 4.1+.

CMS Made Simple official website:


A PHP content management systems script, SPIP was first released in 2001. It is flexible and is mainly developed to help create magazine structured websites. The main object used to publish information under SPIP is the article. But it also support news items and a forums system can also be included. Other features of SPIP CMS include authentication system, two default levels of access (administrator & editor), petitions, statistics system, cache, customizable interface, database backup etc. SPIP system requirement is modest, which can be found even on free web hosts.

SPIP official website:


SilverStripe is a free and open source CMS released BSD License. This CMS application is ideal for creating and maintaining web sites from a single web-based administration panel. The core of this CMS is actually a PHP Web application framework (SilverStripe Framework). Other key features include WYSIWYG editor, drag & drop functions, themes, widgets, workflow etc. Also, there are many modules 9forums, blogs, forms etc.) which adds additional functionality to the program. SilverStripe CMS can be used to build different types of websites, intranets, and web applications.

SilverStripe official website:


I know this list is not complete. There are many open source CMS scripts which I didn’t tried personally. So, the list is still short. But I’m working on it. Soon I’ll add more content management systems to this Technogadge list. In the meantime why don’t you add your own input? I respect reader opinion or suggestions. If you are experienced in this topic feel free to submit your suggestions or comments.

One Response to “List of Free, Open Source Content Management Systems (CMS)”

  1. Ritu on 17th May, 13 07:05pm #

    I use drupal and wordpress. They are powerful, yet easy to use. Silver stripe cms looks promising. Will give it a try. Does it support multipe users? What about server load? Can you run sliverstripe on a shared hosting?

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