Top 10 Free Open Source Content Management systems (CMS)

Most web designers/developers prefer building websites with open source CMS because they got lot of support on the web from online communities. Rapid development of plugins for these software’s made them popular and web designers first choice. Depending upon the support, online communities and contributors, plugins/add-ons i am giving the ranking to these CMS. If you found any thing missing or any mistakes in this blog please comment and i will make changes to the post and inform you. Here we have selected 10 free and Best Content Management systems


top cms systems

Although WordPress is released first in 2003 but its root came from b2 that started in 2001.Wordpress is simple Content management system and not as advanced like Drupal. WordPress also got lot’s of support from online communities, lot of beautiful and advanced themes and more themes coming weekly, lot more plugins some 6830 plugins at present included in but you find some plugins searching in google which will be new. is hosting 1020 themes at present and many developers made their themes available on their personal websites too.

WordPress platform is mostly used in making blogs and now a days used in making E-commerce sites but not powerful as Drupal but easy to manage and use in day to day updating purposes. Most blogs in web are now WordPress and support to WordPress is excellent.

WordPress is SEO friendly and automatic pinging to popular search engines is enabled by default, user friendly URL’s are the main advantage that makes WordPress blogs more SEO friendly.

Main disadvantage is it doesn’t have inbuilt forum like in case with Drupal and Joomla, do not offer social networking features. But you can intergrate some major forum softwares with WordPress using available plugins.

Theming cost is less because there are lot more web developers who create WordPress themes and due to heavy competition theming cost will be less.But if you are planning to create large website then don’t go for WordPress.


Best CMS
Drupal is the best open source Content management system available and its supports community is huge and no other CMS have got this much support. There are huge number of Modules/Plugins available for Drupal. The most used plugins in every Drupal site are CCK, ImageField, Views, Image API etc.
There are 6487 modules for Drupal 6.x version and more than 8000 modules for all combined versions. Theming is one of the issue you have to spend your time but if you got a good theme designed, then your website is the most powerful and flexible.
Since Theming of Drupal takes time and resources many would not provide these themes or develop these themes for free. Although not a large amount of themes are available for this CMS unlike WordPress, but used in the creation of flexible and huge websites.
Once you learn how to Create and manage a Drupal site, then you will love to work with this CMS. You can make any type of website with Drupal, E-commerce site, Social bookmarking site, Social networking site, Education site, Tutorial site, powerful portal any thing you like, Such is the power of Drupal and i haven’t seen this much powerful content management system ever on web.

The only disadvantage with Drupal is it is complex and you have to struggle. Once you are familiar with Drupal, then you can make powerful drupal sites. Another is theming issues, A custom made Drupal theme costs you min of 200$ and maximum it can go to 1000$ or even more. I think we have sufficient modules in Drupal and we can use them in making any type of website.

Drupal is SEO friendly, You can create custom URL’s to posts and categories, automatically ping to search engines when the website is updated.

If you want to check which websites are using Drupal, then there is a website which have all the collection of these websites.
One of them is and you can see every Drupal website on web today and some missing but don’t bother they will add it. If you have Drupal website then you can list your website there.
Many sites doesn’t have good design but i am providing here a link when you browse through this website you will find some awesome websites designed in Drupal.


best cms 2009

The third place goes to Joomla regarding best Content management software after Drupal and WordPress. It also got beautiful support from online communities and have more plugins. You can make a average website not powerful as Drupal but powerful than WordPress. Joomla is supported by many modules and large support community and unlike Drupal many theme developers are making their theme available for public use.

You can build online tutorial site, E-commerce site, daily updating blog, college websites and more with Joomla. So, better go for this when you are not building huge site with thousand’s of webpages. Next advantage of using Joomla over WordPress is support of inbuilt forum.

I don’t have the exact count of plugins for Joomla but they are lot more extensions that are enough to build any kind of site.  With that more extensions and support i definitely recommend Joomla and it is also easy to use like WordPress.

You will get theming for Joomla you have to spend some what more than WordPress theming but not very costly like in case with Drupal.


best cms 2009

Mambo is a full featured CMS platform that can be used in making small websites to large corporate websites. You can find hundreds of plugins and add-on packs which makes your Mambo website do more for you. Some of the extensions include forums, multimedia galleries, e-commerce and shopping carts, document management tools, customer relationship managers and lot more.

Mambo is easy to install and once your site is ready, creating and updating content is easy and even a novice user can do that.

Mambo have got lot of support from online communities and if you get any problem you can find the problem online if not you can post to communities so that they can give you a solution.


top 10 best cms 2009Movable Type is also a good blogging platform with multi-user support with more plugins. But when i am in search of many queries on movable type i haven’t got reply.

You get more control over your website with Movable type and you have more plugins and modules that support this platform.

There is a pitfall with movable type and it is lack of support from online communities and few gives online support. So, you have to wait for an answer to a problem for a long time or some times you may not get an answer.


top 10 content management systems

If you want to make an online tutorial website then Moodle is the best choice to work with. You have lot of plugins and modules that are created for Moodle. You can integrate chatting system in Moodle and use this if you want to make a great online tutorials website.

No other platform will make your work easy in creating a website for online tutoring and in this case Moodle best suites your need.


top 10 content management systemsLiferay is an enterprise open source Content Management System which is developed on Java. It is easy to use and you can make the software work for you as your need and wish. Since it is developed on Java most users using this CMS are Large enterprise companies but if you want to build a huge website and with best security then you can go for Liferay.

There are two versions available one is Standard version and another is Enterprise version. Standard version comes in MIT license and costs you nothing but if you want long term support and your’s is a critical environment then Enterprise edition will be a right choice. In Enterprise edition you get training in using Liferay, long term support and some professional services. There are four levels of subscription in Enterprise edition which are termed as Basic, Silver, Gold, Platinum.

LIFERAY have got Fortune 500 companies as their clients and they are receiving support from LIFERAY. There are many large companies using LIFERAY and some of them include h2>Lufthansa, Cisco, Discovery .



top 10 content management systemsDotCMS is Java based open source Content Management System and is used by professionals for large websites. I personally tested the Demo of DotCMS and management of site is very easy and with few clicks you can create new pages, new content add some features.

If you want to go for Enterprise edition, it will cost you $1400+ for a single CPU and Standard edition is available in GPL license.

DotCMS is used in various websites which are from various domains like Education, Corporations, Associations, Health care, Non-Profit organizations and Governmental organizations.

Some of the websites using DotCMS are:


top 10 content management systemsModx is a perfect solution for regular marketing websites and for many custom made web applications. It is built on modern OOP framework and that too Modx is Ajax and SEO friendly CMS. If you want to take full control of your content then prefer this CMS.

Managing site is easy and for a developer theming will be not at all an issue. You can make your website exactly how you want it to be and if you want the showcase of the websites using modx, visit this link and you will find websites made up with modx [].

You can get support for Modx on communities page and forum.You have to register with Modx before getting support.

Modx is supported by many plugins and you can make powerful blogs,e-commerce sites,Education and training sites and lot more.


top 10 content management systems

FrogCMS is a light weight Content Management System which is opensource and developed using PHP. Managing Website is made easy with Frogcms. Frogcms is unique from other CMS because of its templating code.

There are two main advantages with this templating code:

  • PHP is not used in your article pages so the author of articles does not need to know PHP while editing an article.
  • The developer can add new code to the existing code easily like adding photo gallery, news page and i think you may not be proficient in PHP coding for adding code snipplets.

A developer can easily design the template for this CMS and an Admin can easily manage the website with FrogCMS control panel and he can add code to sidebar, footer, header easily.

For now you don’t have too many plugins but if you are a webdeveloper you can easily develop your custom plugins and code the template easily.

Now the support for this cms is not great but hopefully the support from online communities raise in few years.

  1. Jojo Toth says:

    thx for this great article and for listing my article on drupal sites. Drupal is definitely the one!

  2. anyone use alfresco?

  3. John says:

    One of the best free, open source CMS products I’ve used in the last 4 years is

  4. jw says:

    What about DotNetNuke?

  5. Nice list, thanks for sharing.

  6. That’s a good list of the major players.

    I’d recommend also, for very small sites you intend on handing off to a client who wants to handle simple updates, checking out GetSimple, which is also free.

  7. Chris G says:

    Interesting list. I think the web 2.0 buzzwords are being used more loosely than they have in the past.

    WordPress & Moveable Type are, in my opinion, more blog softwares than anything else. I know with the thousands of plugins you can do a bit more with it these days, but still, just an opinion.

    Moodle is an online course management system.

    All of the above could be considered Content Management Systems I suppose, but they’re more specifically purposed CMS software.

    I also agree with jw… Where’s DNN ( in all this. It’s open source, based on a BSD license. Thousands of modules & skins.

    Here are a few stats for you about DNN:
    • 400,000 production websites
    • 700,000 registered community members

  8. Mohsin says:

    where is typo3?

  9. Sick collection, thanks for sharing!

  10. How about Refinery CMS –

    • Ninad says:


  11. Tim says:

    Don´t forget Typolight

    That is my fav at the moment.

    P.S.: WordPress sucks ;-)

  12. Mat says:

    Umbraco should definitely be on this list.

  13. Derek Dole says:

    Don’t know why a lot of people omit free editions of commercial CMSs. Maybe because their vendors doesn’t promote them against the paid versions?

    I would rather go with some tuned, stable and UI friendly free version of commercial CMS – i.e. Kentico or Sitefinity has it.

  14. Great list, thanks. :)

  15. I think very soon WordPress will be the only CMS platform you will need to develop ANY kind of site. So these other platforms will very soon become obsolete

  16. We are currently redeveloping our web site and will need/want to include CMS. I have been looking into a few free, open source options but have been told that there have been a lot of recent issues with hackers with many of those free/open source options. I have also heard that the hackers have been putting some very inappropriate materials on some unsuspecting users’ web sites and that these options may not have enough security to prevent this. Can you please tell me your views on the current state of CMS security (especially free/open source options) and where I can get more information that I can trust on this subject asap? Thanks! Cheryl Katz 770-757-7171

  17. me says:

    What is the life expectancy of Content Management System? I do not mean version of it. My last question is. Is it possible to have an application which create CMS? Thank you for the list.

  18. Opencms is a powerful java CMS with lots of modules/plugins

  19. Gerry Dobles

  20. bayilik says:

    We started to a software as Bayilik Franchise Software. This post gave help us for develop our program. We will send our program for your recommend.

  21. I’ve been working on most of my own web-sites to boost their loading speed. Plenty of great applications in existence to help with this.

  22. Muddasir says:

    Prestashop and magento are best ecommerce portals. However in CMS wordpress and drupal more user friendly then Joomla.

  23. Thanks for the list, personally I’d choose WordPress every time, there are many free plugins and themes which makes this the best platform in my opinion.



  24. drupal is very comprehensive
    wordpress is very easy, and modular
    joomla is unsafe

  25. 정석동 says:

    Thank you for your information sharing. it was very useful to me.

  26. Melissa says:

    I find WordPress to be more user-friendly and easier to manage. I am using this awesome theme at the moment: free wordpress squeeze page template which I think is just the best one out there when you are looking for something simple and easy to use.

  27. PHP basically is a hypertext preprocessor and its a widely used scripting language that was created to make it possible for dynamic webpages to work.

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