Top 12 Free Content Management Systems (CMS)




Building websites by hand with all html/css pages was fine a couple years ago, but these days there are a ton of awesome Content Management System options out there that make our jobs as developers and website publishers SO much easier!

So, What Exactly Is A Content Management System?

According to Wikipedia, they describe a CMS as follows:

A web content management system (WCMS or Web CMS) is a content management system (CMS) software, usually implemented as a Web application, for creating and managing HTML content. It is used to manage and control a large, dynamic collection of Web material (HTML documents and their associated images). A CMS facilitates content creation, content control, editing, and many essential Web maintenance functions.

So take a moment and look over the list below of the 12 best free cms options available. Some might seem really familiar (we love wordpress) and some others might be new to you. They all deserve your attention for a few minutes. Hell, even test drive a few of them and see if there’s any that might work for a new project – I’m currently digging into SilverStripe which looks to be pretty damn awesome!

And don’t forget to let us know in the comments section which is your favorite CMS and why!

WordPress ↓

WordPress is a state-of-the-art publishing platform with a focus on aesthetics, web standards, and usability. WordPress is both free and priceless at the same time. WordPress is also what SpyreStudios and Design Newz run on (as well as my blog design website and my Guerrilla Freelancing blog).

Joomla ↓

Joomla is an award-winning content management system (CMS), which enables you to build Web sites and powerful online applications. Many aspects, including its ease-of-use and extensibility, have made Joomla the most popular Web site software available. Best of all, Joomla is an open source solution that is freely available to everyone.

Drupal ↓

Drupal is a free software package that allows an individual or a community of users to easily publish, manage and organize a wide variety of content on a website. Tens of thousands of people and organizations are using Drupal to power scores of different web sites

SilverStripe ↓

The SilverStripe CMS is a flexible open source Content Management System that gives everyone involved in a web project the tools they need to do their jobs.

Cushy CMS ↓

CushyCMS is a Content Management Systems (CMS) that is truly simple. It’s free for unlimited users, unlimited changes, unlimited pages and unlimited sites.

Frog CMS ↓

Frog CMS simplifies content management by offering an elegant user interface, flexible templating per page, simple user management and permissions, as well as the tools necessary for file management. Born as phpRadiant in January 2007, Frog CMS is a PHP version of Radiant CMS, a well known Ruby on Rails application. Although the two applications still share a family resemblance, Frog is charting its own development path.

MODx ↓

MODx helps you take control of your online content. An Open Source PHP application framework, it frees you to build sites exactly how you want and make them 100% yours. Zero restrictions and fast to build. Super-simple templates in regular HTML/CSS/JS (any lib you want). Registered user systems and a killer community. Welcome to web-building nirvana.

TYPOlight ↓

TYPOlight CMS is a web CMS that Uses Ajax and Web 2.0 technologies, has a live update feature for those of us who have multiple blogs, gives multi-language support and hosts a ton of other great features

dotCMS ↓

The fully functional GPL version of dotCMS continues to forge ahead – providing bleed–edge features and the latest code to a thriving community of developers and users.

Expression Engine ↓

ExpressionEngine is a flexible, feature-rich content management system that empowers thousands of individuals, organizations, and companies around the world to easily manage their website. If you’re tired of the limitations of your current CMS then take ExpressionEngine for a spin…

Radiant CMS ↓

Radiant is a no-fluff, open source content management system designed for small teams that was built on Ruby on Rails. It gives an endless list of awesome features and is definitely worth checking out.

concrete5 ↓

A CMS made for Marketing, but strong enough for Geeks! Concrete5 is an open source content management system. It’s revolutionary – and it’s free.

Learn to build your own CMS with PHP ↓

If you’d like to build your own CMS, Jason Lengstorf has an amazing tutorial posted on CSS-Tricks that will show you step by step how to build a simple CMS for your own website using PHP. It’s definitely worth checking out – I followed the tut and use it for a small note keeping page (similar to a to-do list) and learned a lot about php along the way :)

Your Turn To Talk

So, which CMS do you use? I’m sure many of you folks use WordPress, but have you tried any of the ones listed here? Which one(s) do you like better, and why?





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