10 Free Open Source PHP/MySQL Content Management Systems


Many Web designers begin with WYSIWYG HTML editors like Dreamweaver or Frontpage, not realizing that there are easier ways to get things done — like using a free content management system!

Here are 10 top-notch open source content management systems that are powered by PHP/MySQL — in no particular order, except that I am biased towards Drupal ;)



Drupal is the winner in my book. This blog is running on Drupal so I'm a little biased. :)

Drupal also powers sites by Warner Bros. Records, Forbes, AOL, Yahoo, and The Onion.

Drupal is fairly easy to use once you get past the initial learning curve. Drupal is easier to customize than many other content management systems because of features like custom content types and the Views module.



WordPress is the classic blogging system. It's easy to install and there are a huge number of plugins and themes available. If you want a blog, you can't go wrong with WordPress.

Examples of people using WordPress are Ford, Problogger, NASA, Yahoo, and Ferenc Ecseki's photographer blog.



Joomla is a powerful open-source content management system with a very active user community and many modules that you can add to increase functionality.

A top-notch example of a Joomla site is this Japan HDR photography site.


Textpattern CMS and blogging platform

Textpattern is an elegant blogging/CMS platform that takes a while to get used to if you are coming from WordPress, but it is a top-notch system that powers many great sites like pvponline.com, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Jacksonville, and the Last.fm blog.

CMS Made Simple

CMS Made Simple

CMS Made Simple lives up to its name as being an easy system to install, configure, and use. It doesn't have as many features or as large of a user community as Drupal, WordPress or Joomla, but it's a good option if you want to get something online fast without much of a learning curve.

An example of a site using CMS Made Simple is Youth Action for Peace.



SilverStripe is a promising CMS that is built with an MVC coding framework, is modular, and licensed under the BSD license.

Examples of people using SilverStripe CMS are Cornell University, PhotoPlaces.be, and PlanHQ.com.


modx CMS

MODx is a new CMS that shows a lot of promise.

Some sites using MODx are TheSoundIsInMyHead.com, The Swell Guys, and Bryan College.


Pixelpost photoblogging CMS

Pixelpost is a very simple, very cool photoblogging application that lets you easily upload and share photos.

Example sites running Pixelpost are batailley.net, Pixelcandy, j-roumagnac.net, and ubbedall.dk's photoblog.


Typo3 CMS

Typo3 is known for having a brutally steep learning curve, but it is powerful enough to do just about anything.

Examples of sites made with Typo3 are the Athens Metro operation company, amala.org, and Splash Festival.


Mediawiki logo

Mediawiki is the wiki software that powers Wikipedia. It has a large amount of features, and is heavy-duty enough to run one of the most popular sites on the Web.

Examples of sites running Mediawiki are Wikipedia.org, Mahalo.com, and the Mono Project.

Evaluating Content Management Systems

You can take the above content management systems for a test drive at OpenSourceCMS.com.


you missed PmWikiIt's so

you missed PmWiki

It's so awesome to code templates for it, basically like 3 tags and any HTML file can be a template.


Webmaster Tips's picture


I haven't used pmwiki — thanks for mentioning it!

Here is a link to pmwiki:

pmwiki wiki software

Nice Review

Very nice review, and indeed CMS is the wave of the now and future...thanks!! All The Best, Keith Johnson, Author, 365 Great Affirmations.

open source

Does anyone know if there is an open source system for something like all experts or q&a sites

or even if there are plugins so that you can use joomla, mediawiki etc for q&a

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