Top 3 Opensource PHP Based CMS's

Posted: 21 June 2011

Top 3 Opensource PHP Based CMS's

There are many opensource content management systems available today and choosing the right one to use can be difficult. Below we will talk about our 3 favourite PHP based content managenent systems in order of usability.

1. MODx

MODx CMS is currently our number 1 choice for an opensource CMS.  Flexibility is key as far as we are concerned, the CMS needs to be able to suit our clients requirements easily and efficiently. The thing that we like most about MODx is that we can create any type of web design we can think of and we can guarantee that it can be integrated into it. Some of it's features include:

  • Web 2.0 - MODx doesn't force you into choosing a particular Javascript library. It gives you the freedom to choose jQuery, Mootools, ExtJS, Prototype or any other library that's currently available.
  • Strong Web Standards - You can build W3C compliant websites with ease. 
  • SEO Friendly - Easy to use search engine friendly URL's and the ablility to use different meta information for each and every page.
  • Easy to use Text Editor - Rich text editors are simple add-ons in MODx making it easy to use your editor of choice. It currently downloads with TinyMCE ready to use but you can easily use others such as FCKEditor.
  • Custom Content Types - MODx documents can easily be changed into different formats including PDF, Excel, Word or XML.
  • Add-Ons - There are 100's of modules and add-ons provided by the MODx community of developers.

2. Expression Engine

ExpressionEngine, created by Ellis Labs, is a commercial Content Management System (CMS) based upon an Open Source foundation. Although built of an opensource framework, Expression Engine is a license based CMS, ranging from $100 for a Freelancer license to $300 for a comercial license. The license fee is a one off fee, afterwards you will get some great community support as well some directly from EE themselves. Some great features are below:

  • Template Engine - The template engine allows you to create dynamic, content driven websites using their powerful tag system.
  • Add-Ons - EE comes with 22 modules and over 100 plugins.
  • Member Management - You can build a community easily using the membership module.
  • Communications - You have the ability to manage mailing lists and send email in a few different ways.
  • Commenting - The user commenting module allows your users to participate in the discussions.

3. WordPress

WordPress is primarily a bloggers paradise where you can easily setup a blog website with a pre-made theme in no time at all. However it can also be used quite effectively as a CMS. Although not as powerful, in terms of features, as MODx and EE it can still be a good choice for simple websites where blogging is essential. Here are some important features:

  • WordPress Pages - Allows you to manage non-blog pages such as about us or our services pages.
  • Comments - Your visitors can leave comments on your blog posts easily. You can also disble/enable comments on a per post basis.
  • User Registration - Users can register through the website before being allowed to post comments etc.
  • Password Protected Posts - You can assign passwords to individual posts to hide them from public view. You can also have private posts that are only viewable by the author.

Feel free to let us know your top 3 CMS's are by tweeting us @Design_Fresh, dropping us a line on our Facebook, or sharing the blog on Google+ with a comment or two. We would love to hear from you!

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