The act of converting content from its original format into a format capable of being displayed on the web

20+1 less known Open Source PHP CMS-es

Anyone who needs to develop a dynamic web site has the esigence to use a Content Management System. Not all web designer have the ability to develop an owner CMS and, most importantly, this choice might be too expensive.

If you want to start your own website and you don’t want to spend too much to use a CMS, read on this article in which are collected 20 less known Open Source CMS-es.

Comparison Table

This is an interesting comparison table with some features of each application described in the post. We have included in the table the license, the PHP version required, if the CMS supports themes and plugins, if it allows you to customize the users or the permissions and other features.

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Click on image above to enlarge


The following list includes the CMS-es listed above with a brief abstract.


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Pixie is a free, open source web application that will help you quickly create your own website. Many people refer to this type of software as a “content management system (cms)”, Pixie developers prefer to call it a small, simple, website maker.

The most important features are:

  • Intuitive interface
  • Easy installation
  • Clean URLs
  • WYSIWYG Editor
  • CSS themes

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Sux0r is a blogging package, an RSS aggregator, a bookmark repository, and a photo publishing platform with a focus on Naive Bayesian categorization and probabilistic content. OpenID enabled (version 1.1); as both a consumer and a provider.

Naive Bayesian categorization is the ouija board of mathematics. Known for being good at filtering junk mail, the Naive Bayesian algorithm can categorize anything so long as there are coherent reference texts to work from. For example, categorizing documents in relation to a vector of political manifestos, or religious holy books, makes for a neat trick. More subjective magic 8-ball categories could be “good vs. bad”, risk assessment, insurance claim fraud, whatever you want.

sux0r allows users to maintain lists of Naive Bayesian categories. These lists can be shared with other users. This allows groups to share, train, and use sux0r together.

sux0r 2.1.0 is open source and is distributed under the GNU General Public License.



 20+1 less known Open Source PHP CMS es

FlatPress is an open-source standard-compliant multi-lingual extensible blogging engine which does not require a DataBase Management System to work. You don’t need MySQL because FlatPress stores all of its content on text files. All you need is some web space supporting PHP4 (or later). The main features are:

  • Standard-compliant (XHTML valid)
  • Plugin support
  • Widget system
  • Easy to customize with themes (powered by Smarty)

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eggBlog is the free php & mysql blog software package, allowing you to create your own online website, journal or weblog (blog) using your own web-space.

Powered by PHP and MySQL, eggBlog has a wide range of features including:

  • easy to use web-based administration to add, edit and delete news articles
  • easy to use web-based configuration to manage your web site settings
  • WYSIWYG easy-to-use text editor for publishing or editing news articles
  • download themes to easily change the style, layout and colours of your site
  • download additional language files (where available)
  • …and more



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Serendipity is a PHP-powered weblog application which gives the user an easy way to maintain an online diary, weblog or even a complete homepage. While the default package is designed for the casual blogger, Serendipity offers a flexible, expandable and easy-to-use framework with the power for professional applications.

Casual users appreciate the way Serendipity’s sophisticated plugin architecture allows you to easily modify both the appearance of your blog and its features. You can install more than120 plugins with just one click, instantly enhancing your blog’s functionality.

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EZ Blog

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EZ is a flexible personal blogging script, main features include:

  • Easy integration to any template, just one line of code to add in your template.
  • Calender interface for archiving.
  • Unlimited number of categories.
  • Admin can approve the comments of user or set it to auto approval.
  • WYSIWYG editor to have your blog content displayed just the way you want.
  • Support for unlimited number of blogs in each category.
  • Auto email notification for comments with unsubscripton option.
  • Comes with auto script installer and installation guide.
  • Requires MySQL database.

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Ninja Blog

Ninja Designs 1290550834754 600x176 20+1 less known Open Source PHP CMS es

Ninja Blog is a PHP based blogging solution. Based upon wordpress, Ninja Blog uses text files instead of a database to store data. Ninja Blog has customisable themes, What you see is what you get editing environment, dynamic RSS feed generation, Archives, Categories and a version checker. Ninja Blog also includes tools to upgrade from a previous installation of Ninja Blog or Dayfox Blog.

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qe 20+1 less known Open Source PHP CMS es

qEngine (qE) is a CMS script to help you building your site quickly. It’s using template engine to separate the php codes from the design. So that you don’t need to touch the php codes to create your site. qE is also expandable by using modules.

For developers, you can use qE as a starting point to develop your own applications. qE has been used to create various web sites and web applications. With qE, you don’t have to deal with boring stuffs, like: page management, news management, user management, template engine, SEO URL, web statistics, administration control panel, etc. You can start right to the more important things.

For end users, you can use qE to start your own web site. From simple sites such as personal web sites, blogs, to more complex ones, such as company portals. is a perfect sample of qE capabilities. uses basic qE with some modules.

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Automne Download Automne software for free at 1290551637009 20+1 less known Open Source PHP CMS es

Automne is a CMS written in PHP/MSQL with that comes with an intuitive EXTJS user interface and a web application generator. Templates and rows can mix XML syntax and PHP. Automne is built for speed and embed a customizable cache system.

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ezpx Lightweight photoblogging 1290551826580 20+1 less known Open Source PHP CMS es

EZPX is a free lightweight photoblog engine having all the features you’d need and a user interface you’ll love to use. Some of its features are:

  • easy-to-use photoblog software written in PHP and MySQL
  • template engine
  • clean and beautiful user interface
  • tagging
  • commenting
  • two level hierarchical pages
  • links
  • continuous development, new features
  • RSS support

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PhobosLab 1290552158805 20+1 less known Open Source PHP CMS es

Asaph is a micro-blogging system, focusing on collecting links and images from other pages. It allows you to post content directly from any page you are on. Asaph is not a full blown blog and it does not aim to be one — it just does this one task, but it’s pretty good at it.

The alternative Stickney Theme also shows date and author information for each post and allows posting of longer texts. You have the freedom to modify these themes to your liking, or create new ones.



habari with tagline 20+1 less known Open Source PHP CMS es

Habari is next-generation blogging. The most important features are:

  • Modular, object-oriented core for easy extensibility
  • Supports multiple database backends (MySQL, SQLite, PostgreSQL)
  • Uses prepared statements throughout to protect against SQL injection attacks
  • Media silos to directly access various ways of media storage, like Flickr, Viddler, or the server’s filesystem
  • Atom Publishing Protocol support
  • Multiple users (authors)
  • Multiple sites on one installation
  • Support for static content (“pages”)
  • Plugins
  • Tagging
  • Importers for Serendipity and WordPress

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Contao is an open source content management system (CMS) for people who want a professional internet presence that is easy to maintain. The state-of-the-art structure of the system offers a high security standard and allows you to develop search engine friendly websites that are also accessible for people with disabilities. Furthermore, the system can be expanded flexibly and inexpensively. Easy management of user rights, the Live Update Service, the modern CSS framework and many already integrated modules (news, calendar, forms, etc.) have quickly made Contao one of the most popular open source content management systems on the market.

Contao Open Source CMS Demo Contao Open Source CMS 2.9 1290605514632 600x413 20+1 less known Open Source PHP CMS es



 20+1 less known Open Source PHP CMS es

Redaxscript is a free, PHP and MySQL driven website engine for small business and private websites. It’s ultra lightweight, simple and customizable. Some features are:

  • Builds contents lightning fast
  • Installation wizard for non-developers
  • XHTML 1.0 strict, CSS 2.1 and RSS 2.0 compliant
  • Search engine friendly environment
  • Unique cross-browser template support
  • Module system with hook points
  • Advanced user and group permissions
  • Bundled with the latest jQuery
  • Ultra lightweight WYSIWYG editor
  • Sub-categories
  • Multiple language and template support
  • Extensive setting options



 20+1 less known Open Source PHP CMS es

TangoCMS is a free and open source (GNU/GPL 2.1) PHP Content Management System (CMS). Its ease of use and powerful feature set allows you to quickly and easily create and manage an entire website.

With TangoCMS, you don’t need to worry about complicated code to create a complex or simple website, it take care of that for you. All you need to do is the most important part, create and manage your content with ease.

Module Manager TangoCMS 2.6.x demo 1290606896216 600x394 20+1 less known Open Source PHP CMS es



pimcore Enterprise Content Management Framework 1290721910010 20+1 less known Open Source PHP CMS es

Pimcore is a powerful and robust Zend Framework based PHP content management system (WCMS) for creating and managing digital content and assets licensed under the open-source BSD license. Besides being a full-featured open-source WCMS system, pimcore is the first and premier PHP open source enterprise product information management framework (PIM) available. This means true multi-channel publishing and integration into ecommerce systems like Magento and OXID eSales.

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TomatoCMS Open source CMS powered by Zend Framework jQuery and 960grid 1290722651352 20+1 less known Open Source PHP CMS es

TomatoCMS is an impressive, powerful Content Management System. It’s free and open source licensed under GNU GPL. TomatoCMS considers each web page made up of many different elements called widgets. You can easily create, customize the layout of your site like never before through a visual tool called Layout Editor very easy and convenient. Layout Editor allows you to not only drag, drop but also configure the widgets as well as preview the layout of the site. TomatoCMS has a lot of built-in widgets, and developers can easily create new widgets.

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Sitellite CMS

Sitellite CMS Sitellite CMS 1290723090643 20+1 less known Open Source PHP CMS es

Sitellite 5 makes updating your website — large or small — straight-forward, simple, and safe.  With a built-in word processor, complete change history for every page, secure access control, and built-in marketing/search engine optimization (SEO) features, Sitellite 5 gives you everything you need to to take your website to the next level.


Exponent CMS

Exponent CMS Open Source Content Management System Enterprise Level Content Managementi Content Management Made Simple CMS with PHP MySQL and YUI 1290723224838 20+1 less known Open Source PHP CMS es

Exponent is a website content management system (or CMS) that allows site owners to easily create and manage dynamic websites without necessarily directly coding web pages, or managing site navigation.

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Cotonti Documentation 1290791326266 20+1 less known Open Source PHP CMS es

Cotonti is the name of Content Management System (CMS), but it is so flexible and easy to customize, that you may feel free to call it Content Management Framework (CMF) as well. So it is a piece of software and design to power websites.

Major Features:

  • Free of charge. Open source code. Community driven.
  • Secure and Reliable.
  • Fast and Lightweight.
  • Modular and extensible with Modules and Plugins.
  • Layout separated from logic. Templates render fast, no PHP skills required.
  • Client-side magic with on-board jQuery.
  • Easy to understand, easy to customize.
  • Internationalized.

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ocPortal is have all the features you’d expect from a website engine: for instance photo galleries, news, file downloads and community forums/chats, but it does so whilst meeting the highest accessibility and professional standards. It is also smart enough to go beyond page management, to automatically handle search engine optimisation, and provide aggressive hack attack prevention.



    1. Flex says:

      Thanks for the presentations.
      How exactly are you defining AntiSpam?
      Because you listed Contao in red for AntiSpam, though it has an integrated Captcha (Simple Math Question) built in and is easily extendable by the reCaptcha module.

    2. Steve Jarvis says:

      Hi, first off great article. I was just wondering if There was a specific reason ocPortal wasn’t listed. I was just wondering whether you class it as more well known or aren’t aware of it, Or if there was another reason.

      We would love to hear your thoughts.

      Have a good day and Kind Regards

      Steve Jarvis

    3. Hi,

      For you information, as far as Automne is concerned : it does support multilingual and plugins as well as anti-spam (without captchas).

      Automne 4.1 is about to be released and you can download a i18n plugin to handle as many languages as you need :

      To protect end users from evil spam robots, Automne generates encrypted form fields. That is enough to discourage them.