Web CMS Software Reviews

Joomla! Logo

Joomla was one of the first major open-source content management systems to really capture a significant share of the market. Although the introduction of many new comers into the CMS vertical has cut into market share, it is still one of the widely-used platforms that power a lot of sites today. Despite the popularity of Wordpress and Drupal, Joomla has a very large, loyal customer base. Users seem to be attracted to its user friendly interface and scalability options for use in creating custom web design.

Drupal Logo

Drupal is an open-source, free content management system programmed in PHP. It is cross-platform, supports multiple databases, and has become very popular as a web development framework among professional programmers and designers. Drupal started as a message board, but it was first released as an open source project in 2001. The name, Drupal, is an anglicized version of the Dutch word “druppel”, which means “drop”, which is where the iconic water-drop mascot came from.

WordPress Logo

WordPress is a free, open source content management system intended for blogs. It is one of the most popular content management systems for blogs, and it can be adapted to serve a variety of purposes, such as displaying static web pages. WordPress is the reincarnation of an older blogging system called b2\cafelog. It competes with a sister-system called b2evolution, but WordPress unquestionably has the higher market share. WordPress was first released in 2003, and it competed with Movable Type.

CMS Made Simple Logo

CMS Made Simple provides an alternative to the weighty management systems. It was designed with the goal of serving the needs of small and medium sized websites without the clutter of too many stock features. Whether you're just making a personal website, a website for an organization, or a website for a small business, CMS Made Simple will help you develop a simple website with very little knowledge.

PHP-Nuke Logo

PHP-Nuke is a very popular content management system which uses an SQL database and is developed in PHP. It is open source and covered under the GPL. Since it falls under the GPL, the source code can be freely distributed. However, version 7.5 and up have required a purchase of the latest package (to support the continuing development of the software), but the source code can still be freely distributed by those that purchase it. The purchase requirement only applies to the latest stable release of PHP-Nuke, and all previous versions are available for free.

Plone Logo

Plone is a content management system based on the Zope application server, which is developed in Python. Its primary development is carried out in week long binges referred to as “Plone Sprints” where developers meet to fix bugs and create new additions. Plone is open source, and it is covered by the GPL. It's name comes from the British band of the same name.

DotNetNuke Logo

DotNetNuke has continually proven itself to be one of the most powerful, yet flexible, ASP.NET CMS platforms on the market. DotNetNuke offers a free community license as well as several commercial licenses as well. It is known for being extremely flexible and easy to customize using skins and modules. With a simple core design, DotNetNuke makes administration and security a simple task to undertake.

MODx Logo

MODx is an Open Source CMS created in PHP that uses the MySQL database, and it is a fork of Etomite. It's 1.0 release took place in July 2009, and it has been awarded by Packt Publishing in 2007 for its early development efforts. Even before the stable release, it has been used by many developers to create websites and has been celebrated for its ease of use.

ImpressCMS Logo

ImpressCMS has turned some heads by taking home the title of “Most Promising Open Source CMS” in 2009. It features a lightweight and flexible core that immediately will draw the attention of website developers that are not looking for a bulky CMS platform. They have continued to improve their platform at an astonishing rate, but there are several potential drawbacks that could become relevant in the near future. While ImpressCMS is improving quickly and has a very real change of competing with the likes of Wordpress and Drupal in the near future, they could also take a step back if they lose focus on their goal of creating a CMS that has a light core and a large amount of flexibility.

Kentico Logo

The Kentico CMS has been around for several years and recently released Kentico 5.5, which features several big upgrades and improvements. Overall, it seems like Kentico fans largely outnumber the people who are not happy with it. Since there are a wide variety of licenses, there are several options that you can choose from, including a free-for-life version. There seem to be more advantages than drawbacks; however the drawbacks will weigh more heavily for some people than others. Here is a closer look at Kentico, its price, features, advantages and drawbacks.


ExpressionEngine (EE) is a CMS platform created by EllisLab, Inc. The latest version v2.1 sees a few noticeable upgrades from the previous 1.0 version. These upgrades have resulted in a smoother, slicker, user-friendly platform, making ExpressionEngine a real CMS contender.

ocPortal Logo

ocPortal has broken into the CMS climate and has many webmasters wondering if it is the right option for them. It has a number of advantages, most notably its power right out-of-the-box. It is a robust CMS, not reliant on addons. However, with the comparatively small community, it is not progressing as quickly as some people expected. There are a number of pro's and con's that need to be considered before either accepting or rejecting ocPortal as your next CMS.

Xoops Logo

Xoops has made a big comeback over the past few years and recently released both a stable 2.4.4 version and the alpha version of Xoops 5.0 within a week of each other. After several years of suffering a development drought, Xoops is quickly regaining its hold on new webmasters and pushing to become a premier open source CMS once again. With big changes already underway could Xoops be the right content management system for your website?

Umbraco Logo

There are a large number of CMSs to choose from when you are getting ready to design a new website. Umbraco has consistently proven to be one of the better Open Source .NET CMS options. However, because of the way that it is designed, getting everything set up is a little different than with other CMS options on the market. It is designed with developers in mind, which means that it will take a little extra effort to get it up and running. Additionally, depending on how well versed you are with the .NET framework, there can be a steep learning curve. Fortunately, once you understand how it works, using it is very easy. Here is a closer look at some of the primary features that Umbraco offers as well as some of the potential drawbacks.

Sitefinity Logo

Software development tool innovator - Telerik - built the Sitefinity web content management platform from the ground up to offer the features, extensibility, and tools developers want. Our team surveyed the market, found major gaps, then made a better CMS. It started with clean code and an elegant API designed to be extended and customized. It flows to features and functionality unlike any other CMS. Our drag & drop functionality and intuitive UI help developers and their clients save time and work more efficiently. Our architecture supports mobile from the inside out with mobile websites, mobile apps, and responsive web design all front and center so you can create superior mobile experiences on YOUR terms. The bottom line: Sitefinity is made to power your success.

ImpressPages Logo

If you are new to CMS software, or looking to adopt a CMS solution but worried about your lack of programming knowledge, ImpressPages could be up your street. ImpressPages is an open source CMS platform (released under a GNU GPL License) that epitomizes the term ‘user-friendly’. Designed to provide users with a semi-automated solution for their content management needs, ImpressPages offers a true drag-and-drop interface. And with other content publishing tools such as the smart cut-and-paste feature, this free CMS platform sounds like a real gem. But has ImpressPages’ sacrificed functionality for simplicity?


SimpleCMS is probably the most simple CMS you will ever use. As with other cloud-based CMS systems (CushyCMS and Pagelime) you need to add specific class names to areas you would like to be able to edit. The difference with SimpleCMS, however, is that the system actually lets you define these areas by either manually adding the code or literally clicking around the page on the areas. They claim it's the first in the world to offer this and we haven't seen it anywhere else so we'd be inclined to agree with them.

Orchard Logo

Microsoft has long been the proverbial boogeyman of the open source community because of its status as the producer of the world's most popular line of proprietary software, Windows. Their actions in the past have certainly warranted the feelings of open source software developers due to Microsoft's resistance to the idea of competition. However, the world has changed quite a bit, and the skills of the modern IT professional require a familiarity with both proprietary and free software. Microsoft, too has realized the positives of open source software as exemplified by their creation and continued development of Orchard CMS.