Couple of years ago people were developing a website by using plain HTML/CSS this practice is now over. These days everyone desires to build their website in less time, minimum administration and without learning too many technologies.

A CMS software make our jobs as website developer and publisher much easier.

What Is A CMS (Content Management System)?

Content Management System or simple CMS are known as website designing software /frameworks or systems. These frameworks are designed for those people who aren’t familiar with website design or complicated code that will usually design a great website and allow them to operate a website easily.

CMS typically has two major components:

  • Front-end user interface known as CMA (content management application) that allows a user, even with limited expertise, to add, modify, and delete content from a website without the help of a webmaster.
  • A content delivery application (CDA) compiles that information and updates the website.

Before going through the free cms list, you may read further following posts.

  1. Choose between CMS Website and HTML-Static page
  2. How To Choose A CMS Website

In this post we are going to look over 20 free CMS Websites available that have made their way to the top in the past years.

Also, don’t forget to tell us in the comments section which is your most loved CMS and why!


20 free cms websites 1 wordpress

WordPress is an online open source and free website creation software based on PHP/MySQL. In other words WordPress is the easiest and most popular blogging and website CMS, used on millions of sites started in 2003 just as blogging system but has evolved to be used as full CMS system, WordPress is limited only by your imagination.


20 free cms websites 2 joomla

Joomla is an award-winning free and open-source content management system (CMS Website) for publishing web content. It is built on a model–view–controller web application framework that can be used independently of the CMS. Joomla is user-friendly, extensible, mobile-ready and most popular Web site software available. 


20 free cms websites 3 drupal

Drupal is free and open-source CMS website. It's used to make many of the websites and applications by individuals or groups of users; even those lacking technical skills. Drupal has great standard features, like easy content authoring, reliable performance, and excellent security. 

Cushy CMS

20 free cms websites 4 cushycms

CushyCMS is a free CMS website that is truly simple, fast setup and does require programming skills. No software to install and take few minutes to setup and produce standards compliant, search engine friendly content. It’s free for unlimited users, unlimited changes, unlimited pages and unlimited sites. 


20 free cms websites 5 silverstripe

The SilverStripe CMS is a flexible open source free CMS website for creating and maintaining websites and web applications loved by editors and developers. The SilverStripe CMS enables websites and applications to contain stunning design, great content as well as compelling interactive and social functions. It is based on PHP5-based programming framework and ensures people and search engines can find your site easily. Authors have complete control over the page URL’s and can create custom meta data for pages, images and links. 


20 free cms websites 6 modx

MODx CMS is a free cms website application framework for publishing content on the internet and intranets. An Open Source written in PHP and supports MySql and Microsoft SQL Server as the database. Super-simple zero restrictions and fast to build. MODX cms sites are most secure, scalable can be self host or join 1000s in MODX Cloud. It was awarded Packt Publishing's Most Promising Open Source Content Management System in 2007. 


20 free cms websites 7 contao

Contao CMS (formerly TYPOlight) is a free CMS website for publishing content. An open source CMS used by Enterprises, Business, E-Commerce and Portal websites. Contao is based on open web standards and is easily adaptable to your needs. 


20 free cms websites 8 dotcms
dotCMS is CMS for managing content and content driven sites and applications. dotCMS is an open-source and free cms website for small to medium sized businesses, dotCMS Quick to deploy, open source, Java-based, open APIs, extensible and massively scalable, dotCMS can rapidly deliver personalized, engaging multi-channel sites, web apps, campaigns, one-pagers, intranets - all types of content driven experiences - without calling in your developers. dotCMS is architected to never hit the database once the cache is loaded (you can even turn the database off completely), even while pages and content stay completely dynamic. 

Expression Engine

20 free cms websites 9 expressionengine

ExpressionEngine CMS is a client friendly, robust and powerful CMS that empowers thousands of individuals, organizations, and companies around the world to easily manage their website. ExpressionEngine Is Infinitely Extensible and highly secure template based and mobile ready software. ExpressionEngine helps you Create Once, and Publish Everywhere. ExpressionEngine has built-in spam prevention and member management at your finger tips.

You can download ExpressionEngine Core for free, that is feature-limited edition and may only be used to power personal and hobby sites that do not engage in commercial activity and must include a "powered by ExpressionEngine" credit on. 

Radiant CMS

20 free cms websites 10 radiant

Radiant CMS is a no-fluff, open source CMS designed for small teams it is built on Ruby on Rails so it can be easily extend. Radiant CMS is free for commercial and non-profit use. You are free to modify and distribute Radiant as long as you don’t remove the appropriate notices from the source code. 


20 free cms websites 11 concrete5

Another free and open-source CMS that runs on a web server made for Marketing, concrete5 enables In-context editing using WYSIWYG and Drag and Drop. It can be used to create forms and surveys as well as Beautiful Blogs without any design or code needed. concrete5 is SEO Enabled and Secure, you create private and protected web pages that only specific members can assess.

CMS Made Simple

20 free cms websites 12 cmsmadesimple

CMS Made Simple is a free, open source CMS built using PHP/MySql, allows for faster and easier management of website content. This CMS is scalable for small businesses to large corporations. The template system is driven using the Smarty Template Engine. CMS Made Simple aims to provide easy development and customization with themes, add-on modules, dynamic menus, tags and translations. In 2010 it won the Packt Publishing annual award for open source content management.


20 free cms websites 13 refinery

Refinery CMS is 100% free and open source CMS website perfect for creating custom content manageable website based on Ruby on Rails so you have to learn as little as possible to get started. Refinery CMS is super simple and easy to use Slick, clean user interface. It is modular and extendable so you can create your own extension to get what you want.


20 free cms websites 14 e107

e107 CMS is open-source and free CMS based on PHP/MySQL which gives you a totally dynamic and professional website "out of the box". E107 is easily customizable and doesn't require any knowledge of programming languages. It is simple to use for a novice and yet powerful and flexible enough to meet the needs of professionals. 


 20 free cms websites 15 opencms

OpenCms professional, easy to use website CMS that helps content managers worldwide to create and maintain beautiful websites fast and efficiently. OpenCms is based on Java and XML technology. It can be deployed in an open source environment (e.g. Linux, Apache, Tomcat, MySQL) as well as on commercial components (e.g. Windows NT, IIS, BEA Weblogic, Oracle). As true open source software, OpenCms is free of licensing costs.


20 free cms websites 16 typo3

TYPO3 CMS is a free and open source web CMS written in PHP. It can run on several web servers, such as Apache or IIS. TYPO3 is credited to be highly flexible. It can be extended by new functions without writing any program code. Due to its features, scalability and maturity, TYPO3 is used to build and manage websites of different types and size ranges. According to the ability to support a corporate environment, it classifies itself as an enterprise level content management system.

Hippo CMS 

20 free cms websites 17 hippocms 

Hippo CMS is an open-source Java CMS for creating personalized experiences across all channels. Hippo's clean, modular architecture and support for open standards make it the ideal solution for agile development and open integration.

It is a user friendly and designed to deliver enterprise level performance and reliability and can be fully adapted to fit in any existing environment. It features a user friendly interface including a modern AJAX GUI with drag & drop and auto-save functionality. Hippo CMS is 100% open source and available under the ASL 2.0. Some modules are only available under a commercial license.


20 free cms websites 18 ez

eZ Publish is an open source enterprise PHP CMS. eZ Publish is freely available under the GNU GPL version 2 license, as well as under proprietary licenses that include commercial support. eZ Publish supports the development of customized web applications. Typical applications range from brand sites, news sites and intranets to e-commerce, collaboration portals and iOS/Android apps. eZ Publish provides role-based multi-user access, multi-site management and multi-device delivery to desktops, tablets, phones and the Internet of Things (IoT) such as Smart TVs and digital kiosks.


20 free cms websites 19 symphony

Symphony CMS is a free and open source content management system. Written in PHP/MySQL, Symphony leverages open standards like XML and XSLT, making it an ideal tool for the semantic web. 


20 free cms websites 20 plone

Plone is based on the Zope server a free and open source CMS. Plone is positioned as "Enterprise CMS " and is commonly used for intranets of large organizations such as Federal bureau of investigation (US), Brazilian government, UN, Switzerland city of Bern, the government of New South Wales (Australia) and the European Environment Agency

Plone's followers mention their security history and accessibility as reasons to choose Plone.

Build your own CMS with PHP and MySql

If you’d like to build your own CMS, 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 and MySql. In It this tutorial you learn How to create a database , connect to a database, display a form with two fields, save the form data in the database and display the saved data from the database.

Final Word

So, which CMS do you use? Which one(s) do you like better, and why?

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