5 Open Source CMS for Websites

Open Source has been a “buzz word” for quite some time. Open Source Content Management Systems (CMS), like WordPress, has become increasingly popular because of its inherent cost structure (virtually free), ease of use, scalability, and workflow. With more people building their websites and blogs with open source CMS systems, we wanted to outline 5 of the more popular open source Content Management Systems for websites.


WordPress is one of the most popular CMS available. It was initially developed for Bloggers but now has morphed into a framework for corporate website development. Some of the more popular WordPress websites are  Mashable, Phone.com, Anderson Cooper 360, and many others. Key Features of WordPress include:

  • Easy installation.
  • 1000’s of high quality themes and plug-ins.
  • Easy to add popular and common features
  • Easy to administer


Drupal was designed for mid to high traffic sites. Drupal is a powerful and expandable system that allows an individual or a community of users to easily publish, manage and organize a wide variety of content on a website. Some popular Drupal websites include: Penn State University, FastCompany, MTV United Kingdom, and many others. Key Features of Drupal include:

  • Highly scalable
  • Large support base
  • Easy to use end-user interface
  • Very expandable
  • Large support base


Joomla is another common open source website CMS. It is recognized for its ease of use as well as for creating e-commerce, media portals, online communities, and fantastic looking websites. Widely known Joomla websites include IHop.com, TheHill.com, Linux.com. Features of Joomla Include:

  • User Management
  • Polls
  • Search
  • Content Management
  • Menu Manager
  • Largest number of plug-ins


Umbraco was not designed to be a plug and play solution like Drupal or Joomla. Umbraco has become very popular with designers due to the open template system and ability to build in guidelines that automatically format the content writers provide. Also, it uses ASP .NET “master pages” and XSLT, so you won’t have to work with a heaped-together template format. Umbraco boasts that it powers more than 85,000 websites is one of the most deployed Web Content Management Systems on the Microsoft stack. Other sites utilizing Umbraco include:Heinz.com, SanDisk.com, and Speedo.com. Key Features of Umbraco include:

  • Enhanced User Interface
  • .NET support
  • Tighter package integration
  • Built in media library
  • Widgets
  • Multi-level galleries


Pligg was created with social networking in mind. The benefit of Pligg is the ability to create your own social network. Pligg enables the user to utilize social publishing software that persuades visitors to register on their website allowing them to develop and submit content while connecting with others. Some popular Pligg websites include Marketing Land and BizSugar. Features of Pligg include:

  • Private messaging
  • Module system
  • RSS feeds
  • Multiple language support
  • Advanced comment system

More companies and individual are turning to open source CMS systems to build their websites. Are you using an open source CMS, if so which one and how has your experience been?