Summary: Discover the best options for building your website with our list of free and open-source CMS platforms. Get the details on each software to find the best fit for you!
In today’s digital age, businesses and organizations must have a strong online presence to stay relevant and competitive. A content management system (CMS) is essential for managing website content, enabling users even without technical skills to create, edit, and publish web pages.
While many CMS platforms are available on the market, open-source software offers some distinct advantages. Open source CMS platforms offer greater flexibility and customization options, allowing users to customize their websites exactly as they want. Additionally, open-source software is typically free of charge or available at a lower cost than proprietary software.
With that said, let’s explore the best free and open-source CMS platforms available in the market.
Table of Contents
Why Use Open Source and Free CMS Software?
Open-source and free Content Management Software has become increasingly popular among website developers in recent years. These systems offer a range of benefits that make them a top choice for businesses and individuals looking to build their online presence.
One of the obvious reasons is that open-source and free CMS software is extremely cost-effective. As the name suggests, these platforms are free to use, and users can save significant amounts of money on licensing fees when compared to proprietary software solutions.
- Flexibility: With open-source and free CMS software, developers can customize and modify the codes to meet specific business needs.
- Community Support: Open source CMS platforms have large communities of developers who contribute to its development, share knowledge, and provide support.
- Security: Open-source CMS software is often more secure than proprietary systems since it undergoes rigorous testing by a large community of experienced developers for security vulnerabilities.
- Integrations: Free and open-source CMS platforms are designed to integrate easily with third-party applications such as social media platforms, multiple payment gateways, and marketing automation systems.
Top 9 Free and Open Source CMS Platforms
While there are many CMS platforms available in the market, not all of them are free or open source. Here’s a list of the top free and open-source CMS platforms that offer robust functionality and customization options.
More than 40% of websites online are built using WordPress. As a top web builder, it is free and offers 50,000+ plugins. It’s a renowned content management system empowering users of any skill level to build websites, blogs, newsletters, and more.
With a range of products, businesses can customize their sites using several plugins and apps.
Features of WordPress
- You can easily upload your images and videos with an in-built media library
- SEO-friendly platform that works on the latest SEO norms
- It also offers an application framework to build app
- Offers user management module for administrators
- Easily integrates with social media platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.
Pros and Cons of WordPress
Drupal is a powerful platform designed specifically for professional web developers. It offers a flexible API structure that allows for seamless integration with various digital platforms. Compared to Joomla and WordPress, Drupal offers improved performance and security.
It comes with built-in web development features that enhance its functionality, making it a popular choice among developers. Additionally, Drupal stands out from other CMS software as it attracts a larger amount of web traffic.
Features of Drupal
- Offers utmost security and data encryption
- Comes with various marketing automation tools
- Ensures web uptime with no server outages
- Easy personalization according to your customers
Pros and Cons of Drupal
If you need a more advanced website, Joomla is the way to go. It is a user-friendly content management system (CMS) designed to create simple websites and complex web applications. It offers a range of features that make it a popular choice among website developers.
Joomla is known for its mobile and search-engine-friendly features, ensuring that websites built with Joomla are easily accessible and discoverable. Moreover, Joomla is multilingual, allowing users to create websites in multiple languages effortlessly.
Features of Joomla
- Easy content and user management
- Offers a variety of templates in different niche to build a personalized website
- It offers a separate platform for e-commerce sites
- Little to no-code web developer platform
Pros and Cons of Joomla
Designed for professional web developers, Umbraco is a versatile CMS software that offers easy editing options and 300+ extensions. Its intuitive interface empowers editors to handle content tasks, preview and publish, and schedule campaigns.
It supports multilingual content creation and management for diverse channels, allowing content reuse across blog posts, mobile apps, and digital signage campaigns.
Features of Umbraco
- Offers in-built multi-device preview to check how your website will look on different devices
- In-built themes and customizable templates
- High-level HTTPS security
- Offers SEO and marketing automation features
Pros and Cons of Umbraco
DjangoCMS is a lightweight and user-friendly content management system (CMS) designed to address the challenges of web developers. It easily integrates with other software, allowing rapid development and utilization of its publishing and editing features.
With an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, it is the ideal choice for content managers and editors, offering seamless support for multilingual publishing.
Features of DjangoCMS
- Rich support for content and media
- Easy and quick front-end editing
- CRM and Marketing integrations
- Extraordinary security features
Pros and Cons DjangoCMS
DotCMS is an enterprise-grade hybrid content management system that helps in creating, managing, and delivering content to any digital platform. It offers the benefits of both headless and traditional CMS.
It also provides content separation and visual editing tools. The software empowers content creators and developers with easy content creation tool and delivery capabilities.
Features of DotCMS
- Multi-site management
- Vanity URLs and URL rewriting
- Customized roles and permissions for your content
- Easily create multi-step workflows
Pros and Cons of DotCMS
Formerly known as Concrete5, Concrete CMS is an open-source content management system that provides teams with a secure and user-friendly platform for website management.
With in-context editing and a word processor-like interface, content contributors can easily navigate and update content. Its open-source framework offers built-in features such as file management, calendar, forms, and SEO, enabling the development of complex applications.
Features of Concrete CMS
- Supports in-text and WYSIWYG editing
- 1000+ add-on support
- Multiple built-in templates with drag and drop feature
- In-built online store builder for e-commerce sites
Pros and Cons of Concrete CMS
Built by a dedicated community of 900 members in TYPO3 Association, TYPO3 is a popular open-source CMS tool. This flexible software is free and suitable for managing content, intranets, and websites for organizations of any size.
It comes with a wide range of advanced features such as support for multiple languages and compatibility with various databases. Since its inception in 1998, TYPO3 open-source CMS platform has served both internal and external company sites.
Features of TYPO3
- Based on Open-source units, PHP and MySQL
- Offers diverse analytics tools
- Has an in-built image editor tool
- Compatible with VPS, shared hosting and dedicated servers
Pros and Cons of TYPO3
If we talk about building an eCommerce store, Magneto definitely comes to mind. It’s a leading eCommerce building platform that is known for its emphasis on security, SEO, and customization. It optimizes various online stores and handles large product volumes and orders.
Developed by Adobe, Magento offers a robust open-source version called Magento Open Source, available for free download and installation on personal web hosting accounts.
Features of Magento
- Omnichannel and mobile-friendly support
- Multiple currencies & languages
- Inbuilt payment, shipping and checkout feature
- Offers inventory and multi-order management
Pros and Cons of Magento
Suggested Read: Best AI Content Generator Tools for Content Marketers
How to Choose the Best CMS Software?
Choosing the best Content Management System (CMS) software for your website can be quite an overwhelming task. With a range of options available in the market, it is easy to get confused and pick the one that doesn’t fit your needs or budget.
However, with careful consideration and evaluation of different options, you can identify the right CMS software for you. Here’s what features you need to check before choosing any CMS software:
- Identify your website’s needs: You need to identify your website’s requirements, like if you want to build an online store or just a blog site.
- Consider ease of use: Look for a CMS that has an intuitive interface that makes it easy for you to manage your content.
- Evaluate customization options: Check if the CMS allows customization of templates, themes, and plugins according to your business needs.
- Security and updates: Choose a CMS that comes with regular updates and security patches to keep your website secure from hacking attempts.
- Look at pricing models: Consider the cost of CMS license or subscription, as well as any additional fees for add-ons or support services.
- Evaluate scalability: Choose a CMS that can grow with your business and adapt to changing needs over time. This ensures that you won’t have to switch platforms every few years as your business expands.
What is the free content management system?
A free content management system (CMS) is software that allows users to create, manage, and modify websites without any cost. Example: Blogger, WordPress are a few free content management systems.
Does Google have a content management system?
Yes, Google has a content management system called Google Sites, which allows users to create and edit websites easily.
Which of the following CMS tool is free web software?
WordPress is a free web software that is also a CMS tool.
What is an open source CMS?
An open-source CMS is a content management system whose source code is publicly available. It can be freely modified, used and distributed.
Why open source CMS?
Open-source CMS offers greater flexibility, community support, and customization options compared to proprietary CMS. It allows developers to modify and improve the software features according to their needs.
What is the difference between open source and CMS?
The difference between open source and CMS is that open source refers to the accessibility of the source code, while CMS specifically focuses on managing and organizing website digital content.
How does a CMS work?
A CMS provides a user-friendly interface where individuals can create, edit, and publish content on a website without requiring extensive technical knowledge.