What is Open Source CMS

Written by Graphic designer & WordPress developer

February 23, 2023
What is Open Source CMS

A website becomes dynamic and easier to access by users with the Content Management System (CMS). Users simply need to add content from a UI interface because the necessary source code is already in place at the website’s backend.

Within some period of time, as web technology grows bigger, there are many types of CMS either maintained by the community or a single company. The community plays an important role to maintain and to develop what we call Open Source CMS. This article will give you more insight into the Open Source CMS, its advantages, and its examples.

What is Open Source CMS?

A Content Management System where the source code is made publicly available for anyone to view, modify, and distribute is called Open Source CMS.

The community of developers from across the globe maintains it, where everyone can access it, and also adds new functionalities or features. Basically, anyone can use this Open Source CMS however they like.

What makes a big difference between an open-source CMS with a proprietary CMS is the cost to use the platform on an ongoing basis. An exclusive CMS is maintained by a company that doesn't share the source code with the public and is often tailored to focus on specific businesses.

The Advantages of Open Source CMS

Since the Open Source CMS has so many advantages, then it is worth giving it a try. which we shall discuss in this part.


The Open Source CMS gives you more flexibility in adding new features. The modularity of the Open Source CMS allows you to add more functionalities and options using plugins, modules, or extensions. You can upgrade your CMS or change your developer agency anytime without hassle with the available plugins or modules from the official CMS web directory.

Continuous Improvement

As the Open Source CMS is maintained by a community of active developers, you can always have regular updates for free. The constant updates are generally an improvement of the open-source codes to fit with the most recent development best practices. As a result, any issues and bugs can be immediately fixed.

In addition to the community, ongoing improvement can also be provided by your own developers, as they can quickly produce any Open Source CMS code changes or modifications that your company actually needs.

The global developers of Open Source CMS often meet in regular conferences to share ideas and discuss the unlimited possibilities to adjust and keep up with the newest technology. Open Source CMS users will surely have many options to maintain their website’s back end, with this continuous improvement.

Low Cost

Another advantage of using Open Source CMS is how less costly it would be especially when your website is considered as a small business scale. A subscription or paid plan could be applied when you need more functionalities or features and this would still be much cheaper compared to when you use proprietary CMS from the beginning.

Plugins, Modules, or Extensions of Open Source CMS are designed so that a company doesn’t have to build specific functionalities from scratch which will cost more money. The open-source codes are flexible and easy to upgrade for further development.

Public Support

A good Open Source CMS would have an active support system that is maintained by an active community of developers. You can always reach out for any help or support within the community forum for any bugs or issues. Often you would have fast responses from the community or directly from the CMS official developers.

There’s a massive number of tutorials available on the internet such as video tutorials, blog articles, online workshops or courses, and many more. These resources are easy to access and they are mostly free, hence every user can learn some tricks and tips to use a specific Open Source CMS.

Source Code Ownership

Open-source CMS developers make their code available for usage and modification by others. A developer community could result from this, where programmers collaborate to create the CMS software or application and provide support for users.

One more advantage of using the Source Code CMS is there’s no need to buy the source code license to run your website. The source code is available to the public and free to use by anybody with some limitations. The most popular license types are GPL, MIT, and Apache.

Examples of Open Source CMS

1. WordPress

The most well-known open-source CMS is certainly WordPress. It is frequently mentioned as having a market share of more than 40% for CMS-based websites and powering many kinds of web blogs on the internet.

WordPress CMS is fairly flexible and it’s easy to use, as you can build an eCommerce website, a portfolio website, a web gallery, or many other types of websites. You can install some WordPress plugins in order to build a website with different kinds of functionalities. WordPress is a CMS platform built on MySQL and PHP.

WordPress CMS Interface

2. Joomla

Similar to WordPress, Joomla is a fairly popular CMS. It’s also easy to build a website layout using one of the available templates from this open-source CMS library. Joomla is extendable to specific functionalities using Extensions.

The coding for Joomla CMS is fairly secure and reliable. All you have to do is to be certain to update Joomla often to keep it secure. Joomla provides a more complex system for managing users and controlling user access, which adds up more security to the CMS.

Joomla CMS Interface

3. Drupal

Drupal can be highly customized in terms of web development and is more suitable for developers to maintain. While WordPress has Plugins to enhance a website with particular functionality, Drupal is using Modules for the website settings and configuration.

A large-scale website with complex capabilities can be built by Drupal, as it is powerful for creating a big, robust website. Drupal is designed as a developer focus kind of CMS. Website owners would probably be depending much on their developers to build their websites and it’s fairly costly to run or maintain. However, Drupal has a simple content editor which would be easier for users to update their websites.

Drupal Open Source CMS

4. Textpattern

Textpattern CMS has a straightforward user interface that's preferred by tech-savvy people and probably still frequently chosen by those with coding knowledge. This CMS would be an ideal solution for those in need of free platform modifications, plugins, and themes.

Similar to how WordPress uses categories and tags, Textpattern uses sections and categories respectively. In Textpattern, users could create several sections which can be grouped under broad categories. Every category maintains its own archives, and syndication, with its own look and style.

Textpattern CMS

5. Ghost

When you’re looking for a CMS which is efficient, lightweight, and flexible, you can try Ghost CMS for free within 14 days. Ghost CMS is built using the Node.js platform to ensure efficiency and flexibility. It has excellent security measures and requires minimum maintenance.

This CMS allows you to customize Ghost themes and plugins. It includes the most recent tools for creating websites, publishing content, sending newsletters, and offering members premium subscriptions. However, Ghost has limited eCommerce capabilities as there are not many third-party integrations available.

Ghost CMS

6. Prestashop

As a free CMS which is built on PHP and MySQL, Prestashop is pretty powerful to create an eCommerce website. It provides you with an extremely flexible and scalable eCommerce platform to start an online business that is entirely your creation.

Prestashop CMS makes it easy to manage your eCommerce website’s back office: product catalog, orders, online payments, shipping, and data. You can scale your business with PrestaShop to launch marketing campaigns and reach more customers.

Prestashop CMS

7. Fork

You can create a website very fast and easily using Fork CMS. Focusing on simplicity, Fork has a user-friendly interface and provides an efficient editor, which makes it great CMS for beginners who are new to maintaining website content. You can access the official Fork demo page to give it a try for the Fork CMS front-end and the back-end.

Fork allows you to add as many apps and widgets as you like using extensions. It has built-in Marketing tools and SEO tools. There are a large collection of themes and templates to customize your website look and feel with certain design style.

Fork Open Source CMS


A good CMS would include a categorization system to manage many types of content. This categorization will help users to find specific content by category. Archiving content by months or any particular timeline settings is also part of content management.

Security should be your priority when choosing the right CMS for your website. The security issue that frequently happened is the spam found in the comment section or contact forms. Make sure to update your website with the latest CMS version to minimize this issue. Installing an anti-spam system will secure your website even more.

The next thing to consider is the CMS flexibility for further development. Adding more features or functionalities to a website can be easily done by installing CMS plugins, extensions, or modules. Design-wise, some CMS introduce either web themes or web templates to customize the appearance of a website.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best CMS?

Everyone has their own favorite CMS, but the best one for you is the one that matches your business requirements.

Is a CMS hard to use?

No. CMSs can be used with minimal training, and you don’t need a programming background in order to use one.

Do I need a MAC or a special PC to use a CMS?

No, you don’t. Any computer with a web connection and an installed browser should be just fine.

Why choose Verpex for WordPress?

As the leading CMS out there, we’ve made it our mission to offer the most comprehensive and streamlined WordPress solutions on the market. Backed by a responsive customer care team and reliable site enhancement tools, we ensure our users get the full WordPress value and support for a reasonable price.


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