12 Content Management Systems Recommended by Readers

I recently published a post, CMS Toolbox, that described a number of leading content management systems and provided links to resources for each. The post drew some very good feedback and a lot of suggestions for others that readers would like to see included. So as a result I thought it might be helpful to publish this list of recommendations that were made by readers (and in fact this follow up was also suggested by a reader).

Here you will find 12 content management systems and quotes from reader comments about each. Since I haven’t used these systems before I thought it would be best to simply let the readers do the talking. Some of the comments included more descriptive information than others, so for those CMSs that didn’t have much of a description from readers I have also included some information from their website.


I noticed ModX was not on the list – any particular reason?
Gabe Harris from Green Flip Flops

I second: Where’s MODx? MODx is both simple to use and incredibly powerful. It’s all we use here at my work for delivering sites to clients. Not only is MODx highly extensible, but the app itself is easily customizable as well. We’ve created a heavily modded version that we use that cuts our development time down to a fraction of what it would be without MODx.
Chris Pratt

I’d agree that Modx should be included, it is pretty easy to use and seems to do a good job.
Paul from Minnow Web Design

Completely agree with Chris Pratt. I know many people are complaining about this or that CMS is missing, but MODx is the only one which is really a awesome CMS which decreased our development time with at least 40% compared to other CMS tools.


I think Symphony (symphony21.com) is a really powerful CMS that’s missing on this list. It’s not very popular yet, but it’s very flexible, and I began to use it in place of wordpress.
Zhuoshi from Bordertop

I also vote for Symphony its a very extensible and adaptable cms. Custom fields out of the box its the most important thing in a modern cms.
vik407 from Acalora


I am disappointed, but not surprised, not to see ocPortal listed. It has only recently gone ‘Open Source’ and it may take a little while for CMS users to discover this gem.

I could list ALL the features, but that would take too long. Take a few minutes to check them out and you will be pleasantly surprised.

I cannot close this comment without mentioning the support offered by the developers who are determined to make this the premiere CMS. My record for a response to a ‘ticket’ is 6 minutes, and that is almost par for any query, whether by ticket or by asking in the Forums!
Fletch from Anglo-Indian Portal

I would like to point out one missing platform: ocPortal. This package can easily run with the “big boys” and I would venture that it would outpace most of them as well. Solid platform, friendly growing community and fantastic developer support, second to none.
Soccer Dad


I am missing TYPOlight. I switched from Joomla to TYPOlight, because it is easier to handle for my customers. It has a nice clean layout, modern techniques, a rich feature set and a acrtive community. Ok, one big plus for me is the fact that the key developers are germans, so i can ask my questions in my native language :-)

CMS Made Simple

I use CMS Made Simple and love it. It is easy to template, has a great community, and is easy for clients to use.
Chris from Automatic Lifestyle Dispenser

From CMS Made Simple: “If you are an experienced web developer, and know how to do the things you need to do, to get a site up with CMS Made Simple is just that: simple. For those with more advanced ambitions, there are plenty of addons to download—and there is an excellent community always at your service.”

Mango Blog

I will also like to contribute a mention of Mango Blog. A ColdFusion powered blog, in case any of your readers are not PHP developers.
Mark Aplet from Visual28

From Mango Blog: “Mango Blog is an extensible blog engine released under the Apache license, built with ColdFusion. It provides the core engine to administer and publish entries and the necessary architecture to extend its basic functionality by adding plugins. Mango Blog can be easily customized by the use of exchangeable and completely customizable skins.”


FlexCMS is light, easy, functional. Not too fancy, but more than adequate for most “little to medium” sites. And, if you like to tweak your PHP, it is dandy. Plus, support from FlexCMS makes it a great choice for those who are scared to even think about joomla! or Drupal.
H from atrocityarts

From FlexCMS: “FlexCMS is a user-friendly website content management system.  With FlexCMS you can easily build dynamic websites within a matter of minutes with just the click of your mouse!  Maintain your web content, navigation and even limit what groups or specific users can access, from anywhere in the world with just a web browser!  With an emphasis on security and functionality, FlexCMS is a professional and robust system suitable for any business or organization website.  Built on the PHP programming language and the MySQL database, FlexCMS delivers superb performance on any size website.”


Great list, I would also add IzzyWebsite here, fully branded CMS for designers/developers with database of compatible templates on Templateo.com.
Simon from SuperSiteMe

From IzzyWebsite: “IzzyWebsite is easy to install & manage Content Management System (CMS), absolutely no technical experience is required! IzzyWebsite is designed to be as easy to use as possible.”


Nice list and good Article. I am missing Zikula.
Charlie from PostNuke-Themes

From Zikula: “Welcome to Zikula – an open source application framework. No matter what your needs, Zikula can provide the solution. Be that an corporate presence with ecommerce, a simple blog or a community portal, Zikula can do it all.”


Where is Dotnetnuke?

From DotNetNuke: “DotNetNuke® is the most widely adopted open source framework for website content management and web application development on Microsoft ASP.NET. DotNetNuke has been downloaded over 6,000,000 times, is in use on over 400,000 production websites, has a thriving user community, and features a huge array of available third-party extensions.”

Smallbox CMS

I’d like to add one more option to the mix, Smallbox CMS. While not open-source, it’s a great product that offers professional results, design flexibility, reasonable development costs and a base service level agreement. Smallbox CMS was developed by designers for designers, so there are many unique features that cater to developing creative user interface design. Additionally, the product offers a rich suite of functionality modules (blog, eCommerce, eMarketing, etc.) to power even the most content heavy site.
Shawn Bouchard from Smallbox Software


What about xoops?

From Xoops: “XOOPS is an extensible, OO (Object Oriented), easy to use dynamic web content management system written in PHP. XOOPS is the ideal tool for developing small to large dynamic community websites, intra company portals, corporate portals, weblogs and much more.”

Have You Used Any of These Content Management Systems?

If you have any experience working with a CMS on this list, please share your thoughts in the comments.

Steven Snell

Stephen Snell is the owner and editor of Vandelay Design. Connect with Stephen on google+