Picking up the right CMS is the most vital decision when you are starting a web development process. Because it lets you to plan your app requirements and its solutions in advance. In the way, you get the idea about your proposed app design, features and performance. Therefore, opting the best PHP CMS is the most important part of your app development cycle. And hence requires appropriate knowledge to choose the best one.
A Quick Introduction to Content Management Systems (CMSs)
A Content Management System (CMS) is an application that enables you to publish and manage content on the web in an intuitive fashion. For example, imagine that you had a text editor (like Notepad or TextEdit) that enabled you to publish articles directly to a website you own.
It’s easy to confuse a CMS with a website builder. The latter is a kind of tool focused on helping you create websites without any coding knowledge. Usually, they accomplish this by providing you with access to a visual drag-and-drop editor. However, they tend to be a lot simpler, offering few customization options and little control over the way your site is set up.
A CMS, on the other hand, used to be more difficult to pick up and use without any technical knowledge. However, nowadays the best CMS options provide you with plenty of tools to help you design and create modern websites.
What You Can Create Using a CMS Platform
A lot of people think that CMSs are just for blogging. It’s true that some of the best PHP CMS platforms were originally built with blogging in mind. However, a lot of them have evolved to the point where they’re now highly customizable. WordPress, for example, powers around 30% of the entire web.
The truth is that CMSs these days are so flexible that you can use them for almost any type of project you want. However, they’re ideal for websites built around content creation and sharing. That means you can use them to create simple blogs, tutorial websites, portfolios, news sites, and more. With the right tools, you can even tackle more advanced web projects using a CMS.
What Features the Best CMS Should Include
By now, you’ll have a solid idea of what CMSs are in theory. At this point, let’s talk about some of the specific features they might offer. The best CMS should provide:
- A way to easily publish new content. Any quality CMS will include a powerful editor, and plenty of options to make sure your content looks top-notch.
- Content taxonomy options. The more content your website has, the more important it is to keep everything organized. That’s why a CMS should enable you to create categories, assign tags to your articles, and so on.
- Page editing functionality. Aside from publishing content, you’ll need to create various types of pages for your website. Your CMS should provide you with the tools you’ll need to get the job done.
- A high level of customizability. In our experience, the best CMS platforms are highly customizable. That means they enable you to add almost any feature you want, which in turn enables you to create more advanced websites.
- A strong community. CMSs with active communities are under constant development, so you’ll always have access to updates, security patches, and help from other knowledgeable people.
These are five core features you should expect to see in any CMS worth your time. Aside from that, most of the best CMS options vary a lot in terms of features and the types of projects they’re suited for.
Best CMS Options for 2020
By far, WordPress holds the repute of world’s most used open source CMS for web development. You can create whole lot of applications on any PHP hosting using WordPress and it is pretty advanced too. Whether you need a simple blog or an ecommerce store, WordPress has all solutions for you. It has the largest market share of around 75 million active websites on the internet.
WordPress is an open source platform and allows thousands of developers from around the world to contribute in its improvement. That is why the platform has evolved so rapidly over the years. It has become an ultimate choice for all sorts of web applications. The platform has given inception to many pioneering ideas in the development field. It has biggest stock of optional plugins, themes and widgets. Which could be easily customized for any desired results.
Moreover to enhance website’s search engine rankings, WordPress also comprises with built-in SEO tools. Which is why its recommendation is pretty high and developers loves using it. When it comes to build websites with optimized SEO, WP always comes first!
- Includes intuitive publishing and content management options.
- Provides a powerful editor that enables you to format your content with ease.
- Is highly customizable, thanks to thousands of plugins and themes.
- Has a strong and vibrant community.
Drupal is a free open source CMS written in PHP and is rated as one of the best platforms for ecommerce stores. It was firstly developed as a student community solution but later evolved as a full-fledge open source CMS. Drupal provides developers an ease to develop highly optimized online stores with perfection. Because the platform engrosses with enrich features of modern app development and that is why is preferred by most of the developers.
As WordPress uses plugins, Drupal offers modules to perform customized functionalities in websites. Moreover, the platform comes with wide range of features and other options that makes it one of the top CMSs in market for application development. Many major organizations in the world including NBC, Harvard University, Tesla, Princess Cruises, MTV UK and others uses Drupal for their web operations. The platform is also supported by a wide range of community which is continuously growing in a rapid pace all over the world.
- Offers a flexible custom post creation and management system.
- Provides advanced user management and permission settings.
- Includes support for multilingual sites out of the box.
- Has a detailed taxonomy system.
- Boasts top-notch security for your website.
Get to know Drupal
Joomla is another PHP based CMS known vastly for building blog and portfolio websites. Though, its comparison with WordPress is not quite fair but the platform offers adequate features to build a top class blog and dynamic websites. The platform facilitates major databases including MySQL, MS-SQL and PostgreSQL, providing developers an option to easily integrate their sites on preferred database systems. It is a powerful platform that allows developers to create custom websites with advanced functionalities.
The CMS allows you to easily integrate your website with the host within just one click. Further, building mobile-ready responsive websites is quite easy with the platform. It also offers thousands of extensions and designs which you could use preferably in your web apps and can enhance its functionalities. That is why the platform ranks in top 5 most used CMSs in the world and is used by leading brands including eBay, Barnes & Noble, IKEA and many others.
- Offers excellent support for custom post types.
- Provides advanced user management options.
- Includes multilingual support out of the box.
- Supports using unique templates for each page type.
TYPO3 offers a huge community, which provides very quick and easy help for beginners with technical issue/problems or questions. There are also large number of professionals who specialize in TYPO3 support and provide very good agency services to business users.
A professional use of the high-performance content management system (CMS) requires expert knowledge. With this, even complex site structures with multilingual content can be soundly implemented. The wide range of functions availability in TYPPO3 ensures professional rights management at the enterprise level and provides support for all kind of business applications, such as CRM and ERP systems. On the other hand, it requires long training period and comparatively high administration effort.
- Is a great pick for enterprise-level sites.
- Includes support for multilingual websites.
- Lets you manage multiple sites from a single installation.
- Makes it possible to share data and tools among your websites.
Squarespace is another well known CMS platform, and it started out at around the same time when WordPress started. The main difference between Squarespace and WordPress, is that Squarespace is not open source so you can’t download the software and install it on your own server.
Website builder, blogging platform and hosting service are integrated all together in this system . You just need to sign up for a subscription and Squarespace makes it easy to build a website from scratch with ease, which is obviously handy if you don’t have any previous web development experience, or if you want your website site up and running in a short space of time. Like WordPress, you can install different themes/templates and build a website using text, images, and videos.
Opencart provides complete ecommerce solution and allows you to launch your online store with great functionalities. It is an open source platform and is also written in PHP that allows millions of developers to contribute in the updates of platform. Like WordPress, Opencart is also very easy to use & its interface is quite friendly for the new users. The platform comprises with unlimited categories of products and is multilingual, which means you can easily setup your store using the platform focusing on any niche. In a nutshell, Opencart provides you all functionalities of an advanced online store you need.
- The platform is quite easy to setup and use
- Tons of free themes available
- Has thousands of extensions and modules available
- Provides great functionality to make sites multilingual
CakePHP requiring less coding skills and makes building net applications faster and easier. It provides contemporary PHP five.5+ framework able to adapt many different functions or activities of info access layer and a strong staging system that produces building each, whether big or small and sophisticated systems easier and tastier.
It is licensed with open source MIT license that makes it good to be used in industrial applications without any restriction. No complected XML or YAML files there so you can simply set up your info and you are able to bake. CakePHP comes with inbuilt CSRF protection, tools for input validation, SQL injection bar, and XSS bar, to make it more safe & secure to use.
Laravel framework powers the PyroCMS. Pyro is an intuitive abstracted CMS which was first written in codeigniter framework in 2012. After the release of version 3.x, PyroCMS uses Laravel framework. The latest release of version 3.4.x was in the year 2018. Up till now, the PyroCMS continues to woo website owners, with a good traction on github as well with 2871 stars and 944 forks having good contributor’s list.
PyroCMS is modular in nature and developers can easily mix and match components to fit the CMS within the project’s requirements.
- Fully customizable CMS for any requirements
- Fully integratable with 3rd party APIs and apps
- Easy setup and install with few commands
OctoberCMS is also a Laravel based CMS and is in use by thousands of digital agencies and companies to build their websites. The CMS provides flexibility, simplicity and modern design to create retina-ready apps and websites.
OctoberCMS is self-hosted open source CMS. You can also install it independently on your hosting servers. This CMS works fittingly well with 3rd party integrations and has got 700+ themes and plugins, with a large supportive community.
concrete5 is an Open Source CMS (Content Management System)
It makes running and managing an internet website simple. You can go to any page on your website and modify, concrete5 comes with editing toolbar offers you to change whatever you wish to change and update on your web site. No complicated manuals, no complex administration interfaces, its simple and ready to click on.
You can easily build online magazines, newspapers, eCommerce, small business web sites and all kind of other websites with this open source CMS. It comes with flexible and robust framework that can be used to build sophisticated web applications in no time. This CMS is designed for both novice and expert developers.
Choosing which CMS to use is about as personal as picking an Operating System (OS). All the best CMS options have their supporters and detractors, but you don’t want to make a decision lightly. Personally, we’re partial to WordPress due to its ease of use and high level of customization. However, your mileage may vary, so we recommend that you test out more than one CMS before settling down with your favorite.