Which Open Source CMS?

May 24, 2012

It is clear that Open Source software rules the Internet, so much so that the Web could be considered the greatest showcase of Open Source applications. The best web browsers, server software, scripting languages, databases, web frameworks and even the Domain Name System (DNS), are all Open Source.

Hardly surprising then that the majority of top websites are increasingly using some kind of Open Source Content Management System, among which the most popular are those based on the LAMP stack.  LAMP is an acronym that refers to the first letters of Linux (operating system), Apache (HTTP Server), MySQL (database software) and PHP (or sometimes Perl or Python).

Apart from the unbeatable price tag, the advantages of using such systems are enormous, both for users, who are able to create and update the content on their websites without any technical skills required, and for webmasters, who are provided with very powerful tools to help them organize the structure of their websites and maintain their sanity, or whatever is left of it.

Latest statistics on usage of Content Management Systems for websites show that WordPress is used today by 16.4% of all websites on the Internet. That represents a Content Management System market share of 54.1%. It is distantly followed by Joomla! with 2.8% / 9.2% and Drupal with 2.1% / 6.8%.

There are literally hundreds more of Open Source Content Management systems out there, but here at RackNine we prefer to stick to the most tried and tested software, such as:

WordPress: A semantic personal publishing platform, oriented but not limited to blogging, with a focus on aesthetics, Web standards, and usability.

WordPress supports multiple users, categories, comments, bookmarklets, RSS syndication, several APIs, and weblogs.


Drupal: Allows an individual or a community of users to easily publish, manage and organize a great variety of content on a website.

Hundreds of thousands of the top websites use Drupal as their Content Management System of choice.


Joomla: One of the most powerful Open Source Content Management Systems available used all over the world for everything from simple websites to complex corporate applications.

Joomla! is easy to install, simple to manage, and very reliable.


Zen Cart: A free, user-friendly, Open Source Shopping Cart system that represents e-commerce at its best.

Zen Cart is being developed by a group of like-minded shop owners, programmers, designers, and consultants who think e-commerce could be and should be done differently.


Pligg: Pligg CMS provides social networking software that encourages visitors to register on your website so that they can submit content and connect with other users.

The easiest and most powerful way of creating your own social publishing community in minutes.


MediaWiki: A free wiki package written originally for Wikipedia and other projects at the several other projects at the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation.

MediaWiki is an extremely powerful, scalable software and a feature-rich wiki implementation, that uses PHP to process and display data stored in a database, such as MySQL. It’s designed to be run on a large server farm for websites that gets millions of hits per day.


As you can see choosing the right CMS depends mainly on the type of requirements your website has. Although all CMSs aim at creating and editing content as simple and easy as possible, setting up a blog obviously requires a different approach than running an e-commerce store or a community portal,. Choosing the right platform for your website can sometimes be overwhelming especially for non-technical individuals.

And of course you not only need the right tool for the job, you also need the right developer to implement the solution and save you money and potential headaches in the future.

These are just a few of the issues we suggest you consider prior to choosing the proper CMS that will suit your needs. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us and we’ll be more than happy to further inform you about the available options.