LIST Top 6 free content management systems CMS in comparison

WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, or…? If you want to publish a lot of information on your website, such as regular texts on a topic, finds from the Internet or offers of the week, you need administration: so-called content management systems. Here is an overview of the 6 largest and most important open-source CMS (as of 2022), including selection criteria for your project!

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Your company website is rarely just a business card with just an address and profile – in most cases you want to publish up-to-date content, such as regular texts on a topic, finds from the Internet or offers of the week. help you with that content management systemsin German editorial systems: They offer the advantage that once set up new articles and images quite fast and uncomplicated can be adjusted. Some of these CMS are free, some are open-source, meaning anyone can code for the extensions. Here is an overview of the 6 largest and most important open-source CMS (list 2022)

Top 1 – The flagship of the open source CMS: TYPO3

typo3 logo

TYPO3 is probably the best known Open source CMS. Open source means that the program code is open and anyone can program new layouts, plugins and so-called widgets for this CMS. The result: a large number of functions, which can often be downloaded free of charge from the Internet, can be integrated into the system. But TYPO3 is probably also the most frequently misused CMS: The system is complex and can do more than most people need for their site.
Typo3 Official Website:
Free Download Typo3:

Advantages of TYPO3:

  • The system is widespread, so you can always find help from experts for it.
  • All conceivable functions are also possible.
  • The CMS is constantly being further developed, so you are always up to date with the latest technology.
  • Many developers extend the CMS with templates (the layouts), plugins and widgets.

Disadvantages of TYPO3:

  • The CMS requires a database, the server settings are not so easy to master for the layman.
  • It also becomes difficult in the so-called backend, i.e. where you set up the administration of the CMS: In order to adjust your system to your own wishes, you need more than just basic Internet knowledge.

This is what the agency says about Typo3:

Typo3 is very scalable and grows with the company. Should there be additional or higher requirements later than at the start, the CMS does not have to be changed. In addition, Typo3 is very flexible and can be used for almost all conceivable applications.
(Kai-Michael Rauch, Rauch Media)

Top 2 – From blog system to CMS: WordPress

wordpress logo

WordPress actually started out as simple software to create a blog. However, the system became more and more popular and so it has been growing for years: new functions, new templates (with which you create the layout) – in the meantime there are hardly any functions for a website that would not be possible with WordPress. But the CMS has also lost some of its simplicity: It used to be small, compact and chic – today it is relatively large and more complex, but still the most popular CMS worldwide.
Official WordPress site:
Free WordPress Download:

Advantages of WordPress:

  • The effort for installation and setup is manageable.
  • There is a huge number of designs, i.e. templates – both free and for little money.
  • Extensions such as plugins and widgets enable a wide range of functions.
  • WordPress is good for search engine optimization.

Disadvantages of WordPress:

  • Biggest problem: With many visitors on your site, the demands on the database server are high.
  • WordPress delivers many updates, unfortunately some with security risks.
  • The administration level, called backend, can only be adjusted to a limited extent.

This is what the agency says about WordPress:

Honestly: in a web project, one and the same goal can be achieved with all common CMS – but with WordPress the fastest. The biggest advantage of WordPress is the simplicity of the application with the almost self-explanatory administration area and the huge number of plugins. These things don’t make it the world’s most popular CMS for nothing.
(Jörg Gebauer, newshore Media)

Media liability for your own protection

Time, cost pressure and wrong decisions – this can result in claims for damages with high six-figure amounts, which can drive your company into insolvency. Protect yourself with media insurance from Hiscox.

The advantage: The insurances have a modular structure and can be configured as desired. With the basic module of media insurance, you protect yourself against legal and contractual liability, for example if a Errors in marketing or advertising campaigns your customers one pecuniary loss provided. The so-called passive legal protection: With media liability, you also ward off unjustified claims and save time and money. With the module business liability protects you if you accidentally injure someone or damage their property and the module cyber insurance helps you to cope with a cyber crisis, i.e. the consequences of hacking, cyber blackmail or loss of important company data. Also one property insurance makes sense: This is how you secure the repair or equivalent replacement in the event of damage to your office equipment and your technology.

Top 3 – The best of all: CMS Contao

contao logo

Contao, formerly called TYPOlight, is a kind of best of various other CMS. The system is now very popular, and the performance and functions have been significantly expanded.
Official Contao page:
Free download from Contao:

Advantages of Contao:

  • The administration is also designed to be easy for non-professionals.
  • The management level, i.e. the backend, can be easily and completely adapted to your own needs.
  • The system is fast, even with many accesses to the database.

Disadvantages of Contao:

  • The implementation of the templates for the design requires experience.
  • If you have a lot of content to enter, it can be cumbersome.

This is what the agency says about Contao:

Contao is the CMS that gives us as an agency all the freedom in the areas of design and extension development and is still easy to use for the customer.
(Axel Schaak, fruitMEDIA internet agency)

Top 4 – modular system with CMS structure: Drupal

drupal logo

Drupal is actually just a modular system with many functions and possibilities. But the kit is huge. Drupal differs from other content management systems primarily through a differentiated system of roles and rights. In particular, it supports the development of communities that work together on content and want to exchange information about topics.
Official Drupal site:
Free download from Drupal:

Benefits of Drupal:

  • Lots of functions that are integrated into the system as building blocks enable an individual website.
  • The backend can be designed individually.

Disadvantages of Drupal:

  • However, it is not that easy to customize the backend.
  • If you integrate new functions, this means extensive intervention in the backend.
  • You also have to constantly check the server settings and loading times.

This is what the agency says about Drupal:

What we appreciate about Drupal is the worldwide, active, friendly community and the enormous flexibility in the implementation of individual ideas. The CMS starts where others reach their limits.
(Stephan Luckow, Reinblau CMS Frameworkers)

Top 5 – The content management system for fans: Joomla

joomla logo

Joomla has been around for quite a while and has developed a solid following. However, the development got stuck for a while, only with the last stages of development did it make enormous progress again, for example in terms of search engine compatibility.
Official Joomla! site:
Free Joomla! Download:

Advantages of Joomla:

  • Installing and setting up the CMS is easy and well documented.
  • There are tons of extensions and pre-built themes.

Disadvantages of Joomla:

  • The system offers hackers some opportunities for attack, since the system can only really be used with many extensions.
  • The management of rights, i.e. who is allowed to do what in the system, is not really good either.

This is what the agency says about Joomla:

Joomla! With its slim range of functions and modular expansion options, is the best system for us when it comes to a scalable and easy-to-manage website. Joomla! is a professional solution for small, medium-sized but also large and high-visitor presences, which can grow with the demands of our customers.
(Thorsten Bastian from basta!media)

Top 6 – Small but mighty: The CMS Redaxo

redaxo logo

Redaxo is a less common CMS and works similar to TYPO3 or TYPOlight. It has its fan base especially in German-speaking countries. Redaxo also offers freely available extensions and modules and supplies numerous objects that provide solution approaches for almost all requirements.
Official Redaxo site:
Free download of Redaxo:

Benefits of Redaxo:

  • The CMS is simple and clear.
  • Sometimes less is more: Redaxo does not put as much strain on your database as other content management systems.

Disadvantages of Redaxo:

  • Adjusting the templates for the design is cumbersome.
  • Out of the box, the system is only of limited use for search engines.

This is what the agency says about Redaxo:

A flexible system with which you can quickly create and maintain complex as well as simple websites, optimized for search engines and individually. Simple, flexible, useful
(Jan Kristinus from Yakamara Media GmbH)

Our CMS tip 2022 for open source content management systems:

Open source CMS have a security problem: In most cases, website owners do not use the pure system of the manufacturer, but extend it with templates, plugins and widgets. And this is where security gaps may arise. Of course, an experienced programmer who knows the CMS can help here.

You can also get a scientific overview with the “Security Study Content Management Systems (CMS)” (which was published in 2013) by the Federal Office for Information Security. You can download the study for free here.

For those who are currently planning their website, here are a few book tips

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