5 Best Open Source CMS for Building Websites

Is 2018 the year you’re going to launch a website? Then consider using a content management system or CMS for building your website. A content management system greatly simplifies the process of building websites, and there are plenty of open source CMSs that you could use to start a blog, a corporate website, an online store, or launch other online projects.

It is uncontested that WordPress the most recognizable CMS, but as you will see in our rundown of the 5 best open source CMSs for building websites in 2018, there are other viable options you can consider if you’re building your website with a CMS.

But let’s start with the most popular CMS of all:

1. WordPress

wordpressWordPress has come a long way since its early beginnings as a blogging platform. Thanks to its extensibility and customizability, today, WordPress can serve as a building ground for any type of website from a small personal blog to a full-blown eCommerce store or online magazine.

WordPress is used by beginners and advanced users alike precisely because of its user-friendly interface, quick installation, security, and search engine friendly nature.

WordPress can be made to fit your needs via plugins for functionality, and themes for design. Thousands of free and premium plugins and themes are available for WordPress, which allows virtually limitless options to create a website tailored to your specifications.

If you ever need to create bespoke solutions for your WordPress site, WordPress developers and experts are always available for the job.

There is also an unmatched community supporting WordPress, which means that any issue you should encounter during your use of WordPress is very likely to have a solution already.

WordPress is also an ubiquitous presence in the hosting landscape, where you can find many web hosting solutions optimized for WordPress sites. Most of these hosting plans include full server management, which means that your host will undertake tasks related to the installation, security, backups and updates of your WordPress site.

2. Joomla

joomlaJoomla is another open-source CMS that should be in your list of best CMSs for your 2018 projects, especially if you’re considering it for a large corporate website, a mid-tier eCommerce site, or an NGO site.

Joomla may not outrank WordPress in terms of usability, but thanks to its flexibility, you can build any type of website with Joomla as well. It’s a bit more difficult to use than WordPress, but it still counts as a user-friendly platform.

This CMS is great for any website with hundreds of pages and different hierarchies, since Joomla’s complex navigation system allows the easy management of these types of websites as well. As a CMS, Joomla is rich in features, supporting all the bells and whistles required by modern websites.

As for Joomla hosting, most web hosts will offer Joomla quick-installs on your account the same way they offer WordPress installs.

3. Drupal

drupalWith Drupal, you’ll be entering the heavyweight category of CMSs. Drupal is not a mere CMS, and describing it as a CMF, that is, a Content Management Framework is a more apt description of it, which means that Drupal gives you full control on how to manage and structure your website.

This enterprise-class CMS is used for creating powerful and robust sites that can effortlessly handle huge volumes of traffic. Government sites, online stores, interactive business sites all prefer Drupal for its scalability, speed, and stability.

Despite its complexity, Drupal is built for speed and server resource economy. This CMS is not ideal for beginners or inexperienced site builders, being targeted mostly for those with advanced programming skills.

Drupal is all about functionality when it comes to website management, and allows the quick deployment of core features and the option to leave customization for later. It is because of this flexibility that Drupal is viewed as a dynamic platform that helps quick implementation of functionality and changes to your website.

Many web hosts in the industry offer Drupal optimized web hosting (SiteGround, InMotion, TMD, etc.)., which offer free Drupal pre-installation, free Drupal transfer, 24/7 Drupal support, free backups, and other useful features for Drupal sites and tools for Drupal developers.

4. ModX

modxModX is an open source CMS that claims to be the “ world’s fastest, most customizable Open Source PHP CMS”. Indeed, ModX was built for speed and customizability, but without any compromise on security.

Like Drupal, ModX also pushes the boundaries of content management systems towards a content management framework. ModX features a built-in package library with a suite of tools that give the user full control over how they build and structure content.

ModX has a clean interface, it’s SEO-friendly out-of-the-box, and it boasts robust security. Unfortunately, ModX is not for beginners as it requires coding experience.

Hosting for ModX websites is provided through the ModX Cloud.

5. Concrete5

concrete5Concrete5 is recognized in the open-source content management scene as a good option for anyone looking for a CMS that can be efficient both in the hands of novices and in the hands of experienced users.

The features built into Concrete5 encompass most of what’s needed to successfully build, customize, secure and manage your website.

This CMS comes with a WYSIWYG editor, drag & drop builder, 1000s of add-ons, themes, mobile optimized & responsive design, modular building and templates, marketing tools, social and SEO tools, blogging tools, etc.

Concrete5 website hosting is available at popular web hosts like BlueHost, and other budget hosts like A2 Hosting.

The open-source CMSs presented above can handle all types of website demands from personal sites to high-volume online stores. Developing and launching a website with a CMS significantly reduces development and deployment times, and simplifies the implementation of advanced functionalities that would be otherwise a real pain to achieve.


While most agree on the fact that WordPress is the most-often chosen CMS for building websites, WordPress is not singular in the open-source CMS landscape.

Depending on your skill level and website requirements, you may decide to go with another CMS than WordPress to build your website. However, if you’re building a website in 2018, these are the 5 best CMSs you should consider.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

What Are Your Thoughts?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To improve your online experience, BeHosted! use cookies. Disclosure: BeHosted! is monetized through refferal sales. Click here to learn more.