Free Content Management (CMS) PHP Scripts

Free Content Management Systems PHP Scripts

Free Content Management Systems (CMS) PHP Scripts

Looking for a way to allow your users or clients to manage their website using a web interface on their site? The content management systems (CMS) or scripts listed here allow you to install a PHP script onto their web account that makes this possible. Depending on the script you install, content management scripts may allow users to easily change content on their site, define their site appearance site-wide by modifying a template, provide a search engine, site map, web statistics, online file manager, online content editor, etc. A few require the site to have SQL, while others work with the ordinary account.

Incidentally, if all you want is to install a simple blog, you may also want to take a look at the scripts listed on the Free PHP Blogging Software (Scripts) page.

Note: if you're not sure about the difference between a CMS, a blog and a web editor, please read the article What's the Difference Between a Content Management System (CMS), a Blog, a Web Editor and an Online Site Builder?. The article also deals with whether it's easier or harder to use a CMS as compared to the other solutions.

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Free Content Management Systems (CMS) PHP Scripts

WonderCMS New

WonderCMS is an open source CMS that does not depend on MySQL or any database server. It uses a flat file (specifically, a text file) to save your data. At the time I wrote this, the zip download is only about 48 KB, and has only 7 files. No setup or configuration is needed. It features a file manager, theme and plugin support, customizable login URLs, unlimited subpages, one click updates, custom 404 pages, etc.


Drupal is an open source content management system (CMS) or platform that uses PHP and MySQL. It allows an individual user or even a community of users to publish, manage and maintain your website. You can use it to create blogs, forums, picture galleries, file upload and download sites, forums, collaborative authoring environments, podcasting, peer-to-peer networking sites, etc. The system is modular and highly customizable. It is licensed under the GNU General Public License.

Joomla! Content Management

Joomla! is an open source content management system (CMS) that can be used to power your website and allow you to easily manage it from an online interface. It includes an integrated WYSIWYG editor, support for multiple users/editors, a simple poll engine, several templates, etc. You can augment the features provided by the basic CMS installation by adding their extensions. Extensions available include blogging software, calendars, directory services, email newsletters, e-commerce and shopping cart engines, image and multimedia galleries, forums and chat software, banner advertising systems, business and organizational directories, dynamic form builders, etc. Joomla! requires that your web server be running Apache and has PHP and MySQL installed.


Concrete5 is an open source content management system (CMS) that lets you build and maintain your website from a web browser. Its features include the ability to change the appearance of your web pages from the user interface (and not just your content); set permissions for what registered users, administrators and guests can do on your site; a built-in backup facility (though, strangely, no built-in "restore"); the ability to set things like meta tags; and so on. The software is licensed under the MIT open source licence. It requires PHP and MySQL.

TextPattern Content Management System

TextPattern is an open source CMS that attempts to make it easier for the average user to modify its templates. Its templates use a simple syntax known as Textile that allow you to use a few simple markers to indicate things like images, hyperlinks, etc. The software allows multiple contributors, supports plugins, etc. TextPattern uses PHP and MySQL.

This open source web content management system has a template language that lets you integrate your content into the CSS/HTML that you design. Alternatively, you can use one of the themes donated by others for this CMS software. It has support for extensions like the Blog module, which lets you add a blog to your site; a Diary module, which supports an online diary, calendar and year planner; an E-commerce module; an Event Calendar module; a discussion Forum module; and so on. The program is licensed under the revised BSD licence.

Composr Content Management System (formerly OcPortal)

This CMS is a web content management system that features galleries, news, file downloads, community forums and chats, wiki, content commenting and rating, a built-in search engine (site search), newsletters and mass mailing facilities, support ticket system, featured content (eg, image of the day, random quotes), paid membership sections with support for payment gateways, banner support, etc.


PHP-Fusion is a content management system (CMS) that uses a MySQL database to store the contents of your website. It requires PHP 4 running on an Apache server. The free version requires you to preserve their copyright notice.

CMSimple Content Management

CMSimple Content Management is designed for webmasters with relatively small sites (less than 2 Mb in text content). It does not need your site to have a database; your content is stored in .txt, .htm and .php files.

phpwcms - Web Content Management System

phpwcms is a content management system that uses PHP and MySQL. It includes multiple WYSIWYG editors, a frontend CSS editor, image resizing capabilities, file manager, support for meta tags, template editor, W3C conforming frontend rendering, etc. It can be installed on Windows 2000/XP, Mac OSX and Linux. The package is released under the GNU General Public License.

TYPO3 Open Source Content Management System

TYPO3 is an open source content management system that is multilingual; allows WYSIWYG editing using a rich text editor (this feature is only for IE Windows users); has wizards for making tables, bullet lists, mail forms, etc; allows multiple page editing; allows offline editing, preview of content online, scheduled publishing; has an indexed search engine, a direct mail or newsletter system, etc. Administrators have access control (the ability to control access to various parts of the system), statistics, logging, version control with unlimited undos, raw database access, etc. You can use HTML templates, PHP scripts, create protected areas, and so on. The entire system is released under the GNU General Public License.


OpenCMS is an open source website content management system (CMS) that uses Java, JSP, XML, MySQL on Tomcat (a Java Servlet container and web server). It comes with an integrated WYSIWYG editor and a simple text editor for Internet Explorer and Mozilla-based browsers like Firefox. The CMS software allows you to view your workspace in an Explorer-like window, edit files by changing specific elements within the page or directly editing them using the built-in WYSIWYG editor, etc. This program is licensed under the GNU General Public License.

Drake CMS

[Update: as at 4 February 2022, the last update of this CMS was 7 years ago, so chances are high that it is no longer being maintained.] Drake CMS is a PHP-based open source content management system that does not need any database system to be installed, although it supports a number of them (including MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, Sybase, Frontbase, MaxDB, MS SQL, etc) if you have them. You can use it to create community-based portals, magazines and newspapers, simple personal or family websites, company or organisation websites, etc. It has a hierarchy of users, starting with the Admistrator down to the simple website visitor, with the facility to control the access rights of each of these user levels. You can create subsites with this CMS without replicating the CMS files.

phpCMS - PHP Content Management System

[Update: this script is no longer being updated. The developers of the software recommend that you do not use it for any new website.] This PHP content management script includes a file manager, full text search engine, online editor, statistics, dynamic menus, etc. Unlike many of the other content management systems (CMS), this one works with flat files.

Wolf CMS

[Update: this site is no longer available.] Wolf CMS provides you the ability to customise ("customize" in US English) your web page on a per-page basis (eg, you can make it have its own layout, inherit the layout of the parent, or use yet another page's layout), set password-protected pages, use search-engine friendly URLs, etc. This CMS can use either MySQL or SQLite for its database.


[Update: this site is no longer available.] ComicCMS is an open source CMS that has the specialised ("specialized" in US English) purpose of letting you display your web comics on the Internet. To speed up its operation, it has built-in caching for the pages it generates and uses AJAX to request only the portions of each page that it needs (rather than loading entire pages at a time). Features include the ability to tag your comics, add news, create comic and news RSS feeds, add a calendar (via a plugin), and plugin support. You will need to know some HTML and CSS to customise the appearance of your pages. Unlike most (if not all) of the other CMS software on this page, ComicCMS does not need any database or MySQL support.

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