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Top 8 Best PHP CMS In Market For Developers in 2018

Updated on January 1, 2019

7 Min Read
best php cms
Reading Time: 7 minutes

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.

While today we have many open source CMS available in the market. The choice depends upon our app requirements. Whether you want to build a simple dynamic website or a fully functional ecommerce store. There are multiple types of CMSs available in the market which could lessen your workload. As not every developer wants to write orthodox HTML and CSS to build web pages.

These CMS platforms helps reducing conventional workload of developers. The dynamic web apps which goes up to thousand pages with time, is easier to develop with CMS platforms. As it streamlines the jobs involved in development in smart ways.

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Therefore, we will be looking down below some of the best CMSs for developers in 2018 and their related pros and cons. So that you can get the better idea which one to choose for your next project. So let’s dive down below and review the top 5 CMSs in the market.

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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!


  • WordPress has the CMS market share of dominating 76.4%
  • WordPress is available in 68+ languages
  • Has 1.48 Billion Plugin Downloads
  • WordPress powers several official government websites all over the world including US


  • User-friendly platform
  • Biggest plugin/theme repository
  • Highly secured platform
  • Built-in SEO mechanism


  • Updates on WordPress themes and plugins come oftenly
  • Bit vulnerable to hackers because of being open-source
  • Needs knowledge for customization

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Made especially for just ecommerce applications, Magento is the most popular choice for developing advanced online stores. Many leading brand names including Ford, Nike, Foxconnect and many others uses Magento for their online operations. These brands rely heavily on Magento because of its optimized and enhanced ecommerce features. The major advantage of using Magento is that it gives ease to design customized ecommerce applications. You can develop web apps with enormous shopping features to let your online customers enjoy ingenious shopping experience.

Magento is also known for its flawless security features. The platform is strengthened with the hashing algorithms to secure password management and has several other features to protect applications from malicious attacks. Moreover, Magento has a wide community of developers who regularly contributes with different patches and updates in the platform. The release of Magento 2 has brought lot of advancements in the platform and has made it an ultimate option for building large online retail store.


  • Over 250K online stores are using Magento worldwide
  • Magento community counts around 800,000+ members till to date
  • Magento certified developers comes from more than 70+ countries
  • Leading world brands including Ford, Olympus, Nike and others chooses Magento


  • The platform is rich of features which helps developing modernized ecommerce stores
  • Magento is highly user-friendly and easy to work with
  • It has wide community of users who regularly contributes in platform extension and plugins
  • The platform is highly scalable and is built to support scalability of large scale apps


  • When it comes to its enterprise and premium versions, the platform is bit expensive
  • Magento has a bit slower loading time as compared to other platforms
  • It only supports dedicated hosting
  • Product support is quite expensive

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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.


  • Drupal is made up of nearly 1 million users
  • Drupal core is available in more than 90 languages
  • Number of US Govt. websites uses Drupal
  • Acquia invested $500K to speed-up the migration of Drupal 7 modules to Drupal 8
  • Around 1,121,049 sites are currently running on Drupal


  • The platform is highly extensible
  • Regular updates and patches make security of the platform better
  • Drupal is a tailored platform for ecommerce portals
  • Preferred best CMS for high traffic websites


  • Since Drupal is a developer-friendly platform, it is quite difficult for normal users to understand the technicalities of the platform
  • The platform is not recommended for blogs/publications
  • Custom installation of programs and modules is quite difficult

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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.


  • Around 6.6% of the global websites uses Joomla
  • Has active sites around 2,009,717
  • Ranks in the top 3 list of CMSs that provides free themes and plugins
  • The platform is available in 64+ languages


  • Easy to understand user interface
  • Provides great customization to front-end
  • The platform is pretty secured with regular updates
  • Perfect for building blogs and dynamic web applications


  • The platform is less SEO-friendly compared to others
  • The platform is pretty complex when it comes to incorporate custom designs without development experience
  • Has only few modules available in the marketplace
  • Unless modifying the code, some plugins have compatibility issues.

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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.


  • Opencart comprises with over 20 payment methods
  • The platform has enormous 12,325 extensions available
  • Has around 794,234 websites running globally
  • The platform has a staggering total of 95,336 members registered on its forum


  • 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


  • Customization needs bit technical experience
  • The platform is not SEO-friendly
  • Becomes slow when web traffic increases quickly
  • Lacks event system which makes users unable to program tasks from the modules

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If you are working with lots of content, ExpressionEngine can be your best choice. This CMS offers some great features which you can utilize in creating content over the web. The flexible architecture provides you the best environment to extend the CMS functionalities with custom scripts.

The content will go into the database and show in real-time to every user. ExpressionEngine generates pages with database content and formats the design for every visiting user. No matter what markup you have set up for design, the CMS will show exactly the same on every device. The dynamic approach empowers the user to reuse the component in the websites.


  1. Custom edit forms are available. You can navigate and fill them out easily
  2. Offers easy templating system. There is no need to inject PHP code. You just have to add HTML to HTML files and CSS to CSS files
  3. Provides built-in SEO component for content


  1. Neither you create type validation rules on forms, nor you can edit the form display to change the look and feel
  2. Drag and drop option is not available
  3. Less 3rd party add-ons and plugins


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.


  1. Fully customizable CMS for any requirements
  2. Fully integratable with 3rd party APIs and apps
  3. Easy setup and install with few commands


OctoberCMS also works on Laravel framework 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.


  1. Completely free to use and open source
  2. Can extend with development needs according to requirements
  3. Large number of themes and plugins are available.


  1. It’s a bit tricky for the end-user to work without developer
  2. User base is less as compared to WordPress

Summarising up!

So above is the compilation of some of the best PHP CMS available in market known for their rapid web development mechanisms. Whether you need a custom-dynamic website or need an advanced online store, these CMSs provide you adequate solutions to build desired web applications. So if you still got any questions regarding this article or want to contribute further in the topic, feel free to comment below in the comments section.

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Pardeep Kumar

Pardeep is a PHP Community Manager at Cloudways - A Managed PHP Hosting Platform. He love to work on Open source platform , Frameworks and working on new ideas. You can email him at

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