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What is the best PHP CMS?

I am probably going to take a lot of heat for saying this but.... not one of the top 6 most popular CMS systems is "the best". Being the best stopped being a priority with these systems long ago. They are the best at only one thing, being popular and that's it.

The best CMS tend to be the ones that continue to bring in fresh eyes, small and attentive communities of real developers (not site builders) that have time to answer questions. To make progress and to be open source in the true sense of freedom and community they have to have dedicated leadership in the form of people not a company.  Even if the group only exists as a single person.

  • Wordpress
  • Drupal
  • Joomla
  • Typo3
  • EzPublish
  • TextPattern

None of those in the list fit the bill They have become filled with bloat not only in their code bases but in their eco systems. Now I am not saying you should not use one or many of them. But you should do more in depth research before choosing and not base your choice on a simple question. Doing this will get answers that will lead you to the most popular system at the time. Not a good thing.

Do yourself a favor. Do a comparison between developing your own system and any of the ones in your list. Look at cost, risk and time. I believe you will find that much of the advice given here is on point.

Won't they save me time and ...

If you have a great idea or a web based product. If you think you can get funding from kickstarter etc. then your project might need a good jumpstart (If you are going to sell basball caps then it does not matter just pick one).  To get that seedling of an idea to sprout it might seem like a good idea to use a CMS.  But beware! None, absolutely none of the these CMS's will save you time, money or hair !

You will have to absorb the initial and residual costs of trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. You will have set back after set back as you find that you need "experts" to shave the corners of the peg. You will suffer hair loss from worrying about not meeting time constraints or satisfying stake holders ( the people on the other end of the hole ). Most importantly you will find yourself at a loss to find and keep people on board who can perform the needed tasks.

I need a large Community for support and security

If you take a good look at the history of the top CMS's you will see that this is not the case at all.

WordPress started in 2003 with a single bit of code to enhance the typography of everyday writing and with fewer users than you can count on your fingers and toes. 
Originally written by Dries Buytaert as a message board, Drupal became an open source project in 2001
The list goes on and on with individuals and small businesses building their own inhouse software to fill a need. Start-ups with smart leadership are still doing it today because "the best" CMS for them is the one they build to the requirements they need.

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