Best PHP Frameworks and CMS


WordPress is an open source blog publishing application. WordPress is the official successor of b2\cafelog which was developed by Michel Valdrighi.

Documentation: Good documentation, which covers all aspect of using an customizing WordPres

Last releases: Wordpress has a stable codebase and releases is rather seldom

Client-side integration: jQuery and script, are included in Wordpress package.

Community: Wordpress has several very active forums

License: GPL

Last releases: 2.7.1

Size: 1.76mB

Project example: DevSnippets


Drupal is an open source content management platform. Equipped with a powerful blend of features, Drupal supports a variety of websites ranging from personal weblogs to large community-driven websites.

Documentation: Drupal has a very strong documentation which includes lot of tutorials for newcomers and full API description.

Frequency of releases: The major releases of Drupal is rather seldom and coming out in one or two years.The minor and bugfix releases is coming out every two or three months.

Client-side integration: Drupal includes integrated jQuery library.

Community: Drupal community is large and active. You can ask you question on the Drupal forums or go thematical IRC channel to get live support.

License: GPL

Last releases: 6.10

Size: 1.03mB

Project example: iForm


Symfony is a web application framework written in PHP which follows the model-view-controller (MVC) paradigm.

Documentation: You can find extensive documentation on Symfony site covering all aspects of this framework

Frequency of releases: Symfony has several branches which updates frequently.

Client-side integration: Symfony includes several JavaScript libraries(jQuery, Prototype, and you can choose one for using in your project.

Community: Large community with forum, mailing lists and IRC channels.

License: Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

Last release: 1.2.5

Size: 5.6mB

Project example: Daylimotion

Zend Framework

Zend Framework (ZF) is an open source, object-oriented web application framework implemented in PHP 5. Zend Framework was conceived in early 2005 while many new frameworks, such as Ruby on Rails and the Spring Framework, were gaining popularity in the web development community. ZF was publicly announced at the first Zend Conference in October 2005.

Documentation: Zend have a very good documentation with lot of examples.

Client-side integration: Dojo Toolkit

Community: ZF community includes documentation wiki and several mailing lists.

License: New BSD license

Last release: 1.7.8

Size: 20.29mB

Project example: Grand Theft Auto 'Hood


Joomla! is a free open source content management system for publishing content on the World Wide Web and intranets as well as a Model-view-controller (MVC) Web Application Development framework. The system includes features such as page caching to improve performance, RSS feeds, printable versions of pages, news flashes, blogs, polls, website searching, and language internationalization.

Documentation: Good

Client-side integration: MooTools

Community: Joomla has a large community. Community supports forum and several team blogs.

License: GPL

Last release: 1.5.10

Size: 5.9mB

Project example: Rallypoint TV


CodeIgniter is a powerful PHP framework with a very small footprint, built for PHP coders who need a simple and elegant toolkit to create full-featured web applications

Documentation: CodeIgniter Documentation is clear and compact. It also incl;udes several easy to uderstand video tutorials.

Community: CodeIgniter community includes several forums and wiki.

License: Apache/BSD-style open source license

Last release: 1.7.1

Size: 894 kB

Project example:


The Zoop Framework is stable, scalable, and portable. Far from being Yet Another PHP Framework or Rails clone, it's been in development since 2001 and in production use for the last 6 years in a number of different environments. It's designed to be fast, efficient, modular, and extensible. Although it predates the recent proliferation of PHP MVC frameworks, it not only supports but encourages separation of display, logic and data layers.

Documentation: Zoop has a good documentationn which includes the main documentation, beginner guide and several screencasts.

Community: Zoop community iis not very large. It supports only one forum

License: Zope Public License

Last releases: 1.5

Size: 2.7mb

Project example: Cloud9Living


CakePHP is a rapid development framework for PHP that provides an extensible architecture for developing, maintaining, and deploying applications. Using commonly known design patterns like MVC and ORM within the convention over configuration paradigm, CakePHP reduces development costs and helps developers write less code.

Documentation: Strong documentation with lots of tutorials and screencasts.

Community: CakePHP has medium size community. It supports Google Group and IRC channel.

License: MIT License.

Last releases: 1.2.2

Size: 658kB

Project example: Yale Dayli News


The Akelos PHP Framework is a PHP port of the Web application framework Ruby on Rails. Like Rails, Akelos claims to simplify and improve the process of developing database driven web applications. It allows the programmer to create applications by writing less code than other similar Frameworks, requiring little or no configuration. It also has a code generating system for creating application skeletons or scaffolds that accelerates the process of creating CRUD applications.

Documentation: Usual documentation with reference, tutorial and screencasts

Client-side integration:

Community: There is a Community forum , documentation wiki and several mailing lists on the Akelos website.

License: LGPL

Last releases: 0.9

Size: 2.3mB

Project example: >


Kohana is an open source, PHP5, web application framework that uses the Model View Controller design pattern. It aims to be secure, lightweight, and easy to learn and use.[2] It supports only version 5 or higher of PHP in order to make full use of the improvements in that version's object-oriented design.

Documentation: Kohana documentation is very similiar to CodeIgniter documentation because Kohana documentation build on the CodeIgniter.

Community: Kohana community is rather small and supports only one forum.

License: BSD-style open source license

Last releases: 2.3.1

Size: 426kB

Project example: Kohana Jobs


Nano CMS is the tiniest CMS you can find around. The user interface and the functionality are very very simple and extremely easy to use. The core feature of NanoCMS is that it is filebased and does not use any database at all, which makes it super easy to install - just extract and that's it.

Documentation: Large wiki with all needed documentation.

Community: You can find an active forum on the NanoCMS site.

License: GNU/GPL License.

Last releases: 0.4 Stable.

Size: 56kB.

Project example: Suncoast School

Great commercial solution - phpDesigner

phpDesigner is more than just an advanced and lightning fast PHP IDE and PHP editor, it is also a full-blown HTML/XHTML, CSS and JavaScript editor and even more! -- for both beginners and professional developers!

Boost your productivity with phpDesigner and simplify complex coding projects with tons of features to speed up your development!

phpDesigner assists you all the way all from editing, analyzing, debugging to publishing websites powered by PHP, HTML/XHTML, CSS, JavaScript and many other web languages!

  • Lighting fast and advanced but yet easy to learn and use
  • Intuitive, customizable workspace with theme support
  • Intelligent syntax highlighting for many web-languages
  • Advanced code suggestion on the fly for PHP, HTML/XHTML and CSS (JavaScript coming soon!)
  • Get assisted when working with OOP in PHP
  • Support for coding frameworks and libraries
  • Debug and profile with Xdebug
  • Real time error detection for PHP, HTML/XHTML and CSS
  • Remote FTP editing
  • TortoiseSVN support
  • …plus hundreds of other time saving features!


What do you think about Textpattern?
Some claim that it is one of the cleanest CMS solutions.

How did you forget about CodeIgniter? Is one of the best frameworks ever!

I liked Joomla initially, but had an awful experience when I went to the plugin community. The core was nice but the plugins were straight spaghetti. Exactly the opposite for Drupal, the core was nice but a bit procedural and the plugins were generally high quality... just my experience though.

you should add b2evolution ( )
just my 2 cents :p

Nice info. I am actually using WordPress and Joomla, but I think I am going to try Zoop and Kohana.

Thanks for the links.


Antonio Giossa
Buenos Aires | Argentina

carlos - pay better attention. Its listed.

I'd strongly recommend Yii Framework. After trying all the major frameworks (a couple of them more than once) I found Yii Framework to be a breath of fresh air in the PHP MVC space. Good documentation. Unique features (user administration a core part of the framework). Quick development time. My site,, was built with it and my design,, site is currently in the process of being ported to it from Ruby On Rails.

Lets not forget the new kid on the block Concrete5 CMS also referred as C5. It is still sparse in blocks or module apps but it will indeed grow fast and like another missing CMS Modx it has some really great features without being a disk hog.

I am personally running C5 for my domain, but will be testing out NanoCMS for a non-db instance...thanks for the perspective.

You will never please everyone but always good to hear various points of view!

I can not believe that modxcms is not mentioned, imo the best CMS and PHP framework in one. Modx not being mentioned is a travesty

You are missing couple of good ones like Silver Stripe, Frog even an Expression Engine (it's not totally free).

What do you think about Constructr CMS (

wow, no modx? im surprised, and a little sad inside.

CodeIgniter is best framework I ever seen!

I vote for Concrete 5 too. nice balance of capability and usability. Particularly if your handing off day to day tasks to client. a new CMS/Page generator, just find it and seems nice work.
Also I do not understand since when Jooomla or Drupal or Wordpress is a framework??? How can be mixed a framework and CMS? As far as I know Framework is something what generate pages, files etc.
From my point of view this should be 2 separate article.

Where It is best framework I ever seen!

It's interesting to see that the TYPO3 website isn't listed here. TYPO3 is one of the grand daddys of modern content management frameworks.

I've been successfully using it for over 6 years, though some days Word Press is all that a client needs.

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