The Future of Open Source CMS - by 23 Web Designers & Developers

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Open Source Content Management Systems are the most used for almost any kind of site on the web. All of us have been using these systems and sure will continue using them.

Well, the Future of Open Source CMS can sure be predicted based on how they are being used currently. We have requested 23 cool Web Designers & Developers to share their thoughts on this same topic. 

Here goes the list in random order. We hope you enjoy this, please do share your thoughts too...

Jacob Cass

The future of Open Source CMS, in my opinion, is that it is going become much more prevalent, powerful & easier to use. More and more people are joining together to help improve the overall performance and experience of working with CMS's which I believe will make it how I said above - even more powerful & easy to use.


Chris Spooner

With Open Source CMS such as Wordpress being of such high quality I can see them progressing into the future with even more features. Backed with a range of plugins from various developers across the web they will really help diversify what the CMS can do. On the other hand, you can’t beat a custom made system designed specifically for a job that’s slightly out of the ordinary, so it’s likely there will still be a demand for developers in this area in the future.


Chris Coyier

Open Source can be misinterpreted as being of lower quality or as being unsuitable for serious production work. This is untrue, and especially untrue when it comes to CMS platforms. A CMS that is freely distributed means it likely has a far larger user base and community. Those larger numbers mean more bug reports, more bug fixes, more stability improvements, etc. And for the average user, the larger the community the better your chances at finding help with problems.

But how can Open Source be a viable buisness model? It's impossible right? Not at all. Look at Magento, who freely distributes their eCommerce platform and charges for installation and support if needed. Look at WordPress, who freely distributes the world's most popular blogging platform. They have a .com variety that requires no installation or technical know-how, and monetizes with advertising.


Andy Sowards

I have used many open source CMS's in my time as a web developer, out of those the most popular are Joomla, Drupal, and Wordpress. However my thoughts on the future of CMS options lean towards one of those CMS's much greater than the others. The CMS I believe is going to be the future is obviously Wordpress. What are my reasons for this? Because when you work with Wordpress you can pretty much make it do Anything you want, Easily. It can be manipulated with PHP to do anything you want, PHP is also a widely accepted and documented language that is easy to pick up. Because of the wide acception of Wordpress, there are many plugins and hacks even that are already laid out infront of you.

The Wordpress community is so huge that its hard to ignore, Many people already use Wordpress for their Sites/Blogs, Its almost like Wordpress is as popular as using jQuery for your project needs. This makes it even easier to use as our clients are already familiar with using it, and making changes to the posts/pages, even installing plugins! When it comes to Joomla or Drupal, many clients are overwhelmed or confused as to what it even is. Without diving deep into the documentation of Joomla or Drupal it is easy to get lost, but with WordPress you can almost jump in instantly and know what to do, because documentation for Common wordpress tasks and features are documented everywhere(Literally).

I feel like the future of CMS is going to be simple, extendable and easy to implement and update, without having to use many workarounds(if any at all) to get what you need done. Which is the way it should be.


Marco Kuiper

I'm a Joomla! user and therefor only viewing this from a Joomla! users perspective. I'm a huge fan of any open source project, whether it's a framework, programming language, OS or CMS. But especially the last one (the CMS) is the one that's going down. Fast.

The reason for this is not the CMS itselve: That one (just like Drupal) is awesome. It’s the extensions that’s bringing it down. Joomla! is free. The best extensions (sadly) aren't. It’s also very hard to find the 'perfect' extension that suits you best.

The concept of an open source  will stay alive and kicking for a while. I'm afraid that Joomla! will not live that long. The reason: The extensions.


Dainis Graveris

When I received this request, I realized I haven't thought about such things although I am working with Open Source CMS every day. It's already like a self-evident thing. And actually that shows how much we are used to live and work with WordPress, Drupal – clients more often want to get his own CMS to their websites, for now there are enough XHTML+CSS site requests, but in the future I am sure – with simple coding knowledge we won’t get the job done. I read an article to feel a little more confidence about my opinion, but still I think nothing significant won’t change – still every website needs it’s own unique development solution - there is no way to get rid of developing or designing process.

But of course, technologies are evolving all the time – and code is getting simpler and simpler, before a few years nobody imagined everybody could own and manage his own blog without any coding skills, so it’s pretty hard to say any predictions.

I see great and very promising future to open source programs and CMS, already using several of these, and I am pleased with my choice.



It is not even something we need to discuss and worry about. Definitely Open Source has a really bright future.  Open source CMSs have been dominating the CMS market over years. A licensed CMS can never get as popular as Wordpress or Drupal.

Every new day we have new open source add-ons for every innovation that makes the Open Source CMSs more powerful. All the praises to the mighty developers contributing to the Open Source Community.

All I expect in the future is to experience more simple yet powerful CMSs. UI matters a lot in this century.


Brian Cray

Due to the democratization of information on the Internet, open source has a potential of being the base layer for nearly all innovations in Web-based products and services--content management systems included--because open source supports open information sharing--a key success factor to the Web.

Content management systems will grow in popularity as web-based applications are adopted into the mainstream, and most businesses (or people) do not have the resources to create a robust application afforded by a content management system. In other words, not many people out there can reinvent a better wheel. Nor do many people have the resources. So the fact that content management systems come prepackaged with robust features that can reduce time-to-market really gives content management systems their step ahead.

Having said that, free community support of a CMS will never drive as much innovation as something backed by money. A CMS that is being backed by money is going to see more development time and efforts than one without. As I said, open-source CMSs will provide a base layer to drive commercialized products, much like Apple has done with darwin.


Timothy van Sas

The open source CMS has a bright future ahead. When you want to maintain a relative simple website you can use wordpress and joomla (for example) without any hustle. There always will be a demand for good programmers for the more complex e-commerce websites. My speciality is front-end (design,xhtml,css) with no knowledge in back-end, so i'm giving the open source CMS systems a big thumb up.


Gopal Raju

The demand for Open source CMS is huge and growing, and the user base is apparently large compared to other proprietary softwares.

Today, almost everyone has used at least one Opensource CMS (especially wordpress, Joomla, Drupal etc). In my opinion, each CMS has it's own strategy/intend and as long as they stick on to it, they are safe



I think the future of content management systems will focus on user interaction. Probably we'll see a lot more Ajax implemented into a community-like environment. User groups will probably be a standard feature in every CMS. Also alternative ways of content publishing will probably develop, such as direct mobile phone / internet tablet text, photo and video posting. Future CMS will probably be based on modules so every user can create exactly what it needs.



I think the popularity of WordPress in particular has already proven that Open Source CMSes are a great idea and can stand their ground against anybody.

Now the big issue they are going to come up against next is managing this massive community. Like what happens when your rules conflict with a massively popular plugin (cforms)? Or if your software starts going in a different direction to how it began (e.g. Blog to website CMS?)? Or the classic, theme developers trying to make money? 

I can’t answer those questions, but I think that whatever answer is given, someone is going to get annoyed. And that just means opportunities for other CMSes.


Bogdan Sandu

The future of Open Source CMS is now. It's playing like a lovely song on the radio. That's the reason you can hardly predict what will happen with them next considering the fact that not so many people were giving these Content Management Systems credit. 

Certainly, in this moment it's hard for a new Open Source CMS to rise among the 3 big players named Joomla, Drupal and Wordpress as long as their image is sustained by large communities almost indoctrinated with the fanaticism of their 'loved one'.

We don't even have to ask why are they popular. It's well known that with them you can build, deploy and manage web sites, blogs and more...


Joseph Cotten

The future of Open Source CMS is the future of web development.  The community aspect of an Open Source project results in CMS platforms that are increasingly easier to use, maintain and design for.  I see the Open Source CMS market growing and becoming more competitive as more web designers and developers begin using CMS-driven websites.


Chad Mueller

I think the open source CMS future looks bright, I love how everyone is willing to share and help out. I believe that is the reason why open source is so successful and will be for a long time. People love being helped, and people love helping. If you are good at something, why not share your skills and experiences.



*Closed Source* *CMS is dead? *Even the biggest companies will have to consider the great advantages of *independence*, *flexibility* and a huge *community* for collaboration and support  following the idea "wisdom of the crowds".  Wordpress or Typo3 are just the beginning what Don Tapscott once described in Wikinomics. The future of CMS relies in *opening standards* for easy to use 3^rd party applications like we experience at Facebook (e.g. FB Connect), Googles Android or the Iphone. In my opinion, Closed Source CMS projects will definitely become an *out-of-date model*.


Brian J King

Open source CMS's are the past, present, and future. They have empowered users and developers to build and develop tools that engage and distribute content and knowledge. Open source CMS's flatten competition and eliminate the need for closed software that cost thousands of dollars and do not allow for anyone to participate and share their knowledge, build better tools, and flatten competition and drive the market towards greater overall growth and stability.


Richard Brettingham Smith

Open source is something we will always support but I have doubts on using an open source CMS with our projects. If thousands of people know the source code of our clients webpages and it only takes one bad mind to find a lack of security in the code then I wont take the risk of a hacked client page.

Therefor we have developed our own CMS. Still open source CMS does make sense for a lot of people and I hope developers will keep releasing their code under an open source license.


Dallas Pool

I think the real future is in modularity and flexibility. The ability to utilize a CMS for a blogging platform, e-commerce engine, and social network in three instances by simply adding a few easily customized plugins is key to a robust CMS. Drupal has come a long way in achieving this goal I believe.


Nick Pagano

Open Source CMS, and really Open Source projects in general, have been big lately, and only continue to grow. I think this is mainly because the design and coding community is a very active and passionate community. Open Source CMS allow the community to work together to develop better solutions, and I don’t see that stopping any time soon. I think in the future you will see more advanced CMS, with more user-friendly, and novice-welcoming backends.

These CMS make it easier for people with little web knowledge to take control of their websites. We’re already seeing a lot of improvements in this area, and I see that making big leaps forward in the near future. Which would give even beginners the ability to change everything from style & design, to functionality and coding. It’s amazing how far a lot of these Open Source projects have come in such a short amount of time, and I think it’s safe to say the improvements will only continue.


Hieu Pham

Open Source is dominating the WWW. Open source CMS mean flexible. Developers or designers don’t worry being limited. More important, with open source, you could learn from the code. The more you know the code the more you could extend it. That’s why there’re so many plug-in out there for open source CMS. I don’t see why the future would change. Open Source CMS will just get bigger and better.


Tharique Azeez

The future of Open Source CMS will be shiner than ever, although CMS will be replace all the activities one can do in on line. It means Contents are always managed by CMS from various sources from the user like lifestream. Open Source CMS will become the automated solution for tracking people activities online in personal and professional uses. CMS will going to become the heart of online life and user might become part of it.


Andrew Cairns

Open source CMS face the same problems common forums do when it comes to security. As the source is provided free, malicious users can easily find weaknesses and target a range of websites which use these Content Management Systems.

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