14 Inspiring CMS Showoffs

Content Management Systems have become common place for website development, custom development saved for the largest and most unique websites.

Before deciding which CMS is best for your next project it is a good idea to see how others have customized the offering to their needs, as a way to evaluate how flexible the software is. Will it stifle your creativity or will it allow you to incorporate your best design and be able to provide a host of other features that would not be possible otherwise.

The popular CMSs all have strong community offerings including forums where you are encouraged to show off your latest creations, a great place to start when evaluating the software. Browse the list below to find some inspiration, some of them have RSS feeds that you can subscribe to, to stay inspired.

Which is your favorite CMS? Is it the one that gets out of your way and lets you design the website you want, or are certain functionalities more important? In the best of both worlds, you design your layout as you normally would, and then serve it up with all the added extra goodies a CMS can offer.

My favorite to date is ExpressionEngine purely on the enthusiasm and etiquette of the community there. I am just adding some of these others to my bloglines feeds, for future reference and design inspiration. There are some amazing sites going unnoticed, I’m sure of it.

Good luck to you in your inspiration hunting and learning/doing with your CMS of choice.

About ty.Gossman

A full-time web designer, long-time contributor to the Stylegala web standards gallery, and a lifetime member of the creative.Planet. Life on the planet is good... !
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38 Responses to 14 Inspiring CMS Showoffs

  1. Pingback: » 14 Inspiring CMS Showoffs Webcreatives

  2. Jordan says:

    I’m going to have to go with TextPattern.

    It gets the hell out of your way to let you build a website. I also love it’s forms system.

  3. Chris says:

    You should really check out liveSite by Camelback Web Architects (camelback.net)

  4. ty.Gossman says:

    Thanks for the symphony post phaziz, the showcase link would be:
    http://overture21.com there is also an Rss feed.

  5. cheebur says:

    Try this one for Textpattern inspiration:


  6. Craig Teel says:

    I’d have to go with http://www.playintraffik.com . Much easier to use than other CMS’s and tons of awesome features.

  7. Dimmy says:

    This site is a showcase site for the incredible flexible cms/cmf modx.
    take a look at the designs and get inspired. See that the cms is not in the way of the design all the designs are as unique as there creators

  8. PHPboost says:

    Un CMS pas mal du tout, c’est PHPBoost qui se développe très rapidement actuellement…

    Son slogan “votre site à portée de main!”.

    Essayez le, on y décroche plus après…

  9. VaIt says:

    ModX cms all the way! http;//www.viriko.ru & http://www.viriko.com are examples of pure modx sites.

  10. Arjan says:

    Maybe you should include Umbraco CMS umbraco.org, also open source but based on MS .NET instead of PHP and fully web standards capable.

  11. [Disclosure: I am a member of the MODx Marketing Team]

    Great idea to post all the different major CMSs together for people to check out. I think choosing a CMS is a matter of personal choice and project need.

    Obviously I have a bias but for instance, if you are going to be a professional blogger, WP is going to win out over the others as it is the right tool for the project.

    If you are building a large corporate portal site then Joomla or Drupal is right although the upcoming release of MODx will be able to handle the larger enterprise class sites.

    Choose the CMS that works for your project.



  12. Sarah says:

    I personally love wordpress. This is an amazing (from my point of view) Its easy, strong community to discuss the issues, great list of plugins and themes. Maybe, there is a reason to love wordpress is I never tried anything else.

  13. Will says:

    I would say that wordpress is probably my favourite out of this list. For my site though I am trying to develop my own cms with all the features I want, but still simple enough to be natural to use. I think it’s design is influenced by wordpess in some ways. Take a look at http://www.pennd.com

  14. David Sparks says:

    I use text pattern. Imo its the easiest to learn, has fewest problems, has the simplest user interface and works great

  15. Pai says:

    based on the list, i would go for expression engine..

    mtos is on its way to become a most flexible cms.. 🙂

  16. Dan Previte says:

    I haven’t used it yet, but I am really looking forward to the next version of Expression Engine since it will be written in CodeIgniter. I’ll be able to drop their CMS right into my existing CI sites which is pretty slick.

  17. See also http://www.joomlashow.it/ for italian sites made with joomla!

  18. ty.Gossman says:

    There are some notable omissions pointed out so far… I can’t believe I forgot about movableType.org, umbraco.org, and symphony21.com. Thanks for other great link suggestions. MovableType’s forums don’t have a showoff section that I could find, elsewhere on MI http://movablelove.com was mentioned as a MT gallery.

  19. Pingback: 14 CMS a tener en cuenta » Cosas sencillas

  20. It´ll be better compare them… Compare the valid of the HTML they produce, how accessible are they, the usability….

  21. ty.Gossman says:

    Another entree for anyone stuck on asp.net here’s another bone: http://graffiticms.com

  22. frehermell says:

    and….texty.com ¿?

  23. Zac says:

    I would have to go with Expression Engine. I moved to it from WordPress and in lue of Joomla. Love its flexibility, support, and documentation.

    2.0 is going to be even sweeter! It is an additional boost for those who want a control/object/view framework to work with, CodeIgnitor.

  24. Brian says:

    I’ve tried many of these, and I have to say for my own needs, nothing has been able to touch TypoLight for me so far. I think it has the perfect balance of power and flexibility without being too complex and bloated. If you are looking for a blog or more community-driven site, it can do that as well, but there are better options.

    But as a CMS that meets the typical needs of my clients’ sites while allowing me to produce clean, standards-based code, I was blown away immediately, and am not looking back.

  25. Dan says:

    I like the fact that SilverStripe lets you code like Ruby on Rails (but in PHP) and has a much more powerful and intuitive content authoring interface that others I’ve seen around. Plus, even the U.S. Democrats use them — see this video of them on national T.V. from their homepage:


  26. zoel says:


  27. ty.Gossman says:

    MovableType was noticably omitted, the point of the entries was those CMS forums that offer a specific category for designers and developers to share their new sites. The movableType forum has no such category, or a specific place to start a “showoff your sites” thread. It’s not easy to keep up with a feed for an entire CMS, rather than monitoring feeds for new sites only… the good stuff!

  28. Pingback: Web Development Framework Showcases | Most Inspired Blog

  29. Naomi Niles says:

    Definitely ExpressionEngine. It’s the most flexible CMS I’ve ever worked with.

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  33. I haven’t decided it yet!!
    i have tried my hand @ Textpattern and it seems pretty cool…

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