Composr compared to other CMSs

Cartoon image representing different CMSs
John Doe, Purchasing Manager, Naive-Corp
A whimsical comparison of your CMS choice (Composr vs other common systems).

This page aims shows many of Composr's benefits. We have many innovative features, but also do a lot of important things as-standard that a lot of the common CMSs don't really do (at least not in an official capacity).A deeper philosophical discussion is in the Web-applications, Composr, and PHP tutorial

Calling all Webmasters…

  • Composr has no licensing costs – it is free to download, even for commercial use – re-focus investment where it's needed
  • So many website features are available out of the box: start with just what you need and turn things on as you need them. Lack of reliance on addons = no risk of orphaned features
  • Composr can be thoroughly customised – you can do a surprising amount without a programmer
  • Use the integrated administration system: everything is neatly organised in harmony. Because Composr is developed by a dedicated team, everything is designed for simplicity and coherence
  • Composr has many 100s of pages of docs freely available, plus video tutorials. Because you don't need 3rd party addons, you can find all support and documentation in one place
  • We've been around since 2004 and has evolved continuously to keep up to date with technological changes. Composr is a real hotbed of innovation, with many features not found anywhere else
  • Composr has a proper company behind it, so you can trust that the developers won't vanish.
    We have a professional support service available to you if you need it
  • Through Composr's advanced theme technology you can get a unique design up quickly
  • Composr runs on almost any PHP web server – there are no special software or hardware requirements

Calling all Developers…

  • We have over 100 pages of field-tested developer documentation
  • Plug-in your existing code without needing to make substantial changes: 'echo' still works
  • Every single PHP function is documented, however trivial – make use of a solid API
  • You can remove any features you don't need: we hate bloat too, and believe in simplicity
  • We have a rare transparency, even among Open Source companies… We don't hide our support prices, and think it is bad spirit for an OSS product to have a paid "pro" version
  • Use our framework to extend and override code without having to compromise upgradability
  • Our CEO is a programmer and our creative director's father co-invented Usenet – we live tech
  • We have extreme code quality standards; we even made own own stricter PHP version to develop on
  • There's no need for third party plugins to get a decent feature-base (compare our features!)
  • Our high standards span all our features; for example cross-feature proxy-server support
    Our system architecture allows cross-feature functionality such as points and unified search.
    Technology is used consistently – e.g. you only need to work with one templating system
  • We find and fix bugs remarkably quickly, usually within just a couple of working days
  • Everything we do is free and online: no need to invest in extra books or commercial addons
  • Composr is secure-by-design, with layers of security and an inbuilt Web Application Firewall

Calling all Designers…

  • We have a rare transparency, even among Open Source companies… We don't hide our support prices, and think it is bad spirit for an OSS product to have a paid "pro" version
  • Every little bit of HTML and CSS can be customised in Composr without having to ever touch PHP
  • Our powerful templating language allows you to do common things like zebra stripes easily
  • Composr lets you make the system completely White Label with just a few clicks, for free
  • Your clients likely ask for lots of features: compare us on CMS Matrix, we dare you!
  • We obsess about W3C compliance: see our vision page to see how far we go
  • We care about clean design: see how we cut out the noise on our website compared to other CMSs
  • A single Composr site can have multiple designs – e.g. different branding on different sections
  • Composr is built for full design flexibility, we hate assumptions; use features like Lego™ blocks
  • With Composr you can focus on design and stop having to hammer bits of technology into shape
  • Get stuff like comprehensive automatic sitemap creation: most CMSs can't even do this via addons
  • Avoid wrestling with the design styles of a dozen addon designers: use our consistent base.
    Features are tame and built without ego – unlike third party addons other CMSs rely on
  • Our CEO used to work at a design agency for high street brands: we live what you need and expect
  • All kind of effects are built into Comcode, such as carousels, tooltips, and tickers
  • As you know, clients now demand a CMS; Composr is designed for use by non-techies
  • With Composr you can create a platform for your client that can grow with their business – turn on new features as you/they need them

Direct comparison

Feature Drupal Joomla Composr Wordpress
Easy to install and setup Yes Yes Yes Yes
WYSIWYG editor (*1) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Discussion Forum (*1) Yes No Yes No
Events Calendar (*1) No No Yes No
Newsletter (*1) No No Yes No
Photo Gallery (*1) No No Yes No
Style Wizard No, but lots of user themes No, but lots of user themes Yes No, but lots of user themes
eCMS Yes, Drupal is a sophisticated framework No (but the framework Joomla uses is very strong) Yes No
Social networking Limited No Yes Limited
Open Source Yes Yes Yes Yes
Commercially-backed Somewhat No Yes Somewhat
Bug back log 4594 49 2 1429
Uniform design Core only Core only Extensive Core only
Strong plugin integration No No Yes No
Uniform standards Core only Core only Extensive Core only
Modular, flexible, and maintainable Yes Limited (framework is, but product has some big assumptions) Yes Limited
Full API documentation Yes Yes Yes Yes
Reported security holes (historic) 143 94 5 205
WAI Compliant Limited No Yes No
Scalability testing Some people have millions Untested Tested to 1 million Untested
Page throughput 26.22 trans/sec 8.57 trans/sec 10.13 trans/sec (*2) 19.12 trans/sec
Primary practioners Programmers Anybody
(lots of agencies)
Varies by goals Anybody
  • This data was taken from CMS Matrix, tests run default installs, and our understanding of the systems.
    Please notify us if the status of anything is incorrect and we'll update the table.
  • *1: Most of this functionality can be added to other systems using third-party plugins (we explain why we think this is bad above).
    The features we picked for the table are just some examples: we didn't want to make the table hundreds of rows long.
  • *2: We could have improved our speed by removing bundled addons (this gets Composr 17.77 trans/sec), but we wanted to be consistent in comparing default installations. Drupal 7's default site did not come with any content or blocks placed, so was naturally very fast. Wordpress is simple without much overhead.
    These figures are outdated and need updating. We have managed to do some quite sophisticated optimisations in Composr v10.
Back to Top