Review: Top 5 Laravel-based CMSs

When talking about Frameworks vs CMSs, we usually compare one to another. But in fact there are quite a lot of CMSs that are built on top of frameworks! Laravel isn’t an exception and there are a few popular CMS projects which deserve attention. So I decided to look at the market and do a quick testing of those. Let’s see what I’ve found.

1. October CMS

By far the most popular Laravel-based CMS on the market. And it deserves the popularity – from the CMSs I’ve tested this was the only one fully-production-ready: documentation, ease of use, plugins, themes, just take it and use it.

The first pleasant thing is a web-based installation process, which allows even to choose from three installation options: blank, theme or ready-made.


I’ve chosen a theme-based option and here are some of the themes available by default.


And then – installation goes on, downloading files from the internet.


This is the visual result of installation – here’s how a default homepage looks like:


Now, the admin area is quite nice as well. Theme consists of pre-made structured pages (to be exact, Twig templates) which you can edit from back-end.


And yes, by saying “edit from back-end”, I mean literally that. You can edit the code and click Save. Wow, CMS for developers.


In addition, there are a few useful settings, I particularly liked mail preferences – you can not only choose mail driver from back-end (PHP Mail, Mailgun, Mandrill etc) but also have ready-made email templates to edit.


Also I can say nice words about “marketing” part of the whole October CMS infrastructure, which is as important as core CMS itself.

Look at this – docs are well-written:


There are hundreds of plugins already, including Paid ones – so developers can make money on this:


Also there are about 50 themes, some also Paid:


And another strong piece of good impression about October CMS is that there are even jobs on Upwork which require specifically that system. That totally means maturity or October CMS:


And finally – CMS is mature (started in October of 2013, now you understand the logic behind the name?) and is still strongly maintained, the last commit to Github was less than a month ago.

So definitely check out October CMS, meanwhile – let’s go to review the alternatives.

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2. Asgard CMS

GitHub: project – and core platform –

Relatively new project, started in 2015, but already really strong. But this CMS is aimed more at developers, even install should be done from command line.

  1. First you can get the code using the following command:
    composer create-project asgardcms/platform your-project-name
  2. Finally, run the install command to get you started:
    php artisan asgard:install
  3. Done! Enjoy your freshly installed website. You can login to the back by going to the /backend URI.

Installation command asks you a few questions:

And then you login to back-end which is really simple and nice, pages are editable like this:


Default front-end homepage is really really simple, but I guess the thought behind it that you can easily extend it.


Asgard CMS is also actively maintained, last commit on GitHub was within the last month. So I can recommend Asgard CMS as a valid simple option for Laravel-based CMS.

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3. Lavalite


Also a developer-focused project with impressive Laravel 5.2 version and typical command-line install:

  1. composer create-project LavaLite/cms –prefer-dist website
  2. Enter your database details in .env file on root folder.
  3. Run php artisan migrate –seed to setup your database.

And after installation I can say Lavalite is both simple and usable. Admin area looks like this:


Front-end template is simple but you can customize it however you want.


And Lavalite is really strongly maintainable: the last commit was just hours ago.

And now we move to contestants which are not production-ready or I had troubles using, but still makes sense to review them.

4. PyroCMS


This one has an interesting history – it was re-built from CodeIgniter (PyroCMS versions up to 2.x) to Laravel (version 3.x), with latter having a new main committer and still in beta. Maybe that’s why installation wasn’t successful for me – here are the screenshots.

Visual installer, cool:

Update: more detailed overview of this CMS you can find in this fresh article.

5. TypiCMS


This one is totally for developers. All the information and documentation is directly on GitHub. It seems like there was a separate Laravel 4 version of this CMS, and now it’s migrating to 5.2 (not 5.1 or 5.0, sounds impressive!).

I succeeded at installing the system, but since I was testing on my Windows machine with XAMPP and TypiCMS requires Node.js and Gulp – I didn’t succeed at compiling front-end stuff. This is how it looked:


All good, right?
Then the error – npm install…


But in the end – installation succeeded, and the homepage loaded successfully, just without assets.


I also managed to login to the back-end admin area, which looks pretty nice and simple (though without front-end assets either):


So, to use TypiCMS you totally need Homestead or something like that, but overall seems like a really serious project with good documentation.

Overall conclusion

There are quite a few CMSs based on Laravel, with October CMS being a clear market leader. Personally, I’m not a fan of this solution (cause you have to maintain CMS on top of framework and constantly upgrade both), but if you do need this kind of architecture – just pick one of the above!

Notice: I’ve also found some abandoned or just started projects which I haven’t mentioned, but maybe in the future there will be more contestants for this TOP 5.

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  1. I also wanted to mention

    One thing I keep noticing is the lack of drop-in CMS packages that can be added to an existing project. Most, if not all, require you to spin them up as their own project, then build your functionaity around them. have you seen any that could be used as drop-ins?

    • Good point Mike, and yeah – Quarx is worth taking a look. Just wasn’t on the first pages of Google under “laravel cms”

      Regarding those drop-in packages, I haven’t seen those, but it’s hard to imagine a universal CMS package for YOUR particular project. Or do you mean that you have some kind of a database already, and then some external package would build an adminpanel with CRUDs for those? Isn’t it kinda “artificial intelligence” to understand your existing project and build a CMS for it?

      • Bumble CMS is worth a look, it’s far from a full fledged CMS but it’s a good drop in package that gives you a GUI to manipulate models. Still needs some polish but I think the concept is very good.

  2. I would also like to share CMS Canvas

    CMS Canvas is something I have done on the side as a hobby and takes a slightly different approach to content management than the others listed. In CMS Canvas all content are entries which can then be turned into a page if desired. This makes it easier for both end users and developers when dealing with content in complex layouts or when building things like blogs, news feeds, rss feeds, etc. Also, it is package that can be added to existing Laravel projects.

  3. I think your editor joined double dashes into one for the command for installing lavalite (maybe others too?)
    The parameter prefer-dist is lead by two dashes instead of one.

  4. there should be a cms for api , so user can simply add the data using a cms and then able to get it using front end JavaScript or in mobile

  5. I didn’t know there were so many Laravel CMS options. I was deciding between Canvas blogging platform and Backpack but they are not mentioned here. Both are built off Laravel so plenty of options to choose from here

  6. Great article!

    Out of all of those, I would choose October CMS for its elegance and simplicity,
    I regularly use it for eCommerce development which I currently focus on.

    There’s also a great set of plugins that help me in building my projects:

    I have a special promo-code that let’s you buy any of the paid plugins for a minimum price.
    Ask me if you would like to get your hands on it, it also adds me points if I share it with people.

  7. Hello to all.
    I want to mention a free suite made with Laravel 8 framework:
    Nura24 is a Free Suite with CMS (blog, articles, pages, downloads, blocks), eCOmmerce, Community FOrum, Help Desk (FAQ manager, Knowledge Base, Contact page manager) and Marketing.
    You can download for free here:

    Thank you.


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