PHP CMS built with developer first approach?

I love Laravel and I use it often but sometimes I just want a CMS to buld on top of. I used a lot of cmses in the last couple of years, WordPress, Drupal even Joomla for all kinds of stuff, but I never really found what I was looking for.
Coding in WordPress is…I dont know really how to put this, maybe “not elegant” and a lot of feautres I would expect a CMS to have nowadays cost a lot of money through plugins or development which means I could just aswell turn to Laravel and do it on my own. Drupal is mostly a clickfest (no offense really since I really love it) and I really like to code which you need to do a lot less when using Drupal. One of the other issues of mine with Drupal is that it gets really really slow on shared hosting and a lot of my clients cant afford much more then a shared hosting and I could really go on for a while what my problems are with the CMS-es I tried.
What I am looking for is a CMS that is as elegant to code for as for example in laravel’s case, maybe even have a framework underneath it, with a decent feature set. Basically a CMS with developer first mindset. I did try SilverStripe, OctoberCMS and Concrete5 aswell, my favourite would be SilverStripe and OctoberCMS but the latter is not mature enough in my opinion for building serious project with. Now I realise I may be wrong on some points but that is why I am here, I need your help and your opinions on this matter. Thank you in advance!


Do you share your opinion of Drupal for Drupal 8 as well? Drupal 8 is built with developers in mind.

Well I was very excited for Drupal 8 and I secretly was hoping for it to get a bit faster then d7, but when I tried it I was very sad to see that it got slower not faster. Compared to say WordPress its really really slow thats kinda the biggest problem of mine with Drupal.

Unfortunately I have not had the opportunity to use Drupal 8 for any projects yet. However, I believe there are a considerable number of tuning options including various caching that are available to speed the site up. At the very least using full page caching to speed up the user facing site.

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I know but full page chaching doesnt help that much for some reason, pages load slowly and thats a killer problem for me.

Are you referring to Drupal 8?

To be honest both D7 and D8 are slow, D8 even more so. At least compared to the likes of WP or SilverStripe etc.

Fair enough.

When you’re running Drupal it is best to be using Drupal specific hosting. I’ve never used Drupal on a shared host myself. Only ever on dedicated servers and cloud aws.

Yeah in that case (dedicated server or cloud aws) Drupal is pretty amazing but on shared hosting not so much. Maybe I just have to get used to using WP, I dont really see any other/better options.

Your options are very limited on shared hosting. I still think Drupal 8 could be tuned to be adequate. There are just so many features and layers of code it can be difficult to figure out.

Maybe I am not sure about that tho.

Have you looked at Craft and ExpressionEngine? Both offer you a blank slate which you can “build on top of”, and for most scenarios their inbuilt tools are more than adequate for easily managing structured content, data sets, and everything else.

Yes I did look at those aswell but I decided to go with Open Source/Free solutions, possibly community driven. Also I am looking for something lightweight that can be extended as much as possible if need be. The best example would be SilverStripe or OctoberCMS.

Have you see - built on Laravel. Or even

No I didnt thanks I will check them out right now.

There are also flat file CMSs that are pretty quick, such as Kirby.

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Why not build your own?

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I will give it a go thanks.

Thats a valid point but my issues with that are always the same, I would have to reinvent the wheel a lot, create a lot of things others already did and I am a single dev, which means more possibility for mistakes, longer development time and so on. What I am trying to say is that I love coding and for completely custom projects I will always use my own code for example using laravel as a base of the app and build on top of that (I have built my own bare minimum CMS already), but if a CMS can do it I really dont see the point of developing your own. That being said this is my point of view, yours may differ.


I love Laravel and I use it often but sometimes I just want a CMS to buld on top of.

Laravel is a bloated Php Framework that I once used to convert a CodeIgniter site. I was not impressed and reverted back to The fast, lean and mean CodeIgniter.

Caching should solve any slow sites. If your customers are relatively local then make sure the server is in the same area otherwise look into using Cloud Services.