TYPO3 CMS Review

As one of the oldest open source content management systems, TYPO3 CMS has a lot to offer its users. Learn the pros and cons of TYPO 3 and who is using TYPO3. Read more to find out if TYPO3 is the right choice for your web site; then learn how to get started.
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What is TYPO3?

TYPO3 is a free content management system designed to allow users to create and manage a web site without a knowledge of HTML. TYPO3 was created by Kasper Skarhoj in 1997 when the idea of a CMS was just being realized. In 1998 TYPO3 went commercial with superfish, but it left a year later when it was clear the projects were heading in different directions. In 2000 TYPO3 was released as an open source project. TYPO3 gained popularity, and in 2004 the TYPO3 Association formed in Switzerland to oversee TYPO3. In 2005, TYCON3, the first TYPO3 conference was held.

As a content management system, TYPO3 CMS presents a web page to viewers and allows web site authors to manage content. It uses JavaScript to create frontend, viewed by web site visitors. Because it is designed to be used by people who don't have a knowledge of programming languages, it is based on templates, which come already made or can be created using TypoScript. TYPO3 Extensions Repository (TER) has almost 4000 extensions users can add to customize their web pages.

TYPO3 CMS is used by over 300,000 web sites, ranging from corporations and universities to small businesses and non profit organizations. Some of the users of TYPO3 include:

  • Volkswagon
  • 3M
  • MGM Home Entertainment
  • New York Times
  • Lufthansa
  • Ford
  • Samsung
  • Stanford University
  • General Electric

What are the features of TYPO3?

The core program of TYPO3 has many useful features, and extensions allow web site owner to customize their web site.

Some of the core features of TYPO3 include:

  • A web site creation wizard based on templates
  • Extension Kickstarter for creating extensions
  • Online tutorials
  • Windows, Mac, Linux
  • Firefox, IE, Opera, Safari
  • Can be edited through front end or back end
  • cut/paste from other programs
  • WYSIWYG and Rich Text Editor with spell checker
  • Unlimited undos
  • Restrictions on who can view content
  • Timeline of when content appears or disappears
  • Multiple sites and domains
  • Manage user and group permissions
  • Parent-child templates
  • Login controls and history
  • SSL
  • Caching
  • UTF-8
  • Statistics
  • Search engine and human friendly URLs

Some of the many extensions available allow web site owners to include:

  • Ecommerce features
  • News
  • Calendars
  • Image galleries
  • Document repositories
  • Search features
  • Statistics
  • Login
  • Newsletter
  • Classifieds and job listings
  • Chat
  • Discussion boards
  • User home pages
  • Surveys and quizzes
  • Wikis
  • RSS feeds
  • Image editing
  • TCPDF open source software for creating PDFs

In addition to online support documentation and forums, TYPO3 features three annual conferences and is currently developing a support certification program.

What are the pros and cons of TYPO3?

TYPO 3 is a fairly easy-to-use program, though beginners may experience some frustration getting started. It is compatible with more databases than many other open source content management systems. It is also compatible with UNIX, Mac, and Windows, and most web browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Netscape, Opera, and Konqueror. If you want to modify TYPO3 or create your own extensions you may need to learn the TypoScript language in addition to other programming languages.

How do I get started with TYPO3 CMS?

To start using TYPO3 you will need an account with a web host that supports the minimum requirements for TYPO3. These include:

  • Apache or IIS web server
  • Linux, Microsoft Windows, Mac OSX, or OS/2 operating systems
  • MySQL database for the core TYPO3 software; extensions allow Oracle, MS-SQL, PostgreSQL, ODBC, and LDAP databases
  • PHP

Check out TYPO3.com web site for specific version requirements. Once you have your web hosting account set up, TYPO3 has online documentation to help you download and install TYPO3 and create your web page.  We Have found GreenGeeks to be one of the best TYPO3 CMS hosting providers. 

Visit TYPO3's website at typo3.com

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