Popular Open Source Web Applications

What are the most popular open source web applications? If you are a web developer or a web designer or someone who wants to learn how the web works, knowing some of the popular open source web applications can greatly benefit you. On the other hand, if you want an open source solution for your web project, then knowing some of the best open source web apps could help you choose which one you’ll get.

It’s true that there are thousands of open source web applications, but not all of them are equal. There are ones that excel in one thing but lacks in another, there are ones that does a mediocre job on everything and there are those who manage to provide a commercial level, and best of all, free. With those things in mind, let us discuss some of the most popular open source web applications today.



No doubt, this is the king of open source web application. It’s a fully pledged content management system that evolved from a simple publishing tool. As of this writing, WordPress powers almost half of the internet, from large companies like CNN, TED, and BBC to small bloggers and site owners. Starting in 2009, it became the most popular CMS and also the most powerful. One of the reasons why WordPress became the most powerful CMS is because of its flexibility and extensibility. With its wide array of plugins and themes, a simple user who wants to setup a blogging platform can easily add additional features.


This is another popular content management system, an award winning platform use by many. Joomla allows you to build powerful websites and web applications. Like WordPress, it also has a wide array of extensions and templates to choose from. Joomla was first conceived in 2000 and with its steadily growing community of users and developers, there’s no doubt it can go a long way.


If you want to build an ecommerce website, you can choose osCommerce. Like Joomla, it was also released in year 2000, and it is deeply committed to open source software. With 260,000 active users and developers, osCommerce is one of the solid e-commerce platform to choose.


If you are looking for a fully pledged, multipurpose, integrated image gallery script, Coppermine is the best solution for you. This web application is written using PHP that supports GD or ImageMagick as image library and uses the MySQL backend. Though major updates are a rarity nowadays, there are still a lot of security and minor fixes released on a regular basis.


A free flat-forum BBS, phpBB was a very popular open source web application software on its early years, though it still remains a popular free forum software. Its source code is available on GitHub repository and is available for anyone to customize and improve.