I was primarily a flash developer.I searched online from 2003 till now for the perfect cms for flash and even developed one of my own during that time. I ve looked at codeigniter, pure mvc, joomla, wordpress, drupal, robotlegs, almost any that you can think of and when i found symphony i was like

My search took me from just actionscript programming into php, xml, css, xhtml, jquery, ajax, json e.t.c. I pretty much learned about a whole lot of other code enabling me to be a more rounded developer during this great search. I also learned that flash is better as a piece of the presentation..not the whole presentation.. as least for online webpages. :) Symphony rocks !! Thanks guys.

guillermosan, hope you continue to find Symphony to fit you & your client's needs!

Symphony rocks !!

Indeed, welcome!

I have been fiddling with wordpress... making numerous sites. Then one day I happened to bump into The website monetized developers answers. Having a few questions and willing to pay someone to answer me (the site is obviously targeting bad programers) I thought this was a great idea. However the site was not made with wordpress. The author argued why symphony is better than other cms. I heard that wordpress is easy to hack into and frankly i have become tried of updating ... so I have made a backup of my project and I will be attempting to create the social site with symphony. I'm gonna see how this experience works and I do hope i wouldn't have to resort to and find out its made with something else.

I do wonder though ... whether more advanced sites like facebook can be built with symphony or not.

Hi, I'm new. I'm a developer who's been using PHP for almost 12 years now, but had turned away from it.

In the early years I rolled everything myself. I disliked all the CMSs available, and favoured doing as much by hand as I could. I've rolled about a dozen custom CMSs, throwing things out as I realised they weren't great. Along the way I was forced into working with products including Drupal, WordPress, and Joomla. I've never been happy with the experiences they provide.

Over the years I started to really dislike PHP and turned to other languages — primarily Python and Ruby for web things. I did this so I could work with the awesome frameworks available to them (Django and Rails, respectively). When I had to work with PHP, I chose to do so on top of CodeIgniter. This was great, I still found that there were a number of projects which needed a stable and consistant batch of features that CMSs provide out of the box.

Recently I've been handling a large number of sites which really don't need that much custom development. While I'm not so happy about this trend, I want to streamline the process of getting these sites out the door. I've been waffling over which CMS to use, and even contemplating rolling yet another that I'll have to throw away in a year or so. I've also been more and more busy, having to keep in mind which projects I'll have to pass on to other developers. It seems PHP is the lingua franca necessary for passing work to freelancers, which means I'm back in the PHP world for a while. Because it's popular, I've been producing some sites using WordPress — and hating everything about it.

My manager used to work with a person who was an ExpressionEngine fanatic, and he pointed me to the CMS. At first I loved it. It didn't assume anything about the front-end design, it had an extremely flexible structure, and it was based on CodeIgniter — a framework I already knew. I figured this would be my dream CMS until I spent a few days with it.

Don't get me wrong, I respect the EllisLab team and their work... but EE2 is in need of a lot of love. The community seems to be suffering from Stockholm syndrome, as their constant excuse for the state of things is "it's not as bad as it used to be!". I was able to find three bugs in my first weekend of use, which really turned me off (here's one I submitted). Also, for a project which prides itself on great documentation, it's a real shame when your docs are just plain false. I was also pretty unhappy that, as a beginner, I felt the need to pay for a bunch of add-ons when the project itself already cost me money. Suffice to say that I moved on.

To EllisLabs' credit, I got my money back. Also to their credit, things are changing. It looks like they're on track to fix a lot of their problems. They also had the right idea with the CMS: don't assume the user wants specific types of content; don't assume anything about how the front-end should look or work. Because of this, I'm sure I'll look back at their work in a while.

In the meantime, I was still sick of WordPress. I started looking around for projects which were similar in spirit to ExpressionEngine, and I came across someone comparing it to Textpattern. In that article, the author mentioned Symphony. I looked that up, arrived here, and spent my Easter weekend playing around with it.

I'm not convinced that Symphony will solve all my problems — the honeymoon isn't over yet — but for now it's lasted longer than ExpressionEngine. I really love the spirit and the feel of this project, and I really think that counts for something. Tools that don't feel right aren't fun to use, and I think Symphony feels right to me. This is probably the highest praise I've ever given a content management system :)

Thanks for the intro, Gavin, and welcome :) I think many of us have similar stories about trying lots and lots of CMSes and then finding Symphony and feeling something just 'click'.

You'll be sad to learn that we're not perfect, though :P Bugs do appear from time to time, and our documentation is definitely in need of further development. But we've got community-led working groups pushing forward on all those tasks, and we're always hard at work trying to make Symphony better, smarter, faster, and easier to use.

As you explore the system, feel free to share any suggestions, questions, or concerns here in the forum. We love feedback, and you'll learn quickly that this is one of the most friendly, responsive, and helpful communities there is :)

Hi, czheng!

Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that I left ExpressionEngine behind because it had a few bugs. It was more that I felt that I was paying for a beta, which wasn't what I signed up for. The bug I linked to above was the inability to upload a '.jpeg' file to an image stream. I also encountered a number of times where the backend would simply not display (PHP would segfault on both my local and my production machine and the HTTP response was an empty document), trying to delete custom field types would sometimes result in an error, and the field reordering UI was borked... among other things.

Everybody else in the community just sort of shrugged their shoulders about this stuff, so I assume it's the way of things. But as I say above, it sounds like things might be changing over there.

I'm brand new at Symphony. I write complex J2EE applications and I've done small sites using PHP, so I'm used to a fine degree of flexibility when it comes to development.

The small PHP sites have content I would prefer my clients be able to update, so I've been seeking out my first CMS -- an easy to learn, highly flexible CMS. I can't begin to tell you how disappointed I am with some of the other CMSs out there. Drupal for example wasn't an exercise in building a website as much as it was "what crap do i want to remove from this website?" It seems in general, CMSs are easy to learn or flexible, not both.

Then I discover Symphony. Well into the second tutorial, and I am in heaven! Its separation of data and view comes naturally to me, and I still have the flexibility to use the Web languages I already know to style and organize my site! Thank you!

Glad to hear it! Welcome aboard, and shout if you have any questions :)

Brand new user, I'd identified Symphony a few year ago as a potential CMS for my work. I've been using SPIP and other CMS like Wordpress, Drupal, before but I was looking for a more transparent CMS which could deal with XML textual files for serious publishing. I've also been interested by Omeka CMS for this kind of usage, but it appears too constraint for some development I would like to try. I was wondering about Modx framework for a while but I think I could find the same kind of feature on Symphony and more.

I think now that I would use Symphony like my preferred CMS because it's mostly based on XML and XSL. I'm a kind of digital humanist and XML/XSL technologies responds to the scientific standards of web publishing. I would rather work only with this languages instead of dealing with PHP, etc. I'm quite a beginner in web publishing and I think it's worth to work and learn directly with these languages.

I'm also wondering which usage I could have of Symphony for TEI formatted text's publication and manipulation. I would like to see how to build OAI-PMH websites with it and publish collections of items according to different scientific standards on line.

I think I wouldn't regret investment in Symphony learning and I hope I would find here some help for my work. The community here appears very dynamic and helpful. Think that if symphony reach all my goals I could also propagate it in my community.

Glad to get aboard so !


Welcome Emmanuel! Shout if you have any questions :)

I found Symphony just a few weeks ago when searching for some cms to update mobile apps using ajax (that i intend to develop in a near future using PhoneGap).

I've never heard about XSLT before. This is amazing. I dreamed of some kind of templating thing and now this seem to be what i was looking for. I don't know php neither SQL. I used to work with video, 3D and flash. About a year i'm just going with html, css, js, jquery...

I have lots of things to study, but from what i know, the Symphony's data modeling style and everything else seem to be soo much powerful.

Greetings from Brazil!!

I worked at a manufacturing company as web developer with my friend and colleague. We developed a custom framework in classic asp. He wrote a custom XML/XSL processor and we powered the data on the site with it.

I learned the advantages of XML/XSL for manipulating and displaying data. I was looking for a cms for developing sites freelance. I tried all the popular ones: wordpress, joomla, druple. None of them really gave me the flexibility I wanted. Then I found Symphony.

Symphony allows me to apply my skills with XML and XSL, while maintaining the flexibility I need for various jobs. I use it to power all the websites I build, even if the client doesn't need a cms, just because it makes my life easier. And the awesome community really helps when I'm in a crunch and need some help.

Thank you everyone for this awesome cms.

I use it to power all the websites I build, even if the client doesn't need a cms, just because it makes my life easier.

i wholeheartedly agree.

Hi everybody, new to Symphony but not new to CMS's

Wish I'd found this a few days ago when I was going nuts getting my head round ExpressionEngine (gave up in the end) but here now and looks amazing, so simple and user-friendly while still being very flexible.

I found out about Symphony while searching up Fluid 960 grids and came across this discussion link text

I plan to use Symphony for everything so hopefully one day I can give some help back.

Welcome Nik!

@nikobe, that's sort of the effect I was after. A kind of bait and switch technique ;-)

But it's more like,

You thought you were looking for a flexible grid system. It slices, it dices, it makes your breakfast for you while you sip your coffee. But wait, there's more...

If you clone this repository, you not only get a CSS framework that hasn't been updated in months, but you also get Symphony, an extremely flexible content management framework, an almost overwhelming library of extensions and templates to extend your system, and an amazing community of intelligent, resourceful people for those times you need a hand.

I can't remember when this was, but I remember actually purchasing a license for the initial beta. It's been a love affair ever since. I keep on coming back to it.


Good day, symphony orchestra members.

As you can see in my profile its registered on 20 June 2009, that was the actual date I discovered Symphony.

As you can see there as well, I didn't create any discussions or showcase submissions.

I found Symphony when I worked as freelancer and was in research for data model / custom fields based CMS as alternative to ExpressionEngine, TheBildy and MODx.

Much water has flowed from that time, I'm not a freelancer anymore, I'm not maintaining my own portfolio and I hate ASP.NET that I need to work with now as front-end developer.

But all this time I watched how things are going here and wanted to do something, something cool with Symphony. I had a chance once, when we were building our company website, but, because learning XSLT taking time I was forced to do it on CMS I know, and it was EE, again.

Without looking at what is written above. I just wanted to say that even if I didn't have chance yet, I am always here, supporting your philosophy, reading discussions and doing "wow" when exploring new stuff from showcase or reading fantastic news.

P.S. Always wanted to ask a book suggestions to learn XSLT/XML/XPATH.

Welcome, or... welcome again!

If we had a community prize for finest moustache (real or false) I would like to nominate you.

I don't know of many good XSLT books except for the XSLT Cookbook. It doesn't teach you the very basics, but contains a lot of neat ideas to learn from.

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Symphony • Open Source XSLT CMS

Server Requirements

  • PHP 5.3-5.6 or 7.0-7.3
  • PHP's LibXML module, with the XSLT extension enabled (--with-xsl)
  • MySQL 5.5 or above
  • An Apache or Litespeed webserver
  • Apache's mod_rewrite module or equivalent

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