Site Overlay

Magnolia – An open-source Java based CMS


What is Magnolia?

Magnolia is an open-source, Java-based CMS, founded in Basel, Switzerland. Mostly financial services, government, and media institutions use it.
(Recommended for medium/large businesses) 

Technical knowledge needed

Developing a Magnolia takes trained Java web developers, which can be difficult to find. Once the website is running, people with no technical skills can create simple pages and content. However, significant Java expertise is needed to take advantage of the open-source architecture of Magnolia and to integrate it with existing systems. 

Ability to customise 

There are over 90 modules and extensions available for the system which makes it easy to create, optimize and manage the content. Developers can use JavaScript, Java, Groovy, and Script while working on it.


The system provides a single source of control over all content. All types of businesses can use it. It allows you to manage multi-site, multilingual content on the one hand, and to test and optimize campaigns on the other hand. It also offers personalized web experiences and integrates with their preferred tool. 


While it is easy to create and publish content, Magnolia is a Java-based CMS that uses JCR repository to store, search and retrieve data. Taking advantage of Magnolia’s open source requires significant Java knowledge. Databases such as MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL or Oracle are available for production environments. Its open architecture allows integrations with ease. 

As shown in the following diagram, Java is the third most used server-side programming language. More precisely by 4.0% of all the websites whose server-side programming language we know. Many programmers can work with Magnolia, even though not as many (or as cheap) as PHP and .NET programmers.

Source: w3techs


Just like most CMSs in the same category, either an external agency or an internal IT-department handle the support.


The complexity of the website and the number of plug-ins affect the performance of the platform. As long as the website isn’t too bloated, the performance won’t be highly affected. 


The security of Magnolia is based on JAAS (Java Authentication and Authorization Service). It also provides connectors to integrate with 3rd party systems as CAS and LDAP. As mentioned above, a CMS is as secure as the person who manages it. 


The pricing model is quota-based. One can submit a request for a free trial to check the software’s features and compatibility with the business’ needs, but for enterprise pricing information, the vendor has to be contacted. Implementing and maintaining the website could get expensive, as Java agencies have higher prices compared to other agencies focused on other programming languages. 

Are you looking for a CMS for a webshop? Then you might wanna consider reading about WordPress or Shopify or contact us:
+45 4241 6160 or