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Directus Logo
Developer(s) RANGER
Initial release 20 April 2006 (2006-04-20)
Stable release 5.1.b / 20 March 2012; 2 years ago (2012-03-20)[1]
Preview release 5.1.b / 20 March 2012; 2 years ago (2012-03-20)[1]
Development status Active
Written in PHP
Operating system Cross-platform
Size 269 kB (compressed) 910 kB (uncompressed)
Type Content management framework, Content management system
License GNU General Public License

Directus is a free and open source content management system (CMS), content management framework (CMF) and database management system (DMS) written in PHP and distributed under the GNU General Public License. Its primary goal is to provide a fast and lightweight interface for MySQL databases with as little setup as possible. Because Directus uses the structure and datatypes of the chosen database on the fly, there is no need for setup beyond creating tables and fields using PhpMyAdmin or any other DBA tool. Directus can be used to manage blogs, full featured websites or more simply as a project management tool with no front-end site. Its requirements are PHP 5.1+ and MySQL 4+.[2]

While Directus does have a plugin system available, it offers a set of core features that cover most content management needs. Some features include drag-and-drop media from the desktop, revision history on all items, active, draft and deleted states for items, as many users as required each with customizable permissions, full database backups and much more. All queries are done through parameterized PDO calls for extra security and to avoid the possibility of SQL injection attacks. Also, with no branding and several themes to choose from, Directus can conform to most company's aesthetics for easier adoption.

Since Directus doesn't come with a front-end tied in, developers program an HTML/CSS theme and use PHP snippets to make database queries. There is little, if any, interaction with the CMS itself from the front-end, instead developers query the database directly in whatever way they see fit. A bootstrap page of functions can be used by developers to help retrieve relational and media data, but is entirely optional. No programming skills are required to install or setup Directus, but an understanding of MySQL basics to create your tables and fields is recommended. If Directus is used to manage an HTML site, basic PHP skills to query the database are also required.


Directus 1.0 was released in 2006 by CBH LLC but was overlooked due to lack of advertising and too few features. Subsequent major versions were released each year until 2010 when development began from the ground up on version 5. CBH LLC partnered with New York City based design studio Project Projects to overhaul the GUI with development taking a little over a year. In early 2011, Ben Haynes left CBH to work at RANGER Studio LLC[3] with Michael Christian McCaddon, taking with him the nearly finished version 5 of Directus. The two completed the CMS in late 2011 using January 2012 for testing and the development of a marketing site.

RANGER Studio has hinted that Directus 6.0 is in development[4] although no launch date or specifics have been given.

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