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Contao (formerly TYPOlight)
Logo for open-source Contao project
Browser-based content management system
Browser-based content management system
Original author(s)Leo Feyer
Developer(s)Contao Association
Initial release2006[1]
Stable release
4.5.8 / April 18, 2018; 9 months ago (2018-04-18)[2]
Repository Edit this at Wikidata
Written inPHP
Operating systemUnix-like;
Microsoft Windows
Available in28 languages[3]
List of languages
Fully translated: Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Persian, Russian, Spanish
95% or more complete: Czech, Romansh, Serbian, Swedish, Finnish, Romanian, Slovak, Burmese, Danish, Hungarian, Polish, Albanian, Latvian, Slovenian, Ukrainian,
80% or more complete: Lithuanian, Croatian, Portuguese
LicenceGNU LGPL (Free software)
Alexa rankIncrease 24,432 (January 2014)

Contao (formerly TYPOlight) is a free content management system (CMS) for medium to large websites. The program specializes in back-office (i.e. for developers) and front-office (i.e., for users) accessibility, and observes XHTML, HTML5 and CSS standards, according to W3C/WAI guidelines, to generate pages. The program is an open-source project, published in its original form in 2006 by Leo Feyer.

Minimal/suggested installations[edit]

As of 4.2.0, Contao requires an Apache, Nginx or IIS web server, PHP (version 5.4.0 or greater), the MySQL relational database management system (version 5.0.3 or greater) and the PHP extension GDLib (to allow image resizing) and SOAP (access to the extension repository).[4] Contao runs successfully with current versions of major browsers like Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer (from version 8 on).[4]

Product name[edit]

As of the pre-release version 2.9. RC1 on June 6, 2010, the TYPOlight product was renamed Contao. Developer Leo Feyer justified the change on the grounds that TYPOlight had often been confused with TYPO3, a different CMS originally developed by Kasper Skårhøj, whilst the word “light” was sometimes misunderstood to imply that the CMS was suitable only for small projects.[5]

In his instructional book (not freely available) on the CMS, Websites erstellen mit Contao, Peter Müller writes that the software name “Contao” has “a good ring”, pointing out that C, O, N are the first letters of “content” and that tạo is a Vietnamese word that means “to model, generate or shape.” The name is appropriate, he suggests, because the program “allows content to be generated, shaped and managed.”[6]

Reviews, awards and critiques[edit]

In 2007 Packt Publishing named TYPOlight, as it was then known, as the second-place winner in its awards category of “Most Promising Open-Source CMS”.[7]

Learning Contao[edit]

Instructional books[edit]

The following books on Contao are available (in German only).

  • Leo Feyer: Das offizielle Contao-Handbuch: Der Leitfaden für Anwender, Administratoren und Entwicklung (Official Contao manual: Guide for users, administrators and developers). Addison-Wesley, Munich 2010. ISBN 978-3-8273-3014-7
  • Thomas Weitzel: Mit Contao Webseiten erfolgreich gestalten: Konzeption, Umsetzung, Beispielprojekte (Successful Contao websites: design, implementation, sample projects). Addison-Wesley, Munich 2010, 264 pages. ISBN 978-3-8273-2892-2
  • Nina Gerling: Contao für Redakteure: Inhalte editieren und verwalten mit dem Open-Source-CMS (Contao for editors: Edit and manage content using the open source CMS). Addison-Wesley, Munich 2010. ISBN 978-3-8273-2893-9 Online Handbuch
  • Anne-Kathrin Merz: Contao: Das umfassende Praxisbuch (Contao: The comprehensive practice book). Addison-Wesley, 2010. ISBN 978-3-8266-5532-6
  • Peter Müller: Websites erstellen mit Contao (Create websites with Contao). Galileo Computing, 2010, 536 pages. ISBN 978-3-8362-1651-7, third edition (2012), ISBN 978-3-8362-2010-1
  • Thomas Reindlmeier: Contao: Webseiten clever gestalten (Contao: cleverly designed websites). KnowWare, Osnabrück, 2010, ISBN 978-87-91364-93-8


  1. ^
  2. ^ Contao 4.5.8 is available.
  3. ^ Contao Open Source CMS, Transifex translation tool. Accessed 20 June 2016.
  4. ^ a b Contao system requirements. Accessed 20 June 2016.
  5. ^ Aus TYPOlight wird Contao Archived 2012-01-01 at the Wayback Machine (German)
  6. ^ Peter Müller, "Das ist Contao", in Websites erstellen mit Contao. Galileo Computing, 2010, p. 25. ISBN 978-3-8362-1651-7
  7. ^ Open Source CMS Award, Previous Winners at

External links[edit]