Contao (formerly TYPOlight) is a free content management system (CMS ) for medium to large websites. It is an open source project and first appeared in 2006. As a MySQL database is used. The system can be expanded from a pool of more than 1500 extensions to its functionality.

When Packt Publishing Award 2007 TYPOlight was in the category of " most promising content management systems " nominated and awarded the second place.

With the release of the preliminary version 2.9. RC1 6 June 2010 was renamed TYPOlight Contao. The developer Leo Feyer justified this step so that TYPOlight is often mistakenly associated with the CMS TYPO3 and that the word " light" has been misunderstood to imply that the CMS is only suitable for small projects.

  • 6.1 Books
  • 6.2 Video training


Contao offers the following functions:

  • Roll- output ( XHTML strict or HTML5 )
  • Generation of search engine friendly URLs, dynamic page titles and META complete information
  • Cross-browser CSS framework
  • Support pages for mobile devices
  • Using Ajax and Web 2.0 technology
  • Integrated file manager, search engine and form generator
  • Multilingual user-friendly backend ( about 40 languages ​​) based on templates
  • Frontend output 100 % template- based
  • Version control, revision and function to undo changes
  • Multilingual documentation
  • Support for multiple languages ​​using UTF -8 encoding
  • Live update feature ( core updates itself via a button) ( optional, paid feature)


There are now in the Contao extension repository over 1500 extensions in many languages, which can be listed, installed and updated in the admin area of ​​Contao. The extensions range from simple functions to comprehensive online shops or ticket systems.

With Composer is a new package management for Contao available that can better manage dependencies of different modules and versions and medium term the extension repository is intended to replace.

Design options

  • Modules: deployment and configuration of existing front-end modules or third-party extensions. Front-end modules, for example guestbooks, login pages, menu items, news, search boxes, etc.
  • Style Sheets: Individual design of page content through the use of Cascading Style Sheets ( CSS)
  • Page layout definitions of context- sharing websites ( number and position of content elements used as columns of text, header, footer, number and position of the modules used in the side, etc.)
  • Page structure: extension / change the page structure of the site and the characteristics of individual sites ( such as voice, visibility, etc.)
  • Templates: Preconfigured HTML page templates, called the Templates pane ( for example, $ this-> header) can contain, which are then filled in the page layout with front-end modules.
  • Insert Tags: insert tags are placeholders (eg { {date }} for the current date ), which are replaced by certain values ​​while rendering a page. They can be used in the templates or in modules.
  • PHP: Contao can be extended with the PHP scripting language with additional front-end or back-end modules or adapted in its functionality. Since September 2008, there is an official "Contao extension repository ", in which all the available extensions are centralized.
  • Hooks: Hooks are interfaces to all major Contao basic functions through the developers own customizations and extensions can be made ​​on the system having to perform without changing the Contao core.

Search engine friendliness

If you want to create web pages that are particularly suitable for crawling technology of today's modern engines, Contao provides the requisite settings:

  • Meta element - keywords and description tags can be specified separately for each page. By integrating our own meta element is possible.
  • Page Title - can be defined for each page. Title of the project and the side stand as separate variables.
  • Robot Tags - pages can be explicitly excluded from indexing. The index word, follow- tag can be integrated by a PHP condition.
  • URLs - Contao offers the rewriting system generated URLs in a search engine friendly format. Alternatively, this also happens via mod_rewrite. Also URLs with more than one logical directory depth such as contact / ansprechpartner.html are possible ..
  • Code - The system provides accessible and standards- compliant code. A tableless design is implemented.
  • Sitemap - It can automate a sitemap can be generated, for example, for transfer to large search engines.
  • Analysis - It also exists in the backend one field that takes a Google Analytics ID. This results in a automated output of the code needed for this tool in the right place in the source code of the page.

Long-Term Support version

With version 2.11 of the release cycle has been adapted and so-called " Long Term Support versions " ( LTS) introduced. These are for 24 months support and supplied with updates, even if subsequently been Contao newer versions are released. Latest version is 2:11:16 on 13 February 2014. The next LTS version Contao will be 3.2.

Contao Association

On 16 May 2012, the "Contao Club Switzerland " by members decision to " Contao Association " was renamed and will be the official Contao Association for the Advancement of Contao Open Source CMS. The association has its seat still in Switzerland, but now. Focusing on Germany, Austria and Switzerland The objectives of the Association are funding the development of Contao the new and further development of extensions that communication both internally and externally, as well as public relations and the organization of events.


In the past, Contao has been criticized for the core system of Contao is only created by a developer, which can be critical for sustainable development. This criticism is now no longer valid, because there is an official working group " Core Development " and since the summer of 2012 another core developer since summer 2011. The development of Contao is thus now on a broader basis.

The process of development of the core system has now been opened to the effect that a public repository ( Repository) was established. Dedicated developers from the community can thus understand timely changes to the core system in the intermediate steps, check and leave to instructions / suggestions in the ticket system.

For the development of unofficial extensions multiple developers are available.