Web Design & Development Guide



TYPO3 logo
TYPO3 backend module
TYPO3 backend module
Developer: TYPO3 Association
Latest release: 4.1.2 / July 16, 2007
OS: Cross-platform
Genre: Content Management System
License: GPL
Website: www.typo3.com
(Developer Resource)

TYPO3 is a free, open source content management system written with PHP and MySQL. It has become one of the leading content management systems (CMS) on the web and in intranets.

TYPO3 is not to be confused with Typo, which is an open source blogging engine.

Author and availability

Initially authored by Kasper Skårhøj, it is available for free and licensed under the GNU General Public License. Today, the core of TYPO3 is developed by two teams in a maintenance tree (4.x, leader Michael Stucki) and a development tree (5.x, leader Robert Lemke). Independent authors have contributed hundreds of pluggable extensions.

TYPO3 offers full flexibility and extendability while featuring an accomplished set of ready-made interfaces, functions and modules. Nearly 2000 extensions are available for download under the GNU General Public License from a repository called the TYPO3 Extension Repository, or TER.

Operating modes

TYPO3 has two operating modes: a frontend, which presents a TYPO3 based website to its users, and a backend, used by authors and site administrators to manage content for the website. The backend is used with an ordinary web browser, so there is no special software needed to work on a TYPO3-based website.


The system is based on templates. People can choose an existing template and change features such as logo, colors, and fonts, or they can construct their own templates using a configuration language called TypoScript. In this simple notation, a large object tree structure of information is created with placeholders for data from the database to fill in. Preprogrammed objects are configured by changing or adding values or features. This object tree structure is saved in a text file. Various editors are available to change the content in a structured way. The PHP generator uses this data structure to drive the generation of the content. Besides conditions, TypoScript has no other control structures; if real processing must be performed, it is handed to a PHP function. The top level object is the PAGE object. There are various types of MENU objects.

Syntax of TypoScript

The basic syntax is:

[objectpath].[attribute]  [operator]  [value]

Operators are

  • = assignment of a value
  • < copy a whole object
  • =< insert a reference
  • > remove object



The content is mainly stored in two tables: one table called pages and another called tt_content, which holds the elements contained in a page. Every page object has a unique identification key (uid) and is linked to a parent page. Thus, the pages are organized in tree form, allowing the system to easily generate menus and site maps.

One key feature of TYPO3 is that it has a flexible application programming interface which enables independent developers to provide extra functionality. Modules using this API are called "extensions" and many developers provide their extensions in a publicly available repository on the TYPO3 developer portal.


TemplaVoila is an alternative template engine extension for TYPO3. Features include a graphical mapping tool for creating templates, a new page module, the ability to create flexible content elements and an API for developers. New content element types can be created without programming in no time while full control over the HTML output is provided. TemplaVoila facilitates more flexibility for maintaining web pages while making it possible to enforce a strict corporate design and allowing editors to work with content more intuitively.

System requirements

Web server [1]

  • Operating System: Unix (eg Linux), Windows or Mac
  • Web server: Apache, IIS
  • Middleware: PHP4 or PHP5 (starting with TYPO3 4.2.0, all releases will require PHP5)
  • Database: MySQL or any other database system supported by the TYPO3 DBAL (e.g. Oracle, PostgreSQL and a lot of others)
  • Hardware: A normal web server setup will do, with some modern CPU and at least 256 MB RAM. As with all database-driven applications, more RAM is advisable though.

Client (user) [1]

  • Recommended: Mozilla Firefox on any OS, Internet Explorer 5+ on Windows
  • Required: Any graphical browser on any OS (Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari, Konqueror on Windows, Unix, Mac)
  • Hardware: Relatively modern computer

See also

Further reading

  • Rene Fritz, Daniel Hinderink, Werner Altmann – TYPO3: Enterprise Content Management (Paperback) – ISBN 1-904811-41-8
  • Michael Peacock – Building Websites with TYPO3 (Paperback) – ISBN 1-847191-11-8


  1. ^ a b TYPO3.org – System Requirements

External links

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