Our history

SilverStripe Ltd. was founded in 2000, and our software has been open source since 2006. Over the past ten years, we have grown from three staff to over 40, have won numerous awards, and there have been over 500,000 downloads of the CMS.


The whole story

SilverStripe Ltd. was founded in 2000 in Wellington, New Zealand, by Tim Copeland, Sam Minnée, and Sigurd Magnusson. The three originally developed and marketed a closed-source PHP4-based CMS to local small and medium-sized business customers.

In 2006, the business decided to rebuild this CMS from scratch in PHP5, with three goals in mind: supporting larger customers with more complex web sites, taking advantage of the experience gained from five years of commercial CMS development, and providing a new codebase to release as open source software. Version 2.0 of SilverStripe was released in February 2007 under the BSD license.

Also in 2007, the founders, appointed Brian Calhoun, who brought with him significant experience in Silicon Valley's software industry, as CEO. 

Months after the stable release of SilverStripe CMS 2.0 in 2007, the project was accepted into the Google Summer of Code, one of only 16 software projects to do so. Later that year, the project was also accepted into the Google Highly Open Participation Contest. These two programs brought SilverStripe to the attention of web developers around the world.

In 2008, the software won 'Most Promising CMS' at the PacktPub Open Source CMS awards, having been a finalist the year before. The software also featured at the annual MySQL Conference in California, won Best Open Source Software Project at the New Zealand Open Source Awards, and was used to power the website for the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

In 2009, SilverStripe CMS was chosen as one of ten packages bundled with Microsoft Web Platform Installer, an automated way to install PHP applications on Microsoft's IIS webserver. The Microsoft installer now accounts for nearly half of SilverStripe CMS's downloads each month. In 2010, SilverStripe CMS gained Microsoft SQL Server support, and became the first open source web application to become Microsoft Certified. Due to popular demand from the community, two books on SilverStripe CMS were released: one in German, and one in English.

In 2010, SilverStripe CMS was the first runner-up in the Open Source CMS category at the Packt Pub Awards, as well as the winner of the Best Open Source Project at the New Zealand Open Source Awards. We were also  very proud to be part of a global milestone in corporate IT accepting and embracing open source software, when SilverStripe CMS became the first ever open source web app to become Microsoft Certified

Since open-sourcing SilverStripe CMS, the SilverStripe project team have maintained at least one major and a couple of minor releases each year. Many new features find their beginnings in commercial work for specific clients with enough foresight to allow open source usage of their commissioned work. Now, much of the company's work comes from international clients who learn of SilverStripe's reputation from other clients, and from the open source community spreading the word.

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