The History of TYPO3

TYPO3's development was started from scratch by Kasper Skårhøj in 1997. The term "Content Management" was still widely unknown. As you can see by the huge amount of CMS software on the market today, the idea of content management was a straight forward solution to an emerging problem for the young internet - as websites grew and the complexity of them increased, the need for separation of design and content was inevitable.

Initial experiments

Late 1997: Initial requirements for a CMS was identified. Customers needed a tool to maintain their third generation website without messing up the design.


Early 1998: 3 prototype versions were made, each continually getting more advanced. Vital experiences for the final concept was made.

Commercial development

Summer 1998: TYPO3 was taken under commercial development by the web agency Strategic goals were set for the future.

Market exploration

August 1998: Visit at the Seybold exhibition in San Francisco, searching out the market. A meeting was also held with the legendary internet guru, David Siegel.

Demonstration with David Siegel in France

October 1998: After months of intensive development, TYPO3 was demonstrated as an industrial strength example of web content management at a workshop held by David Siegel at the IFRA exhibition in Lyon, France.

Teaming up with Saatchi & Saatchi

November 1998: The perspectives were broadened and teamed up with the danish branch of the world wide ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi. was to bring Saatchi & Saatchi into the internet business in a single leap.

New and final core from scratch

January 1999: Based on the experiences with customers like Kilroy Travels, GreenSquare and a Danish pioneer in city portals, the final technical foundation of TYPO3 was defined and a new, lasting core was developed from scratch. Ever since, it has proved to be a flexible and powerful base for the system today.

Separation from

Summer 1999: Realizing that was taking off into another direction than Content Management, the author of TYPO3, Kasper Skårhøj, made a deal with and left the company, bringing with him all the rights to continue TYPO3 development on his own. An important point also became clear to him: it was difficult to combine the high requirements of internal quality with commercial development of software. To keep up with the competitive pace, immature commercial versions would have to be released and a product would end up with an incoherent patchwork of code inside. This could not be allowed to happen with TYPO3.

The "silent" year

August 1999: Kasper went solo with the project. He decided that he, at least, wanted to finish what he had started, assessing that the project needed another 6 months to be complete.

6 months became 12 months and a week before he was married to Rie, he launched the first public beta-version in August 2000.

From being developed in a silent, protected sphere of non-publicity, TYPO3 had now entered the second phase: the merciless crash-testing from the open source world.

Growing community

December 2000: After a few months in publicity, TYPO3 had passed the "quality test" and gathered a steadily growing community. In addition, the development had been boosted by new ideas and, in particular, new requests for features needed by users worldwide. Apparently, the end was not round the corner. In fact, the project had just been started...

Workshop held in Basel, Switzerland

April 2001: The first TYPO3 workshop was requested by the Swiss high-profile new-media education, Hyperwerk. The weeklong workshop was hosted by Kasper.

Internal streamlining

Summer 2001: Major clean-up and streamlining of the code was performed. As a result of this self-evaluating process, the code base of TYPO3 was made even more solid with well-defined concepts for extendability.

"iX" article offers praise to TYPO3

September 2001: Having proved to be a survivor, the TYPO3 project had now gained general recognition as a major PHP-based CMS. This was confirmed when the German IT-professional magazine, iX, featured an article on TYPO3 along with another well known OSS-CMS, Zope. TYPO3 was generally credited favorably (with only a few comments on its - now past - disabilities).

Snowboarding in Austria

Winter 2002: What was initially a crazy idea finally attracted approximately 25 TYPO3 interested people for a week of snowboarding and TYPO3 seminars in the snow-covered mountains of Austria. This was the first time the community met in the real world. During the week, a tremendous synergy was experienced and the community went home strengthend for the future.

The first "real" release

May 24th 2002: Up until this time, TYPO3 had always been in "beta-test" (although it was used in production) but, finally, the first real version was released: TYPO3 version 3.0. A milestone was reached.

PHP-magazine review of TYPO3

May 29th 2002: A few days after the final release, the German PHP-Magazine featured a review of PHP based CMSes. 40 CMSes were compared and TYPO3 was selected for a detailed review along with 4 other commercial systems. TYPO3 generally stood head to head with these - even though TYPO3 was the only one among these commercial competitors which was free and under the GNU Open Source license!

3.5.0 and The Extension Manager

Shortly after the 3.0 release, the Extension Manager was concieved and, during fall 2002, it was tested, improved and refined to be the powercenter for TYPO3's future. 3.5.0 was released in mid-November together with a relaunched and featuring a new corporate identity for the product.

The TYPO3 Association

In fall 2004, the TYPO3 Association was founded by a group of long-time contributors headed by Kasper Skårhøj. The Association is located in Switzerland and will act as a heart of the project by funding development of the system's core, providing certficiation and representing the project officially.


Between September 8-11, 2005, TYPO3 hosted its first international conference, called TYCON3, in Karlruhe, Germany. This is an annual event geared to more business users, instead of developers.

The future

The TYPO3 project has a clearly defined vision which includes new significant milestones for this history. Every day thousands of pages are viewed and people are trying TYPO3 for the first time by downloading the package. The press has shown increased interest, commercial use is flourishing - even the request for possible acquisition has been uttered.

However, one thing is clear. TYPO3 has been around for a long time. It is free and open to everyone, yet powerful enough for mission critical commercial use. It was founded on values of quality, honesty, freedom. And it's going to stay that way.

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