In the old days I used to design websites from scratch, creating the graphics in Photoshop, designing the actual site in Dreamweaver, and for other aspects such as forums, install separate programmes or use 3rd party services. It did all work fine but there was often a lot of hassle. I still use this for smaller, more personal websites, but when you want something bigger then it?s time to use a Content Management System [CMS], and the one I use is e107.
e107 is an opensource content management system written in php and using the popular open source mySQL database system for content storage. It?s completely free and totally customisable, and in constant development.
- High performance file-based caching
- Integrated News system and RSS Feed handling
- Simple to use and create template system
- Valid XHTML 1.1 Output
- Powerful Forums system integrated
- Easy to use Admin system
To install e107 you will need to have your own hosting with PHP and a MySQL database [I use 1&1 Business hosting], and after downloading the software you will have to upload e107 to your webspace, set a few file permissions, and then run the installation script [this is where you will need your MySQL info].
It is very simple and simple documentation is provided to help you throughout the process. Once everything is sorted, the fun can start and e107 will come into it?s element.
For your site you can choose various themes and a huge amount of plugins which will allow you to customise your site with galleries, forums, chatrooms, etc, and all this is controlled from your admin, and that?s why it?s a Content Management System. The main benefit of e107 is your control over membership of the site. You can either give access to everyone or restrict access to cetain areas depending on the visitor?s membership, and you can also give certain authorship rights too so that many people can contribute too. Of course you can also use the admin to send emails to members, thus avoiding having to set up an external mailing list.
I feel like I can?t actually do it justice, and the only real way is for you to try it out if you get the chance. I currently use it for my football club?s website, so have a browse at it.
Special thanks to Kev for introducing me to e107 via his e107 site.