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What is PHP-Fusion Hosting?

PHP-Fusion is an open-source Content Management System (CMS) written in PHP Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP) and MySQL. While it includes everything you'd expect from a typical CMS, it's considered lightweight, with a simple, yet comprehensive, administration system.

What is PHP-Fusion used for?

A CMS is a tool for managing website content. Often, CMS applications are designed for users who may not be familiar with Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) and other aspects of coding, yet are fully capable of organizing and updating a personal or business website. A CMS generally employs a Content Management Application (CMA) as well as a content delivery application (CDA). The CMA facilitates the creation, editing, and removal of content, while the CDA compiles this activity into the actual website.

Extensive variation between CMS applications exists, though most provide Web-based format management, revision control, indexing, searching, publishing, and retrieving. Often, the publishing feature includes templates already approved for the CMS, and wizards for further customization.

The features of PHP-Fusion include discussion forums, photo galleries, Shoutbox, themes, add-ons, member registration, links, comments, a contact form, polls, and capabilities for posting news and articles. Most versions also support the management of more than one website through one account.

What makes PHP-Fusion a unique CMS?

PHP-Fusion is a niche product. It is not as flexible as some of the more mainstream content management systems such as WordPress and Drupal. However, it has attracted a very loyal and enthusiastic following who swear by it’s simplicity and SEO virtues.

PHP-Fusion is supported by a network of national support sites. Support is provided by regular community members who contribute in their spare time. The PHP-Fusion CMS is relatively simple to use, but this potentially unpredictable form of support might not work for less experienced users.

What does PHP-Fusion cost?

PHP-Fusion is completely free and open-source. Using PHP-Fusion to power your website shouldn’t add any cost to your hosting bill. However, there are certain attribution requirements to use PHP-Fusion. If you want to remove the copyright notices you’ll need to purchase a special license, which depending on the purpose of the site will cost between $75 and $150 as of June 2015.

Server Requirements

PHP-Fusion is built using some of the most common web languages: PHP, HTML, and CSS. It also needs a MySQL database. Any hosting provider should offer the necessary technology to support a PHP-Fusion deployment on either a Linux or Windows web server.

How do I install PHP-Fusion?

PHP-Fusion is offered as a one-click installation by a few different commercial script libraries. So depending on your hosting provider and the script library they partner with installation may be as easy as following a simple one-click installation procedure in your hosting account control panel.

Some hosting providers even offer the option to pre-install PHP-Fusion for you. So if you don’t have a hosting account yet, and you know you want to use PHP-Fusion to power your website, contacting candidate hosting providers to inquire about this possibility is a good idea.

PHP-Fusion can also be installed manually. In order to do so you’ll need to be comfortable using FTP, setting file permission for files and folders uploaded to the web server, and configuring a database. If you are comfortable with these tasks then check out the detailed installation procedure outlined at the official PHP-Fusion website for step-by-step instructions.

What are some alternatives to PHP-Fusion?

PHP-Fusion is a niche solution. If you’re looking for something a bit more mainstream you should check out the three content management systems that own the vast majority of CMS market share:

  • Wordpress: The most widely-used website platform, period. An easy CMS to get the hang of quickly, with more plugins and themes than you could ever exhaust. An excellent platform for beginners, blogs, and small businesses (though some heavy-hitters use Wordpress as well).
  • Drupal: An open-source CMS written in PHP. Drupal is generally not regarded as being as easy to get the hang of as Wordpress. Drupal is a popular option for large, complex websites.
  • Joomla: Another open-source CMS written in PHP. Joomla is particularly great for creating forums and social networks.

PHP-Fusion Hosting Frequently Asked Questions

  • Does PHP-Fusion include a WYSIWYG editor for blogging?

    While PHP-Fusion does not include a What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) editor, it does include a markdown editor with buttons to automatically add in HTML tags. If you aren’t familiar with HTML you will have a little bit of a learning curve as you grow in your familiarity with HTML syntax, but with a little effort you’ll have your posts looking the way you want.

  • Can I use PHP-Fusion for a commercial website?

    Yes. PHP-Fusion is distributed under an Affero General Public License (AGPL), and you are free to use it for any purpose. However, certain copyright attribution is required in the site footer. If you want to remove the attribution links you’ll need to purchase a copyright removal license (personal site) or commercial core license (business site).

  • What does ongoing development of PHP-Fusion look like?

    As of May 2015, the most recent version of PHP-Fusion is version 7.02.07 which was released in 2014. PHP-Fusion maintains a private developer’s network, and development of PHP-Fusion is ongoing. The next version of PHP-Fusion to be released will be version 9. Development of version 8 (which also goes by the name Tesseract) is also underway, however since it is a more ambitious project than version 9 it will not be released until after version 9 and will ultimately be called version 10, or possibly be released as a new application under the name Tessaract. You can see the source code for versions 8 and 9 in their current condition at GitHub.

  • Is PHP-Fusion customizable?

    There are many themes available for PHP-Fusion and since it is open-source PHP-Fusion is completely customizable. However, PHP-Fusion is not as easy to customize as some other CMS’s you may be familiar with. To do serious customization expect to spend some time digging into PHP and CSS files.

  • Is PHP-Fusion a good choice for blogging?

    PHP-Fusion can be used for blogging. However, that really isn’t it’s strength. PHP-Fusion does its best work when it is deployed as a web portal, and provides organizational structure to a website with a large quantity of static content, or a large number of links to external content. PHP-Fusion’s menu system and standard layout are most conducive to a web portal type website.

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