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What is phpWebSite Hosting?

PhpWebsite is an open source content management system written in PHP and designed for ease of use. Developed by the Web Technology Group at Appalachian State University, phpWebSite was designed specifically to make building websites easier for beginners and people with very little experience with PHP or coding in general.

The latest stable release is 1.7.3 and it was released in August 2012. While the team announced development of phpWebSite 2.0, under the name Beanie CMS. Development of 1.x.x versions appears to have ceased. Unfortunately the Beanie CMS project appears to be defunct as well, both on Sourceforge and GitHub.

What’s behind phpWebSite?

Development of phpWebSite started at the turn of the millennium and the first stable release (0.7.0) was announced in early 2001. The project started as a fork of PHPnuke, but quickly evolved into something much different.

Its features include user and group permissions at both the content and module levels, WYSIWYG editors, and a flexible layout control, which allows you to change the page layout anytime you wish. You can also customize your site through the use of phpWebSite's modules, which add features and functions without your having to code anything. Most of these modules are designed to offer functionality found in major platforms like WordPress, but they tend to be simpler and do not offer the same level of advanced features.

If you do have a little experience with PHP, you can write your own modules to further customize your site. If that is not something you are interested, you can easily get help online. Again, you are not limited by your own lack of coding skills.

Components and third party tools

PhpWebSite has five major components, backed by a long list of third party modules designed to extend the capabilities of the content management system.

    Major phpWebSite components fall into the following categories:
  • Content creation and management tools
  • Content organisation tools and navigation aids
  • Communication tools
  • Configuration tools and administration tools
  • Development tools
  • The first major component is obviously the most frequently used one, as it is employed to create, edit and maintain content. Organisation tools and navigation aids allow users to organise their content, while communication tools are used for internal messaging and collaborative efforts.

    Configuration and administration tools are used to configure and administer the whole site. They are also used to use the backend database. Development tools allow users to create new modules and themes, which are implemented using CSS.

    There are also a number of useful third party tools and modules for phpWebSite. They are designed to add features to the CMS and, because phpWebSite is based on an object oriented framework, these tools can allow you to build a custom content management system.

    This may be a use case for phpWebSite – despite the fact that development of new versions appears to have ceased, you can still use the existing code to build a custom content management system tailored to meet your needs.

    System requirements for hosting

    As far as technical specs go, phpWebSite is written in PHP, using PHP Extension and Application Repository (PEAR) libraries. Client side output is XHTML 1.0 compliant and meets the W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative requirements.

    Outdated versions of phpWebSite do not support PHP 5, but phpWebSite 1.x versions do. Likewise, the first releases were only capable of using a MySQL database, but 1.x added support for PostgreSQL.

    This means you need a server with PHP support, along with PERL scripts. Of course, the plan also needs to have MySQL or PostgreSQL on board, but most plans do anyway. There are no exotic requirements whatsoever.

    The phpWebSite content management system was designed for use on Apache servers. It is free to use, as it was published under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL).

    Some hosting companies offer a range of plans designed with phpWebSite in mind, but most hosts simply offer standard plans with phpWebSite installation as an option. Installing phpWebSite using cPanel and Fantastico should not be a problem.

    Of course, using phpWebSite is much easier if you have dedicated server hosting, or a virtual private server hosting plan, as you can upload the software and all the necessary scripts on your own.

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