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What is XOOPS?
Before we talk about what it is and what it does, let's get this out of the way: It's pronounced [zoo'ps]. XOOPS is an acronym for eXtensible Object Oriented Portal System, which is what it started out as, but it has since become a robust content management system (CMS) that has the ability to function as a Web framework for sites of all sizes.
Gain the ability to easily create everything from the smallest to the largest sites using XOOPS as your CMS. Just about any host should be able to accommodate XOOPS since it is written in PHP and makes use of a MySQL database.
What is unique about XOOPS?
When building a site with XOOPS, you use available modules, which makes the CMS completely scalable and viable for sites of all sizes. For example, a simple blog can be built using only the News module, while a medium, more dynamic site may use that module, plus a forum module to allow your community to interact. You can even create a large enterprise site using existing modules, or by developing your own, and integrating them through the uniform user management system.
XOOPS stores information in a relational-database, which means it uses MySQL. The site-building modules all operate on a one-click system, making installation and activation (or deactivation and removal) quick and easy.
XOOPS is also completely customizable. Site administrators can create and edit site and user profiles, select from over 1000 available themes (or build their own), upload custom user avatars, and create a site that looks exactly the way they want. XOOPS also supports multiple users and has a built-in email and private message system to allow users to communicate.
XOOPS is open-source. That means that it was created and is maintained by a group of dedicated developers from around the world. XOOPS is multilingual and the XOOPS community boasts several support forums around the world for both english speakers and non-english speakers alike.
What are some examples of XOOPS modules?
XOOPS is a modular framework. What this means is that the core functionality of XOOPS is limited, but that you can add in modules (think: plugins if you're familiar with Wordpress) to provide the features you'd like to include on your site.
XOOPS modules are available from two sources: the XOOPS official website module repository, and the XOOPS Sourceforge page. Some of the most popular XOOPS modules include:
- Mastop Go2: A module that allows you to add spotlights of content at any position on your site. The spotlights can contain text or multimedia.
- News: This is usually used to create a blog on a XOOPS powered site, but it can also be used to post news stories, articles, or any type of written content.
- MC Subscriptions: This module allows you to create a private area of your site that is accessible by paid subscription.
- MyQuiz: XOOPS can even be used as an online learning platform. MyQuiz allows you to create and administer tests and quizzes.
- A Slot Management System (ASMS): This module allows you to create and manage advertising slots on your site.
- eXtGallery: Do you want to add an image gallery to your site? eXtGallery might be just what you're looking for.
- Content: This module provides a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor and allows you to create custom pages. It includes a menu generator, and even an edit-by-browsing feature in which you can make edits directly to a page as you view it in the browser.
- wsProject: XOOPS can be used as a project management solution with the addition of this module.
- X-Forum: This is the most popular forum module for XOOPS.
- Contact: The contact module allows you to create custom contact forms for your site.
Many other modules are also available, and if you can't find exactly what you're looking for you can always create a new module yourself (assuming you have the necessary PHP, HTML, CSS, and MySQL skills).
What does XOOPS cost?
The XOOPS Content Management System framework is free and open-source software. Downloading and installing the software should not add to your hosting bill. The vast majority of XOOPS modules are also free. However, since the modules are developed by independent software developers they do have the option to charge a fee, and some do.
What are some alternatives to XOOPS?
XOOPS is really a niche application within the larger CMS community. The three most popular content management systems are:
- Wordpress: An open-source CMS written in PHP. Probably the easiest CMS to get the hang of quickly. 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 a more-secure solution, but is not as easy to get the hang of as Wordpress. Drupal is probably the most powerful and flexible of the most popular CMS options today.
- Joomla: An open-source CMS written in PHP. Joomla's strength is in creating websites with lots of content and in creating forums and social networks.
How do I install XOOPS?
If you want to install XOOPS there are three options available to you:
- The easiest option would be to purchase hosting from a provider who offers to preinstall the software for you. As of May 2015 at least one hosting provider offered this option.
- If you already have a hosting provider in mind, or already have a hosting account the next best option is to see if the hosting provider offers XOOPS as a one-click installation. Many popular hosting providers offer one-click installation of XOOPS from your hosting account cPanel.
- Lastly, if you'd rather take care of the installation yourself you can always download the XOOPS installation files from the XOOPS website or from Sourceforge and follow the provided installation instructions.
As long as your hosting account provides at least one MySQL database, you shouldn't have any trouble installing XOOPS to run as your CMS. All that XOOPS requires to run is a server that can process PHP and a MySQL database. Just about any shared hosting account will be adequate to handle a XOOPS installation. Just check all requirements before buying a plan, or trying to install anything.