New Website

I've made a new website, as lynx.io is dead. You can find it here: http://macr.ae/—it's similar in format to lynx.io, but has better articles, and they're all written by me.

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What software should I use for my website?

That is one question which I often hear asked more than once a day, along with "What's the best CMS?" and "What's the best forum software?". The answer for all three is the same (they are, after all, basically the same question); it depends on what you need. What's good for me might not be good for you, and what's good for a professional web developer will usually not be good for a 14 year old with no development experience.

I am going to recommend a few to try, but my best advice for you is to experiment with whatever you can find. Some people will tell you that something is awful, but then you might find it works well for you. If you have the time, try out every piece of software you can find, and just use whatever you found best for you.

Forums

For forums I would recommend phpBB every time. It is highly customisable, has very good support, and is also very easy to use. There are many thousands of modifications and styles available, reflecting the huge amount of users using phpBB.

If you're looking for more features, try IPB. I've never used it personally (I've only used phpBB and SMF), but I have heard that it is extremely good, and it certainly beats phpBB in terms of features installed by default. The only disadvantage with having a large amount of features is that it can become bloated.

Although I think you should still try it, I dislike SMF. It was difficult to use, had some random features that I will never find useful, and it also used a lot more CPU than phpBB did.

Simple two page websites

For a simple two page website I would personally never use any software. Using pure HTML/PHP is far more customisable, and (for me) quite a lot easier. HTML is pretty easy to use, and if you are struggling, there are a lot of resources available on the internet. If you don't know HTML, I would recommend WordPress or Joomla!.

Blogs

There aren't really many blogging platforms around. WordPress is generally considered the best, as it is very rich in features and very easy to customise, with literally thousands of plugins and themes available to install in a couple clicks.

Large websites with over 50 pages

You need a proper CMS for this. I have never built a website this big, so I have no experience in this, but I know what would be good for you. WordPress would work, but it would quickly become difficult to find stuff - it isn't designed for large websites. I like Joomla!, as it is pretty easy to use and very easy to install. I had to read the instructions, but that is expected with most CMS'. You could also try Drupal (you need to know a bit of HTML) and EZPublish.

Social Networks

BuddyPress blows everything else out of the water. It's free, and it's highly customisable. It's just a plugin for WordPress, it takes a couple minutes to uninstall and then you have a fully functional social network. I am building a site using BuddyPress for a client, and I may also be writing an article about it soon.


Having read that, I imagine you think I'm a WordPress fanboi. I'm not, actually - I've had quite a few bad experiences with WordPress (only specific to what I use WordPress for) and would rather use something else. But, as I said, there is nothing quite like it available.

About Callum Macrae:

Callum Macrae is the founder of lynx.io and a JavaScript developer from the United Kingdom. He is currently writing his first book, to be published by O'Reilly Media.

You can view more articles by this author here.

Tags: scripts phpbb html smf wordpress

Comments

Daquan Wright says:

50 pages? MySQL+PHP power millions of websites, 50 pages is chump change. I'd say it depends on the "type" of site more so than how many pages it has.

Blogs/Portfolios generally shine with Wordpress and you can link it to a forum if that's your thing. There are wordpress blogs out there with hundreds of pages, like this one: http://www.nikibrown.com/designoblog/

Callum Macrae says:

I find that attempting to manage a site with more than 50 or 60 pages using WordPress becomes unmanageable XD

says:

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