I get asked quite often what web software I would recommend for creating forums, image galleries and what content management system I think is best. If you are planning on creating a new website and want to use some great web software to make the building go a little easier take a look at these great web software packages.
There is no doubt that vBulletin is the creme de la creme of forum software. If you want to run a forum and you have the budget you don’t need to look any further.
Simple Machines Forum
Simple Machines Forum is a great forum software package for running your next forum, and if you want to keep the project pricetag down. It is easy to update, relatively easy to theme to your website, has a good selection of add-on modules available for it and is an excellent choice for a forum. If you want to run a forum and the price is right.
I have to admit Wordpress is probably the most flexible blogging software available and offers bloggers an excellent platform for blogging. I don’t use Wordpress mainly because I just don’t need another site to spend time on to constantly update the software with, but it is an excellent piece of software.
It is the easiest blogging software out there, mainly because all the hard work is done for you by Blogger. Blogger is also the only system I know of that allows you to publish via FTP to your own domain and server. I recommend people don’t use Blogspot to host their Blogger blogs. It is always better to have the files on your own server.
Coppermine Photo Gallery
If you want to run your own photo gallery I like Coppermine Photo Gallery. It is easy to add photos, has support for albums, users and overall is a great photo gallery software.
LGR Photo Gallery
I have to admit I tend to use my own custom solution for clients websites. My main reason to use LGR Photo is because I can make it blend in with a clients existing website. It does not have all of the fancy features of Coppermine Photo Gallery but I like it. Lately I have added in a Lightbox script for some clients on top of the gallery and that has added some extra features to the script. Just so you know I have not released the Lightbox version yet. I still need to actually clean the code up at some point.
Content Management Systems
Joomla is one of the most versatile content management systems out there. I have been using Joomla on websites for all size of clients. The options it gives people for the cost is terrific. The learning curve can be a little high to edit the site, but once people get the hang of using it Joomla is easy to update and use.
I have one client that I work with that uses Drupal. They love it and like Joomla it offers many options for people and it easy to update. I find the learning curve higher for Drupal, but I was used to Joomla before I started working with Drupal.
Whatever software you use, be sure to update it when new releases come out, if applicable. The bad guys out there are always looking for security holes in unpatched software, and it really sucks when your website that you worked hours and hours on is defaced by some 16 year old that has nothing better to do.