Initial advice requested, please

Hello, there.

I created a web site four years ago from scratch, learning as I went, and now it’s time for a complete face-lift/overhaul.

I will have to ‘relearn’ my HTML and CSS, etc., and I was wondering where on the web would be some helpful resources for obtaining
advice regarding requirement options.

Specifically, are fora such as this the best place to seek advice on how to put the various components of a web site together, or do
sites exist which can make recommendations?

For informational purposes, here is an outline of what I’d like to achieve:

A site that is essentially for members only, but with some public pages.

There will be a ‘registration’ form which forwards an email to me for approval, a ‘log-in’ menu item which when filled by approved members will allow access to a forum and a photo gallery which allows members to easily upload images for all other members to view.

I’d like to find specific suggestions for achieving the following, bearing in mind that most of the members will be hopelessly non-technically-minded:

  1. I currently use scripts called ‘ezUserManager’ <; and would like to know where I can find other options (preferably simpler) for achieving the same result (member registration, etc.) The host that I use (Servage) now has ‘Mollify’ as an auto-install. Is this a decent method to use? Are there simpler options?

  2. Servage also has MYBB 1.4, PHBB 3, PunBB 1 and SMF as auto-install options for ‘discussion boards’. What would be the simplest-to-use option out of those, and are there better that I could use?
    I have seen mention in this forum of VBulletin, Vanilla, and Invision. Are these viable options?

  3. My host options for a photo gallery are either Coppermine, or Gallery 2. Can these be made ‘easy to use’ for luddites and again, would there be better/easier options?

  4. I have never used a CMS before, and Servage offers the following: CMS Made Simple, Drupal v6, E107, Joomla, PHPFusion, REDAXO, Typo3 (Professional) and Typo3 Introduction (Basic).
    Bearing in mind that I would only be adding the odd ‘news’ or ‘links’ item every now-and-then, I so far have been unable to see any benefit from using a CMS.
    I’m not going to run a ‘blog’, so is there really any need for a CMS?

  5. I have never used Javascript or anything other than HTML and CSS, but am willing to take advice re. that sort of thing.

  6. I use Aptana (badly) and Amaya currently for coding. Does anybody have any other suggestions for user-friendly, freeware or open-source, possibly WYSIWYG editors?

Again, please let me know if this is not the right place for this sort of enquiry, and I’m more than happy to be directed to more appropriate resources for asking these sorts of questions, and don’t forget I’m looking for easy usability for the non-technically-minded.

All suggestions will be very gratefully received. Thank-you in advance.

From reading your post, you should check out Wordpress. I think that will serve you best. Simple, flexible and has MANY options & plugs to start with.

Hello, ncmw.

I must admit, your short answer had me confused to begin with, but I think I’m beginning to understand how far these CMS programs have come over the years.
These ‘options & plugs’ of which you speak are most likely the kinds of modules (photo gallery, forum and user manager) that I require.

Can you tell me if Wordpress has all these features available, and what would make it ‘better’ than Drupal - or is it simply user preference?

Also, do you know of a good web resource(s) for Wordpress tutorials?

Thank-you for your time.


Yes Wordpress has I think 120,000 plugs (oh my), with many uses but I prefer it for a general cms that is fast and easy to use. There are many tutorials online and has some good documentation. I think if you are just getting the hang of CMS’, Wordpress makes things fairly simple for the average user. I wouldn’t say one CMS is ‘better’ than another because I have found some cms’ really good for a certain uses.

If you are running an eCom store, I would say Magento but it is much harder to learn than WP. Joomla and Drupal are really good for social platforms but Wp is good for general publishing. Wordpress has become the ‘unofficial’ leader in CMS platforms.

Hello, ncmw.

Thank-you for your informative reply. I think I now have enough information on which to base my decisions.