Options for Creating or Upgrading a Community Web Site

I have been asked about creating and updating community web sites twice in the last week. So this post is to summarise some of the options.

Most low cost hosts support WordPress and Joomla via various methods usually an interface called CPanel. You can use this interface to load the product of your choice.

The Big Two

WordPress

How I did this Part 1, or Why WordPress?

This post discusses how I chose WordPress over other options. I will explore the set up process in more detail in future posts.

Hosting

Based on recommendations from a colleague, I found HostGator, a low cost hosting service, that supported a range of open source products and tools. (I have also found HostGator’s service good – have had problems due to a long time lag between creating accounts and actually using them and have had them fixed easily). If  you decide to use HostGator yourself, use the coupon code: sktraining092010 to get an $9.94 discount off the package price.

HostGator support php/mysql, Joomla, WordPress and even Ruby and a range of open source tools and products. So this gave me my base to build on.

Option1 – Write my own database backed site using php and MySql

Advantages

This would have been a good learning exercise, and would build on existing skills. I routinely use Dreamweaver to create ASP pages that talk to Access and now also  SQL server databases. I have also done some work in php/mysql – to build the sign up/payment processing/storing outcomes and user details in an MySQl db for a charity bike ride. Continue reading “How I did this Part 1, or Why WordPress?”