Fasthosts Web Hosting comes with a wide range of ready-to-go, free-to-use, one-click-install applications. These apps help beginner users and experienced developers add extra functionality to their websites. In this blog post, we’ll highlight some of the most popular and most useful applications in the OneClick Installer.
Content management systems
Content management systems are the most popular applications downloaded through the OneClick Installer. Among a range of other CMSs, one click installs are available for the big three: WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. On this blog, we have already discussed the benefits and differences between these content management systems, and the result was that the main difference comes down to preference dependent on circumstance.
WordPress is easier to use and has a wide range of add-ons, Joomla is better for creating more advanced sites but it takes a bit longer to get used to, and Drupal is completely flexible and customisable but takes a long time to learn.
The usage curve of the three platforms follows this learning curve. 25% of the world’s websites run on WordPress, 3.3% run on Joomla and 2.2% run on Drupal.
Although Drupal comes in last place, 2.2% doesn’t seem insignificant when you consider that the total number of websites worldwide is in the low ten figures (billions).
phpBB is an application for building forums, bulletin boards and community discussion engines.
On the design and build front, the admin panel allows intuitive customisation of a range of features without having to dive into the code itself. This allows beginners to add forum functionality with very little coding knowledge. But it does also allow advanced access to code, if required.
It’s easy to build on the backend, easy to design on the frontend, and just as easy to interact with on the user-side. Users of the forums can upload files, share photos, create threads, send private messages and search for topics and posts.
MODs and mods
The forum administrator can give certain users moderator privileges. Moderators can lock and merge threads, mark important threads as ‘sticky’ and ban users. Because of its open-source model, the phpBB community also contributes plugins, extensions and modifications to improve the functionality and design of phpBB.
phpBB is available in 27 languages, and millions of people use the application every day – making it the most used open-source forum application on the internet.
MediaWiki is effectively a CMS for creating wikis: essentially defined as a website where users can collaborate to add and edit content. It’s crowd-sourced encyclopaedia building. Installing MediaWiki lets a user begin to build a wiki of their own, on their own website. A variety of themes are available to change the look of a wiki, and it’s easy to add multimedia features and extensions. Over 2200 extensions and 900 configuration settings are available to completely customise the wiki to the developer’s (or in some cases, the community’s) requirements.
Because of the collaborative nature of a wiki, and the combative nature of humanity, MediaWiki has various moderation tools in place to prevent vandalism and spam, and different levels of permissions can be assigned to different user groups.
Originally created in 2002 to cater for the requirements of a then little-known website called ‘Wikipedia’, MediaWiki has scaled massively alongside Wikipedia’s rapid growth to becoming the internet’s fifth most visited website. Since its release, MediaWiki has been used to build and run thousands of online wikis from MarioWiki (an encyclopaedia for the Super Mario universe), to Bulbapedia (an encyclopaedia for the Pokémon universe) to WikiLeaks (an encyclopaedia for… never mind).
Its widespread use is partly due to its simple syntax. Linking to other pages in the wiki when editing/writing text is as simple as wrapping the word in square brackets. The syntax interprets the square brackets and automatically links to the relevant page within the wiki. For example, in the text “The quick brown [[fox]] jumped over the lazy [[dog]]”, the words ‘fox’ and ‘dog’ would link to the pages /wiki/Fox and /wiki/Dog respectively.
This intuitive linking structure is far simpler than a more traditional CMS process of having to highlight the words, click insert link, type the link, and publish it.
MediaWiki also has user profiles, and discussion capabilities. [[James Bond]] links to the page of the fictional character, whereas [[user:James_Bond] links to the page of wiki contributor with that username. As MediaWiki has developed alongside Wikipedia, it has had to keep up with the scalability and performance demands of one of the world’s most popular websites. The performance and scalability, as well as the functionality and customisability make MediaWiki the dominant software in its category.
Ecommerce website builder
OneClick Installer applications are also available to help users create online stores on web hosting. Two of the most popular ecommerce apps are PrestaShop and Magento, which both power over 200,000 websites worldwide.
A PrestaShop website starts with a basic theme that users can add their product catalogues to. Like many of these applications, PrestaShop is open source, and allows users to contribute themes and extensions. However, the Magento application available in the OneClick Installer is the Community Edition. To add the Enterprise Edition to your web hosting package comes with a licensing fee.
The community edition of Magento still has useful features for building ecommerce websites, which include integrated analytics and reporting, SEO tools and an advanced checkout/payment/shipping management process.
The Koken gallery application is built for photographers. It allows photographers to build websites that are optimised for images. Specialist themes are designed to put the emphasis on the photos, but captions and descriptions are easy to add. With Koken, photos can be published to the website straight from Adobe Lightroom. There are also easy integration capabilities with Flickr, Vimeo and Instagram.
Customer relationship management
The Sugar customer relationship management tool has functionality for various areas across any business. It maps and interprets the customer journey through a website, and provides data that can be useful for targeted marketing, email campaigns and website optimisation. It also cuts away a lot of the administrative work. Often, businesses will store information on sales, customers, and lead generation in different places. SugarCRM consolidates that information into one place. SugarCRM powers operations for over one million businesses.