Installed Software Packages
Webdesigna currently use a number of open source packages as a basis for new web site projects, the choice of which being dependent on the customer’s immediate and long term requirements. As part of our hosting packages one or more of these can be pre-installed with or without sample data giving you a working web site within minutes of your order.
WordPress started life and was originally used primarily as open source blogging software. Over time it’s potential has been realised and it is now widely used as a CMS. It offers the site owner and designer/developer powerful control of the content. At the same time it offers an administration interface that allows easy creation and modification of both static pages and news bulletins/blogs.
It offers an extremely versatile basis for any web site that consists primarily of static pages. Forum software and picture gallery software can very easily be added to your pages, as can e-commerce facilities.
It’s main weak point, if it has one, is the e-commerce aspect which is fine for basic e-commerce functions but if your site is primarily to be used for e-commerce and/or has large numbers of products, complex postage, gift certificate and coupon requirements then Zen Cart may be a better choice.
As the name may suggest this software provides a full featured e-commerce site. Having evaluated a wide range of such packages, both closed and open source, Zen Cart stands out above the others for a number of reasons. Webdesigna have a lot of experience working with and customising this package and we often help customers and web professionals alike to integrate their Zen Cart web site into payment and other gateways.
In terms of integrating/modifying your online shopping methods Zen Cart allows great flexibility with it’s modular design allowing off the shelf or custom developed shipping rates, payment options, discount structures, coupon handling and so on. We have yet to find a customer who’s working practices can’t be met by Zen Cart regardless of the complexity or otherwise of your product ranges, payment methods or even your packing/shipping calculations. It can even split orders into boxes, taking into account additional packaging weights etc…
Zen Cart uses one of the best templating systems yet developed, allowing every aspect of your web site’s look to be modified to suit your requirements without modifying the underlying code. This means that software updates can be installed at a later date without having to worry about all the code that was modified for your template. Once completed templates can also be easily moved onto other sites should the need arise.
One of the Webdesigna philosophies is that all our customer sites should be maintainable by the customer without trying to turn them into IT specialists first. Zen Cart offers a simple web interface where powerful administration tools allow the end user to modify and add new content/pages as well as maintain product lists, upload images, change shipping rates, tax rates etc… For this reason we regularly use Zen cart for sites that aren’t yet offering online shopping as it’s simple approach to “content management” gives our customers the freedom to generate their own web site content and publish it without any software other than a web browser.
Joomla is a full featured CMS (Content Management System) that is ideal for collabarative projects such as community groups, clubs, organisations where multiple end users can be given the rights and web based tools to amend and create content, news articles and reports.
Like Zen Cart and WordPress, the built in template system allows the user generated information to be instantly formatted into a finished web page.
phpBB2 and phpBB3
phpBB is a powerful and flexible forum system that allows you to build a community around your business or, in the case of clubs and community organisations, provide a focus for your members. All the features you’ll need to manage your users and their posts are available through an easy to use web interface.
Extensive free plugin libraries allow the forum software to be expanded and customised to suit your needs and the templating system allows you complete control over the appearance.
phpBB2 and phpBB3 can be integrated into WordPress, Joomla and Zen Cart.
WordPress, Zen Cart and Joomla can be integrated with other packages to provide functions such as forum facilities, image galleries, Wiki pages and blogs. Webdesigna can advise you on the best software to provide the foundation for your web site.