liveSiteIn the course of redeveloping a website for an industrial peak body over the last few weeks, I needed to identify a good content management system.

I needed an end-user friendly system that would allow my client’s non-tech savvy staff and members to log in to separate areas to update information as well as provide customised forms functionality, ecommerce capabilities, and the ability for users to upload and share files on a fairly large scale.

And it had to be hosted on the client’s existing third party web host.

And it had to cost less than $2,000. And be set up within a month.

And look good.

Now is that so much to ask?

It was, of course. Most of the options that offered the required functionality were either horrendously expensive, hosted by the vendor or required me to become a lightning fast customiser of one or other open source solution. I can barely spell PHP and MySQL.

However, it appears liveSite has come to the rescue. It does use PHP and MySQL but even the system administrator or site designer hardly has to know anything about it. It really suits someone looking to turn a static HTML site into a dynamic CMS-managed site (especially one using CSS and bits of javascript), and it’s very reasonably priced. In fact the basic version (without forms or ecommerce capabilities) comes in at under US$100.

I suppose that over time, I should really develop my ability to write a CMS to order for clients, or at least adapt a Mambo, Jango, Joomla, XOOPS, Plone or similar for the purpose. But for the time being, I’m pretty happy to have found liveSite.

For anyone working their way through the CMS quagmire, it’s definitely worth looking at.