Top Ten Self Hosted Web Applications for Small Business

Oh yes… and they have to be free to make this list…

We use a lot of self-hosted applications. That is, software that we install into our hosting space and run over the web. The ones listed here are ones we’ve used, and found to be of value.

1. Joomla. Hands down the most functional and extensible CMS out there in the Open Source world. Drupal enthusiasts might disagree, but we cannot find nearly the number of extensions for Drupal that are available for Joomla, and the learning curve for Drupal is significantly higher. So Joomla is our number one pick.

2. CMSMadeSimple. For lightweight website needs, this system is simple to use, simple to build a site in, and simple to sustain. An all around winner for someone who does not need the power or extensibility of Joomla, who just needs a basic website that they can easily make changes to.

3. WordPress. Ok, that’s a no-brainer. We don’t recommend WordPress for anything more than a blog – it tends to get clunky and unsustainable if you try to expand it too far – but it is tops for blogging.

4. Magento. NOT RECOMMENDED ANYMORE. Too many problems, you lose something in your site every time you upgrade, and they release upgrade patches every few DAYS. Too hard to template also.

5. PrestaShop. NOT RECOMMENDED ANYMORE. Too difficult to template, and not stable. Buggy functions which are absolutely basic.

6. WebCollab. A real gem. A simple but functional project manager that is just perfect for companies that need a fast solution for tracking multiple projects. The only one we’ve seen where it was designed for one manager to handle multiple projects and get an overview of them all at once. Should not be made open to the public in any way. Easy to use.

7. PHPTimeClock. A terrific little location independent timeclock.

8. WordPressMU. Yeah, it gets a separate listing from WordPress. This is the multi-blog version. We tried several other options for this, but WPMU is just the best solution out there!

9. Bad Behavior. It is only a plugin for WordPress… Theoretically. But it is so good it has been adatpted to many other online systems. It slows down spammers and does a good job of that, but also reduces the threat of other malicious bots that attack websites. So good that we’re working on a standalone version that can protect any website.

10. PHPAdsNew. NOT RECOMMENDED ANYMORE. Some things get way out of date. This one did.

Now, we could have added SugarCRM, a host of Joomla extensions, and several other apps, but these are the ones we use on a regular basis, that provide us with truly useful function, and which have been instrumental in building our business.

We’ll have hosted goodies next.

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