Flat file web software
Is mySQL really necessary?
It has all sort of advantages and performance advantages that people so quickly advocate but is a SQL database really needed to power up small websites or web applications?
My preference goes to fully portable websites that require no external database and keep everything tidy and organized inside the same folder. This makes the task of creating a new site fairly simple and even simpler to move everything onto another server.
For bigger sites, mySQL is still a tool of the trade but I've learned to look onto smaller alternatives as better option to power up those small sites that don't require a heavy CMS but still need to stretch a bit further than static HTML codings.
On this blog post I'd like to refer two developments that I've been using for some time.
The first, is a forum software that runs solely on a flatfile (no SQL needed), the name of this project is "Ultimate PHP board", very small sized, free and very easy to customize. This is the forum software that I'm also using to power up the ninja forum.
The second project is called "Razor CMS" (freeware) - a name easy to remember and also the type of software that is meant to be easy to work with from the start. This is a good option is you need to start a new website and only require to showcase a few pages.
It comes with a WYSIWYG editor and you can find additional plugins (called blade packs) to add more features and themes.
I'm using this software to create a standalone PHP powered website that runs from DVD's and USB media to be distributed as gift to guests at a meeting.
This standalone website is possible using another software that I've made some time ago called litePHP (freeware).