LAMP-Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP CMS-Content Management Systems like Drupal, Joomla and WordPress are becoming very popular among web developers as total solutions for clients. Why? I think that despite the first sense of overkill there are three key attractions to LAMP CMS for Web users.
1)They run on every OS platform from Linux through MacOS to all the flavors of Windows and quite a few Unix versions as well. So they fit on nearly whatever server the client is running be it in-house or a hosted environ- no small attraction, especially for Intranet builds.
2)Most are easy to add new postings and content to. The beginning users definitely does not need to learn the ropes for full site administration; but for the crux of site maintenance: adding new posts, editing content, and planning for new features and styling, all the major CMS provide very adept and controlled WYSIWYG features to support these all important Web presence operations.
3)They easily allow users to grow into the full capabilities offered by the CMS. All of the above CMS systems have huge libraries of well tested plugins/extensions plus a wealth of themes and templates to give a site a layout and formating to meet every need. Don’t underestimate the value of being able to add on a shopping cart ecommerce extension or a full gallery viewing capability or an online forum when they have proved themselves ready, willing able to afford the time and effort to support such a Web identity.
But there are two more reasons that the LAMP CMS are very popular – they are all Open Source and they are free. For Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress the base system is available free under some Open Source license. So this means the out of pocket costs for installation are low and there are hundreds of developers that are a)making new plugins/extensions plus themes and styling templates [most of which are also free]. So if you have a problem and can’t write your own extension [and that is getting easier too], then likely somebody else has done so. In sum, as a developer I think of LAMP CMS systems as large scale and highly customizable coding blocks or objects that I can TinkerToy or Lego-block fit together for low cost but highly effective systems.