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PHP-Nuke vs. Post-Nuke

2.6.1. PHP-Nuke vs. Post-Nuke

Post-Nuke is another Content Management System (CMS) similar to PHP-Nuke. Whilst PostNuke is a fork of PHP-Nuke, the entire core of the product has been replaced, with the aim of making it more secure and stable, and able to work in high-volume environments with ease.

Some of the highlights of PostNuke are, according to its developers (in Post-Nuke Modules):

  • Customisation of all aspects of the website's appearance through themes, including CSS support.

  • The ability to specify items as being suitable for either a single or all languages.

  • The best guarantee of displaying your webpages on all browsers due to HTML 4.01 transitional compliance.

  • A standard API and extensive documentation to allow for easy creation of extended functionality through modules and blocks.

The merits of Post-Nuke, as compared to those of PHP-Nuke, have been subject of controversial discussion among fans of both CMSs. We cannot give an objective opinion, since we are biased towards PHP-Nuke. However, we will try to give you an idea:

Even its critics will agree that, for a portal whose purpose is to make information publicly accessible, PHP-Nuke is a very good solution. In comparison to Post-Nuke, most people will also find that PHP-Nuke has many more modules available. However, some will argue that most of them seem geared toward the average end user and not a business or corporate environment.

On the plus side, PostNuke has a very detailed strict user permissions system allowing you to limit access to every module and area of your site to a general group or a specific user. The permissions system allows you to create groups and users with special permissions. You can add a user to one or many of these groups to give a variety of complex permissions easily. This is handy if you need moderators, sub admins, and other people helping manage a commercial site and wish to limit admin access. This may make PostNuke more appealing to a professional site - but see the Your Account Tweak module (Section 8.3.3), the Approve Membership module ( Section 8.3.4), the eCommerce modules (Section 8.3.14) or the Project Management WorkBoard module (Section 8.3.15) before you draw premature conclusions.

Here are some PostNuke modules that are popular among business end users:

However, PostNuke seems to be caught prisoner of its own development impetus: it changed so fast, so often, and made code break backward compatibility in newer versions so often, that it became difficult even for seasoned webmasters to follow it. Lack of compatibility even between adjacent versions and rumours on its development being suspended, has robbed the nerve of quite a few people, who then turned back to PHP-Nuke for its great community, support, continuing, smooth development and vast collection of modules. The following quote, taken from History of PHP-Nuke and Post-Nuke, reflects this situation:

I spent a month trying to customize Post-Nuke for a client, and then I gave up. It was too hard and the support was non-existent. Although you'll find many people in the community who want to help you, you'll find no one who has experience with the particular version you've got.

Note Is Post-Nuke more secure than PHP-Nuke?

The security argument is often heard in favour of Post-Nuke. However, a commited cracker will probably not encounter considerably more difficulties in cracking Post-Nuke, than PHP-Nuke, as the following testimonial, taken from the discussion in History of PHP-Nuke and Post-Nuke, illustrates:

I have a fair few associates who are still hackers, and they can crack into any Post-Nuke site in 20 seconds flat - I've timed them - and they've had full - note: FULL access to the administration section when they have. The fastest I've seen them hack the least secure PHP-Nuke over the past year, is 30 seconds approx. (32 seconds to be precise). That doesn't sound like PHP-Nuke is less secure to me.

The latest version of PHP-Nuke (6.5) prior to it's RC1 with the new security procedures in it, it took them 5 minutes to hack into it.

Of course, 5 minutes will not make you sleep any more quiet than with Post-Nuke, but the Web is a dangerous place by construction and and the point is of relative, not absolute nature. PHP-Nuke has improved its security even more since then. For more details on PHP-Nuke security, we refer you to Section 23.1, where we will talk about PHP-Nuke's past security vulnerabilities, its new security procedures and what you can do to enhance its security even further.

We cannot go into more details on PostNuke, since they would easily fill another book. Perhaps the best test is to visit the homepages of both projects, PHP-Nuke and PostNuke - and decide for yourself which one you like best.

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