WordPress is the most popular open source content management system at the moment, powering an estimated 28% of all websites. It is based mostly on PHP, although  a lot of interactive capabilities are provided by Java libraries. WordPress started as a blogging system, but there are more than 45000 plugins available to extend it’s capabilities to be almost anyting, including for example an invoicing system, event planning system, photo albums, or online training system. The look and feel can be adapated by installing, and possibly adapated to your needs, different themes, of which there are also thousands available. Updates of the WordPress core, and installation and updating of plug-ins and themes, can all be done from the administration panel in WordPress.

You can run multiple sites with their own look and feel from a single WordPress installation using the ‘multisite’ option which does require a little bit of reading and editing to get up and running, but is easier to implement than similar solutions with some other system. And when looking into this, and other options with WordPress, you will probably be quickly impressed with the often excellent documentation available.

Linux distributions generally include WordPress in their repositories although you may want to upgrade to the latest version to ensure use of the most current security patches. To run a Windows based WordPress server you will have to first install a ‘WAMPP’ stack (Windows, Apache, MySQL, PHP, and Perl) stack. Complete packages for those can be easilly found by searching on the Internet for WAMPP or XAMPP.

To download WordPress and browse the plug-ins and themes, check out: