Our eXtend Control Panel has over 70 one-click application installers, giving you easy access to many of the major open-source software options available for website management, e-commerce, community building, and more.

While most people flock to the big names, such as WordPress, Joomla!, and OpenCart, there are other excellent applications available that might not be as known. We're listing five of the best out of these underdogs, and giving you ideas on how you can use them effectively in your business.

MantisBT

www.mantisbt.org

Screenshot of the MantisBT Home Page

MantisBT is a full issue tracking system, letting you not just track problems, but also answer questions, build up documentation, and communicating with your customers, team members, and other personnel.

With email notifications and the ability to add different projects and roles into a single system, MantisBT is a customisable and flexible package that can help keep you organised. While it works best for software developers, it could be used for any customer service issues, such as tracking packages, logging sales calls, or dealing with complaints.

And you don't need a separate website or system for it - just install it into a separate folder on your existing site, and you can get it rolling almost instantly!

Pligg

pligg.com

Screenshot of the Pligg Home Page

If you like using Digg or Reddit, and want the same kind of community but built on your site, Pligg is a great way to start it off. Flexible and easy to use, Pligg is designed to let users submit articles and comments, and then vote on them, pushing the best content to the top of the page.

It just doesn't need to be a community either - it could be a customer help desk, offering support articles or a news platform for busy sites. If your users like it, it will go up, no matter if it's an answer to how they check their email or an article on your 5th anniversary of starting your business.

It's also good for internal conversations, giving you and your team a place to vote on new designs, bits of copy, or other pieces of information your team needs.

phpMyFAQ

www.phpmyfaq.de

Screenshot of the phpMyFAQ Home Page

Need to put up a Frequently Asked Questions? Want to have a support article area? Thinking about the best way to put up simple articles without needing to make a blog? phpMyFAQ is a content management system that is easy to use, easy to set up, and friendly on mobiles as well as on desktops.

If you regularly get questions from customers, a good support section helps cut down on the amount of time you spend responding. With phpMyFAQ, you can set up a well-organised support section where your customers can rate and leave comments on articles, helping you build your customer service.

dotProject

www.dotproject.net

Screenshot of the dotProject Home Page

If you hire freelancers, have remote workers, or want to make sure that your project is accessible everywhere, dotProject is a web-based project management system that gives you the tools you need to manage tasks, schedules, communication, sharing, and more. Whether trying to manage your workload, plan an event, or just keep track of what everyone is doing, dotProject gives you an easy way to do it.

And not every project has to be a work-related project. If you're decorating your house, planning a wedding, or want an easy way to keep track of your family's schedule, dotProject can sit comfortably in an additional folder on your website, and give you everything you need for running things smoothly.

Textpattern

textpattern.com

Screenshot of the Textpattern Home Page

Flexible and elegant, Textpattern is a content management system similar to WordPress, but without the complicated plug-ins, themes, and dashboard. Just log in and start writing.

Perfect for blogging or brochure sites, Textpattern also uses Textile, a simple formatting system that converts plain text to HTML without needing to know how to code. But if you do know how to code, you can also build beautiful templates quickly and easily with their built-in tags.

If you haven't been able to work with WordPress, or if you want to try something unique, Textpattern is a great option you can install right away.

Install in just seconds!

And do you know what's best about these applications? You don't have to go through the tedious process of downloading the software, uploading it to your account, setting up the database, making sure all the paths are correct when you install, and setting it up.

You just need to follow these easy steps:

  1. Log into your eXtend Control Panel - you can do that through your Surfpoint Web Solutions Customer Area
  2. Scroll down to 'CGI Scripts'
  3. Find the program you want to install
  4. Click the icon
  5. Enter in the directory you want it to be in (or leave it blank if you want the application in the home directory)
  6. Click 'Install'
  7. Click the link to complete the installation

You will need to have a database available for each of these programs, and our Small Business and Premium Business hosting accounts come with databases

So what's your favourite one-click application?

By Matthew Telfer