While there are many online tools to maintain websites, after messing around with several, we’ve found two that seem to lead the pack for our needs. For singlar websites, WordPress is still one of the easiest content systems for individual users. The significant advantage there is the ease of updating the content in place through the Administrative interface. This includes installing plugins without the need to download and ftp packages.
For more complicated services, Drupal is one package that seems to have drawn an active community. While not having the simplicity of managment of WordPress, it does provide an economy of scale by serving multiple websites with a single install. So while you will spend a little more time with each update, up can keep a single code base of the core system, modules, and supporting files. <Drupal:Run multiple sites from the same code base>
In short the creation of multiple sites goes like this:
- Single Install in a web directory
- Point all domains to the same web directory
- Add seperate setting files for each site
- Run the installers but browsing to each domain
Its then possible to move the core configuration data to a seperate location to make updates with minum need to move files around. See links below(with thanks to @mysty for the links to @buddaboy’s multisite symbolic links tip )