No! Nooooo! Not Faq-o-Matic! Why, I’ve seen grown men pull their own heads off rather than install Faq-o-Matic!
Well, sort of. Actually it was a grown woman and I didn’t pull my own head off, I just gave up after days of frustration and switched to a PHP script called FAQ-U instead, which not only appeared to be a nice, feature-laden script, but also expressed very nicely in its name what I wanted to say to the makers of Faq-o-Matic.
I’m not exactly a CGI virgin, but I found Faq-o-Matic brutally difficult to get anywhere with. The documentation assumes that (a) you are a UNIX god/dess, and (b) you have root access to the server you’re installing it on. It is not, at least in my experience, a script for the casual user, or for anyone using virtual hosting of any sort.
FAQ-U is very nice, and much easier to set up, but the layout is kind of ugly and you will have to edit the hell out of not only the page templates but some of the PHP script itself if you want it to look good. The type is too big and the layout is way too cluttered and crowded – the programmer does not appear to have heard of the concept of white space, but then I guess that’s why he’s a programmer and not a designer.
I’ve got FAQ-U fairly nicely customized now, and I like its features (multiple FAQs from one installation, ability to comment on answers, etc.) but I’m still not entirely certain I’ll stick with it. The thing is, like most PHP scripts that actually do anything useful, it uses a MySQL database, and even though I do have one on my Strictly Business plan, the fact that I only get one means I can essentially only use one PHP script.
Oh sure, I could theoretically run several scripts off the same database, but the problem there is – what if I install a second script and it uses some of the same table names as the first one? Very few scripts tell you in their documentation what the tables they’re going to create in your database are; they all seem to be based on the assumption that they’ll be working with a fresh database with nothing else in it. And they often use nice generic table names like “data” and “admin”. Gee, no chance at all of another script using those names, eh?
I love PHP, but if I installed all the PHP scripts I’d like to on my domains, I’d be paying about an extra $80 a month for all the databases…