Seeking recommendation for secure document dist

Hi there, I’m fairly new to Dreamhost and am a satisfied customer. I have a question I’m hoping to get some help with.

I have a need to set up a few web sites that will allow people to log in and access a collection of static documents (mostly PDF files), and do so securely. Sort of like logging in to get a bank statement, and have access to get old ones too. This all has to be highly secure since the information in the documents is sensitive.

Dreamhost provides secure hosting with https certificates, which is helpful. But I need a little more than that, for instance I’d like to offer password recovery to users by allowing them to register an e-mail address with their account and have a temporary password e-mailed to them if they forget their assigned password. Also I’d like some help in creating the HTML pages that the user sees to access their documents. Doesn’t have to be a full blown app, but something more than me hacking HTML.

I assume that there must be some packages out there like this, call it “document publishing” or “document sharing” or what have you, but I haven’t been able to find anything. Any suggestions welcome.


One possible solution you could look into is using a document sharing plugin with a content management system. I know that there are several to choose from with Joomla!.

I know a full-blown content management system might be overkill, but it does provide a nice front page and news and updates that you might use. As a bonus, it will do all the user management that you require.

A search will provide various ways of SSL’izing your Joomla! site.

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Actually I looked at Joomla. Not to sound like a knucklehead, but I couldn’t figure out what it was. I read through the web site and tried to run the demo but could not figure out its purpose in life. Can anyone help me out?


Joomla! is a Content Management System. You should definitely read that full Wikipedia article, but here’s an excerpt:

[quote]A content management system (CMS) is a web application or software used for content management. CMS facilitates the organization, control, and publication of a large body of documents and other content, such as images and multimedia resources. A CMS often facilitates the collaborative creation of documents. A web content management system is a content management system with additional features to ease the tasks required to publish web content to web sites.

Web content management systems are often used for storing, controlling, versioning, and publishing industry-specific documentation such as news articles, operators’ manuals, technical manuals, sales guides, and marketing brochures. A content management system may support the following features:…[/quote]
The basic idea is that it is a web application that facilitates the creation of website content through the collaboration of a team of individuals, each responsible for a particular facet of publishing the site.

Your needs seem to be much simpler, but I suggested Joomla! because it seems to me that your requirements are a subset of what Joomla! does and if you can just use the subset of Joomla! that you need, it make be less work than building a bunch of functionality from scratch. It’s the same kind of thinking that leads people to use WordPress for publishing a static website.

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