A little promotional piece on the advocacy on PHP and PEAR
Aracnhean is a CMS that we developed in early 2005 for use in our own websites and since its conception has successfully commissioned for all of our websites. It is written in PHP and composed almost entirely of open source bits and pieces, mainly PEAR components, Smarty and FCKeditor.
Like most other CMSs, clients can create & edit their own pages, upload images, files for download, create mailing lists, add news items, create a secured members area, generate Google sitemaps. And because it's written with the most popular language on the internet and it uses PEAR components, it's easily maintainable and customisable by anyone with some basic knowledge of PHP. For a simple site layout, it takes less than a day to setup, and the bulk of this is organising the Smarty template files and menu logic. For more complex designs that require funky layouts from the graphic designers, the sites can usually be constructed within about 3-4 days. Arachnean isn't available to purchase, but it does show that with the right tools, website-o-matic type applications can be created quite easily.
We've used it for our own websites:
As well as for a few client websites (to name just a few):