SharePoint meet PHP. PHP meet SharePoint

So here I was, wanting to update my personal site,, and give it some new features (especially after being hounded by a certain someone at work who shall remain nameless...). The problem was that my web host only provided PHP and MySQL based sites. I would prefer a .NET or even SharePoint site but I'm also a cheap-skate and like the rates I get now with my provider. Maintaining a website with lots of static content (like what I had) was so 2004 now and I didn't want to code my own PHP portal or content management system.

I had played with PHP-Nuke a long time ago and read-up on how you can completely change the look and feel to the site with it's theming capabilities. PHP-Nuke had a lot of nice features out-of-the-box that appealed to me like full searching across the site, downloads, links, announcements, etc. Hmmm, sounds very much like SharePoint. All the kind of stuff I didn't want to bother maintaining with static pages. I began to think about the whole PHP-Nuke themes and thought, "how close can I get it to looking like SharePoint without changing the codebase?". This is the result so if you do a double take on the site, it's all PHP powered with no .NET in sight.

PHP-Nuke bears a lot of resemblance to SharePoint (I guess all "portal" type software does, or maybe it's the other way around). The modules would make a good Quick Launch. Blocks seemed to have a Web Part feel to them. Search was there. All it needed was a visual overhaul and a few tweaks. After dissecting SharePoint for awhile and the DHTML it spits out, I grabbed some of the graphics and stylesheets from a default install of WSS and started on the new Nuke theme. A few days later, lots of tweaking of tables and pixels and telling PHP-Nuke all about these imaginary "ms-" classes, and my SharePoint theme was born for PHP-Nuke.

I still have some work to do. Namely the modules list isn't quite right but it's close to SharePoints own Quick Launch and there are no dynamic menus to hide/show Nuke blocks (think Web Parts) like you can with SharePoint. I did track down some mods and add-ins that I'm trying out and I think I can get the Quick Launch menu 100% there and at least add the minimize option to each Nuke-block. Overall I'm pretty impressed at the level of customization achievable with a little PHP coding. There are a few small bits that are not 100% customizable (like the page title has that annoying "-" in it which I can get rid if I slightly alter every page, but I didn't want to touch the Nuke codebase).

So if you're stuck like I was with running PHP on my webserver, drop by and take a look. You can download the PHP-Nuke SharePoint theme directly from here. Feel free to use it on your own PHP-Nuke site and claim back that SharePoint look and feel we all know and love.


  • Hi Bill,

    that's looks very cool.

    Have you ever concidered to use dotnetnuke ( ?

    It hasn't so many features as php-nuke so far but it is based on .net. I'm just testing this for my own site

    I like your idea of implementing a Sharepoint like skin for php-nuke may be I can do this with dotnetnuke.

  • Oh Bill you poor guy, can't afford to get out of the cheap hosting:-)

    Nice mock-up, but if you'd spent the time you used for this working I'm sure you could have made the money to switch to a host like webhosting4life which provides real wss.

    I got one, but it's kinda slow from where I'm sitting so I haven't really done anything with it yet.

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