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Monday, October 3, 2011

How to create a website without writing code or using something like dreamweaver (QOD)

So, my question of the day (QOD) is:
I use Dreamweaver to design web pages. Do any of you use something that you would consider "easy" to use? I am trying to teach someone else how to manage a simple web site.

Some questions to consider:
  • How big is the site 
  • Is it hosted on their own webspace
  • Can it migrated to a simple CMS (content management system)?
  • What does it need to do? What is the audience? 
My approach would be to rethink the whole site workflow. If it needs to be easy to use & simple, Dreamweaver seems like overkill to me. In fact, I don't see a reason to handedit a website any more unless it's absolutely essential or you're building it with CSS3 (preprocessor preferred) + HTML5 to show off your madskillz.

...and if it's simple, you are probably not trying to show off your madskillz. LOL

So, what to use for a basic website:

Hosted elsewhere choices (excluding niche sites like photography or art portfolio sites):
  • Facebook pages : If you're on Facebook, you can use Facebook Pages to build a site. Granted, it is somewhat limited, but it is very easy to do and maintain - plus you have the added benefit of the Facebook community.
  • Google sites: If you're a Google/Gmail user, Google sites is available to you. You can build all sorts things at Google - again very easy.
  • Wix
  • Weebly
Hosted at your website (e.g.,
  • Wordpress. (.org not .com) Wordpress (WP) is blogging software but can be used to build a simple website. Of course, you (or someone) would need the ability to install it (it does have a self installer), but if you own your owndomain and webspace, (most likely) it has what is needed to run WP.
  • Blogger. Although blogger is usually hosted by google at once the site is built at it can be migrated to a domain using built-in tools. So, that might be even easier.

Advantages to using this sort of software to create a simple website (or any other blogging software for that matter):
  • Drag and Drop widgets to increase functionality (calendars, categories, etc.)
  • Ability to easily add social media and dynamic content
  • Out of the box templates and design help
  • Pages features - this is key as you would use pages feature in each to build the actual website ;-) You could either suppress the blog entries or not, depending on what is needed (in other words, make the page the front of the website) or keep them if a blog is needed.
  • Easy to subscribe to and easy to update through a web based form.
  • Often supports mobile.

Both would provide a simple web based interface for maintenance purposes.

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