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What software to develop /maintain a web site

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What software to develop /maintain a web site

Postby Kevin Nolan » Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:23 pm

Hi -

I've pulled my music web site because it was rubbish, and wonder if anyone can advise on the easiest, cheapest way to design and maintain a simple web site?

I'm computer literate but no web designer / developer (I kid you not my web site to date has been done (by me) in MS Word converted to html!). I know nothing!!

I own my own domain name, and web space (from register365) - so I'm looking for a free (or very cheap) WYSIWYG package that will allow me to design a simple but professional looking web site. I don't want to spend a lot of time learning web technologies - I don't have the time for that (even setting my my site as a wordpress domain looks hugely complicated) - so any suggestions on simple but professional ways of designing and maintaining a web site would be appreciated.

The most I'd want to do is include photos, and perhaps icons to point to twitter, facebook, email contact, soundcloud - that sort of thing.

I'm planning selling sound sets in about a year so any thought on factoring that in woudl be appreciated (and thanks to Hollowsun for your advice on that some months back - I have still factored that in to all of this).

Any suggestions appreciated.


Thanks,
Kevin.
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Re: What software to develop /maintain a web site

Postby mooblie » Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:43 pm

Windows or Mac?

If Mac, investigate RapidWeaver:
http://www.realmacsoftware.com/rapidweaver/

- a friendlier, and WYSIWYG-ier, app., than Dreamweaver (which is probably where you're headed one day!)

Not free, but not expensive either.
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Re: What software to develop /maintain a web site

Postby Steve A » Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:47 pm

It's a shame you've already mentioned Wordpress as something that is too complicated as I was going to suggest investigating Wordpress and customising an existing template for it. You don't need to know all that much about HTML to do this (although a little knowledge will help you get further with it) but you'll get something that's modern, flexible, well coded (and hence cross browser compliant), easy to update and future proof. I'd say it's worth the investment in time to get to grips with it.

For building websites from scratch, the Logic Pro of the web world is Dreamweaver but even then, you'll struggle to get too far with something like that without understanding at least the basics of HTML and the priciples of site building. You'll need an image editor as well but there's a lot more choice there and something like GIMP will meet your needs if you don't want to invest in something more heavy duty like Photoshop.

I'd be interested to see what others suggest but based on my experience, to create anything half decent these days, there are no easy shortcuts.
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Re: What software to develop /maintain a web site

Postby Neokoenig » Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:19 pm

Go to wordpress.com sign up for a freebie.
They've done the 'hard' bit of installing etc for you. You'll get a freebie url of something.wordpress.com - play around with it. If you like it, you can repoint your domain there and get rid of the hosting.
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Re: What software to develop /maintain a web site

Postby Aftertouch » Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:46 am

Neokoenig wrote:Go to wordpress.com sign up for a freebie.
They've done the 'hard' bit of installing etc for you. You'll get a freebie url of something.wordpress.com - play around with it. If you like it, you can repoint your domain there and get rid of the hosting.

Agreed. Go for Wordpress.

There's a ton of tutorials online and is ideal for what you want to do.

Don't even look at Dreamweaver. If WP was complex for you, then DW will blow your mind!
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Re: What software to develop /maintain a web site

Postby The Pablo Augustus » Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:11 am

Web design is like music production. What would you say to somebody who asked a similar question about writing their "theme song". (say an actor).

You would break down the skill involved and recommend a professional.

That is my humble opinion, wordpress sites are ok but IMHO look generic and...well, wordpressie.

I know a good designer who works flash and html, and can customize a wordpress page to look nice. His non flash pages are pretty cheap.

Anyway, if you want a professional recommendation PM me.

He made an amazing page for a very good musician I've recorded with, it is flash and cost a fortune but shows you what he can do. HTML production or slicking up wordpress site I'd imagine to be very reasonable.

http://www.berelalexander.com/

I know flash is kinda an iffy technology now, its a hard time for artists. You need like a flash page, html page, and a million other sites.
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Re: What software to develop /maintain a web site

Postby The Pablo Augustus » Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:21 am

ugghh..sorry to post a broken link. I guess they didn't make as much money on this tour as they hoped. I don't know the deal actually but its a drop dead gorgeous page, maybe it'll be up soon.
Heres his myspace: http://www.facebook.com/berel.alexander.music?sk=info

sorry I know its off topic I just want to keep the link to his flash page up if he can pay his bill or whatever, lol.

Anyway, So I guess I have nothing to backup my point! lol. Actually I've coded HTML since 1992 and recommend a professional, but be careful and don't get sucked into an hourly deal.

Most should have templates where they can quickly give you a good looking page. Something like the missing berelalexander page however can be very spendy. Man I hope it comes up....lol

-Pablo Augustus
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Re: What software to develop /maintain a web site

Postby Kevin Nolan » Fri Jan 27, 2012 12:07 am

Thank you most sincerely for your fantastic responses. I will definitely take on board all suggestions. I think the Wordpress approach is a very good one - agreed they can be a bit generic looking but it's managing updates that's a priority and wordpress certainly does offer this option well.

Neokoenig - are you saying that I can set up my blog on wordpress.com and eventually replace that wordpress.com domain name with my own domain name - but leave all else in place on wordpress's site?

I was under the impression there were only two options available with wordpress:

1. Establish your blog as "myblog.wordpress.com" where wordpress do the hosting but you must retain the wordpress.com part of the domain name

2. Set up wordpress server software on my own web site and then have it as the back end to my own domain name ( a hugely complicated affair and the one I'm apprehensive about!)


Are you saying that I can simply set up a blog with/on wordpress.com and then have it appear as my domain name?


Pablo thanks for the pointer but I'm not big enough to afford a web developer - and in the long run I need to maintain the content myself.


Cheers,
Kevin.
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Re: What software to develop /maintain a web site

Postby Emmet » Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:34 am

whatabout summat like

http://bandzoogle.com/
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Re: What software to develop /maintain a web site

Postby Phil Aitman » Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:06 am

My Wife has designed her own business site using Create http://www.create.net/ ! She is NOT computer literate and it looks excellent Prices are very good too!
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Re: What software to develop /maintain a web site

Postby Pete Kaine » Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:05 am

Kevin Nolan wrote:
Are you saying that I can simply set up a blog with/on wordpress.com and then have it appear as my domain name?

Yep, that's how it works. You domain host control panel will (well it should if they are any use) allow for you to repoint the address to point at any other given url.

So sign up with word press and point at the new address. The will also be an option to force the wordpress site to only show the parent address i.e www.yourcurrentdomain.com inplace of www.wordpressnormaladdress.com/yoursubsitehere
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Re: What software to develop /maintain a web site

Postby RitchieM » Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:32 am

For what it's worth, I posted yesterday (no replies :-( ) and searched MSE and found a host, which I will comment on when things are up and running, but I got the demo of Website X5 as I thought the Wordpress stuff was just a pain and so far it seems an absolute marvel!!

Didn't use the templates, just created one from scratch in the wizard and after 20 minutes drafted a template that was what I wanted. I spent 4 hours with Wordpress and got nowhere!!!
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Re: What software to develop /maintain a web site

Postby RitchieM » Sat Feb 04, 2012 8:20 am

I wanted to post an update on my recommendations for you as I have pretty much completed my site now, barring a few imagery things I need to sort (the photography we have so far is not THAT great, so getting some 'moody' shots done soon. WE are muso's after all!!!)


After recommending the software I did, I realised that although I could get a half decent layout up quick, there were limitations to what I could achieve (I can GENERALLY find out how to do the things I want, but my knowledge of web design and coding is basic to say the least!), so I had another look around for a WYSYWIG that was more advanced, but not at the level of something like Dreamweaver, so I ended up settling on Serif's WebPlus X5 and to be honest, best money I have spent!

As with most software, some things are done differently to others, but there isnt anything I have found so far that cant be done either directly in the prog, or be found out by searching the forums, which are really informative and active, so you can find out exactly what you need if you a pro or a noob.


As for the webhosting, after looking around and searching on the various webmaster forums, I found that many of the webhosting reviews that were about when searching on Google were paid for reviews, so are really a load of old tosh. I found a few forums that had topics on UK based webhosts, and after looking on a few options I finally setting on

VIDAHOST

I chose them for my hosting because after asking a bunch of questions to them, they responded promptly and in plain English to my rather basic questions, so I thought that bodes well for tech support! I was right.

As soon as I started up and was having issues with my use of Wordpress, I ended up submitting a few Support Tickets and the guys again responded quickly and effectively, enabling me make my choices to leave WP in favour of a WYSYWIG, and even helped out with silly questions I had about the whole coding of the site, scripting etc...

Price-wise too, the package I went for (2GB storage / 25GB monthly bandwidth up to 6 domains hosted) is brilliant value, as I paid about £70 inc VAT for 2 years hosting, and paid that amount in one go, so I got year 3 free! Oh, and there are discount coupons online too so I got a futher 10% off! So its basically £21 a year, which I think is superb. A wedding coordinator we work with WAS paying £50 a MONTH through Vistaprint, but I told her she is being ripped and has now signed up. I am not just trying to sell the hosting company, but after reading horror stories about hosters with dreadful support and performance, I was worried I was stepping into a minefield, but I must say, the whole thing has been a joy to do, so I guess its all about having the right tools to do it.
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