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User Friendly Free Website Builder Software Suggestions

By Route44 ยท 12 replies
Sep 12, 2015
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  1. I need some good, solid suggestions for a website software for a very small local church. Their present software through 1and1.com (which is also their host) is far from user friendly. They have someone who has working knowledge of WordPress and if I could get something that could utilize this software it would be a big plus.

    I have done some research but there are so many free ones available it is hard to separate the legitimate from the shady. Your help will be appreciated.

    Julie Moon likes this.
  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,208   +4,873

    You do realize Wordpress has two web addresses? One (https://wordpress.com/) that is web based edited and the other (https://wordpress.org/) uses a downloaded application. Your question about utilizing made me think of wordpress.org, which uses the downloaded application. I've used the web edited site before but never the downloaded application. So I couldn't tell you how it works.
    Route44 likes this.
  3. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 11,974   +74

    Thanks for the reply. I did not know this about WordPress because this is an area I have about zero working knowledge. Do you have any suggestions for web hosts? I realize that they are not free.
  4. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,208   +4,873

    Sorry I've no knowledge about potential web host.
  5. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Posts: 8,670   +567

  6. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 11,974   +74

    Yes, and thanks. I googled the same thing earlier. Iits that there is just so much out there its mind boggling! :)
  7. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Posts: 8,670   +567

    Yes, too true :)
  8. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,550   +1,440

    1. WordPress is a website template system(there are others too);
    2. The 1and1.com is 1/1000s of webhosting solutions.
    As a website 'owner', you
    * pick a webhosting solution(2 above) (some cost for yearly hosting plan),
    * purchase a domain name (or transfer an existing one to this webhost) and then
    * start creating webpages.

    If you're inclined to use a template system(1), make sure your hosting solution will have it preinstalled or is willing to install it for you. [btw: these kinds of frameworks use MySQL and PHP as core tools and I haven't seen a webhost that did not support these]. Another system is Drupal. Suggest you run this google search: drupal vs wordpress

    We normally associate this with the website itself, but clearly the tools(aka template systems) to create webpages need to be friendly too, especially when the object is to create nice pages without knowing how to code all the HTTP, HTML, CSS yourself.

    I have consistently chosen Register.com as my hosting solution. Another project for someone else uses GoDaddy.com. BOTH of these use a tool (cpanel) to administer the site, set permissions, setup email and upload pages.

    One other MAJOR tool is Google Webmaster Tools. We use this to setup google search and to monitor SEO information.

    Regardless of which template system you choose, you will have a learning curve and it can get confusing and frustrating. First you have the tool itself to conquer and then learning how to get it to do what YOU want, and this one can get frustrating when according to your design concepts it should do 'a,b,c,d,e' and you can't get it to do 'c'. Life will get better if you just learn to compromise with an 80% solution:)

    Suggest you create a list of features you want the website to present to the users/visitors and prioritize this list. Keep it in front of you while you make design decisions.

    Give consideration to your site supporting mobile devices - - this complicates the webpage creation very quickly. One example is drop-down menus; Mobile devices have no mouse and therefore can NOT support mouseOver or mouseHover events. If your navigation system require drop-downs, then mobile users can't get to the submenu choices - - you need another concept altogether. See google for mobile device design guidelines. While you're at it, lookup this one too: responsive web design

    btw: TS has a responsive design and you can see it in action:
    Notice how the layout changes and at some point, you only get one column TITLE
    The CSS is adjusting what is shown based upon the window width :)

    One last comment: Managing mobile devices has two major components:
    1. obviously the layout needs attention as the viewing area is much less than a desktop monitor
    2. no so obvious, the user's data plan gets a major impact when lots of data is downloaded
    The responsive design will attend to (1) but still download desktop content - - mBytes of it.
    Downloading 1920x1200 graphics to an iPhone 4 is just plainly wrong - - but happens all the time.
    My B I G complaint with template solutions is along this very issue - - downloading the HMS Titanic load of controls onto every device and the website takes on a very slow loading attribute. I've seen page load time exceeding 45seconds (not here on TS!)
    Route44 and Julie Moon like this.
  9. Julie Moon

    Julie Moon TS Rookie

    Take a look at http://mobirise.com. As for me, it's an easiest app to create small sites. Free for non-profit and business use and mobile friendly. What do you think about it?
    Route44 likes this.
  10. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 11,974   +74

    Thanks for the links and suggestions. I am sorely tempted to go to my local community college and take a course on website building. :p
    Julie Moon likes this.
  11. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,550   +1,440

    Here's what I use to control device sensitive content:
        if ($ISDESKTOP) {
            // full content for this block (eg div || span)
            // emits hi res version
                <img src="/images/foo-HR.jpg" ... />
        } else if ($ISMOBILE) {
            // selective content for mobile devices
            // by testing $ISTABLET && $ISPHONE
            // conditionally emits
            //  proper resolution for tablets
                <img src="/images/foo-MR.jpg" ... />
            // vs phones      
                <img src="/images/foo-LR.jpg" ... />
    of course it's hand crafted PHP from my libraries.
  12. Johathen Luke

    Johathen Luke TS Rookie

    Use blogspot.com from google
  13. plasukar

    plasukar TS Rookie

    In my opinion, Wix and Mobirise are the most user-friendly website builders.

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