our Company has a website that is built using Umbraco. All computer guys say this is a really great platform however as a user (with no code capabilities) we find it stiff and limiting. Our developers have set up a few fonts, a few templates but I am missing the variations that WYSIWYG software provide. We are tempeted to scrap our Umbraco site and start. We do not need a complicated website with tons of pages but like lots of Pictures, vivid photos, a few sound files, news feed and so on.
Instead, using a CMS (content management system) is a good way to quickly create a professional-looking website without needing advanced coding knowledge. One popular example is WordPress, a free CMS. There are thousands of free and premium themes available for WordPress, or you could hire a designer and developer to customize or create a unique theme from scratch for you.
Trouble is, and I’ve tried to navigate quite a few, but within minutes, as a complete Luddite – I get completely bogged down. I even managed to make a mess of the WordPress option. All I need is the most basic site with detail and a pic of my book. I don’t need a pay page and am happy just to direct people to Amazon etc. should they wish to purchase. Even writing this I feel sure you have covered everything I am asking here. But could you offer some suggestions on the best way forward? I should add here (and I know there would be options for me should money not be a problem) that unfortunately throwing a lot of money at this is (unfortunately) not an option.
A nice article! And yes, it is written in a simplest way yet being very informative. I have already tried some site builders but they were not easy to use. I want to create a simple website, just a pair of pages about my family. I want my friends could view videos and photos of the family celebrations. It'll be good to create the site free of charge. I choose between Weebly and mobirise. They are both free site builders as I know. Can you recommend what builder is easier?
Eric narrowly averted a career in food service when he began in tech publishing at Ziff-Davis over 25 years ago. He was on the founding staff of Windows Sources, FamilyPC, and Access Internet Magazine (all defunct, and it's not his fault). He's the author of two novels, BETA TEST ("an unusually lighthearted apocalyptic tale"--Publishers' Weekly) an... See Full Bio
Getting your message out these days requires good helpings of Facebook and Twitter, with maybe a dash of Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Tumblr. But that's not enough: if you want an internet presence that truly represents you or your organization, you also need a website that sets you apart from the crowd. A real website, as opposed to a social media page, gives you complete control over design and content. This lends credibility to your business, organization, or personal brand. Facebook pages all look alike in terms of design, but on your own website, you can realize a brand image, offer products for sale, and integrate third-party web services.
Thanks so much for this awesome article :) I had literally no experience in building a website when I started using Weebly and I was surprised at how easy it was to make! I'm interested in looking into other platforms now that I'm up and running, particularly Wordpress? But I'll probably be sticking with Weebly for a long time until I'm ready, it really was super easy to use. Thanks again :)
Several of the services included here offer free options, too. If you choose that path, however, your site will include branding from the provider, which will necessarily make your site less impressive to savvy surfers—and shoppers. Free offerings vary greatly in the amount of storage and bandwidth they allow, so read the small print to find out how much you get with each provider. Weebly, Wix, and WordPress.com are among the most generous with their free offerings, if that's the way you want to go.
Wow this is great, I have already forwarded it to a client that i do probono work for, this will help them get a better understanding of the effort we put into there site for them. As we don’t charge them anything and were building a 350 page site. The comment about content is so true, I clearly state that the site will not go live until “all” the content is ready.
Thanks for the article Jermey. I was looking into making a site that serves dual functions. I wanted to create an entertainment news site that also functions as an online business. I purchased a subscription with godaddy for an online shop, but the templates are pretty bland and the customization is dreadful. Is there a site you could recommend for something like that?
I work on a lot of sites where we are moving a large amount of content from 1 system into another (from HTML to WordPress, from Joomla to WordPress, etc), and the time it takes to review and make revisions for this is definitely taken into account when the site starts. It can take as much as 3 months for an organization of 2-6 people to review a 100-200 pages and determine if they are needed, based on the high-level sitemap we create during discovery.
The large projects I build typically have 20-25 unique page templates, cost $25-35k to develop, and I schedule them for four weeks of initial development (site ready for review after 4 weeks). There’s typically eight weeks of design and revisions before that, and another eight weeks or so of development revisions after it. Basically double all the time periods listed in the sample timeline above.
Thanks. I found that helpful also… I love developing and working on sites…but I REALLY dislike the business side of it, trying to close a deal, getting a fair price, negotiations, contracts…But, without the one, there isn’t the other. So, I’m trying to get in and see what others are doing. Thanks so much for taking the time to write. (I am getting better at it. I finally got someone to pay a rate I wanted, higher than another estimate they got and they still went with me, so I must be learning) LOL…even with my ‘unfinished’ site of my own…it’s a bitch finding time to work on your own site, you know?
Click-to-call buttons are especially helpful if you want mobile visitors to dial your business. This is a button that – when clicked from a mobile phone – automatically populates your business’ phone number into the visitor’s dialpad. An embedded Google Maps widget is also key for customers who are browsing on-the-go, as they can quickly bring up navigation to your store.
If those template customizations don’t look like enough for you (though if you’re building your first website, they will be), you might want to think about building your website on an open source platform like WordPress.org. You will get more flexibility, but if you’re not a coder, learning WordPress takes a lot of time — especially compared to drag-and-drop builders.