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  1. #1
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    DIY services for creating simple websites




    TOP STORY


    DIY services for creating simple websites


    By Lincoln Spector

    There are many good reasons to build a website yourself, including avoiding the substantial costs of hiring designers and developers.

    Here are two services that make the process of creating a custom site relatively quick and easy; and if your needs are modest, they're free.

    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/top-story/diy-services-for-creating-simple-websites/ (opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

  2. The Following User Says Thank You to Kathleen Atkins For This Useful Post:

    jdunham (2013-07-13)

  3. #2
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    It would have been useful if the other DIY services that were 'tested' were listed also, along with any significant reasons as to why they were not chosen.

  4. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to ebax For This Useful Post:

    CLiNT (2013-06-28),pseudoid (2013-06-27)

  5. #3
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    I don't understand the comment "That experience drove me away from my own handmade sites years ago." For static sites, what is the danger other than a weak password for the ftp transfer?

  6. #4
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    I was pleased the article highlighted the issues with ever migrating a site on one of these platforms. They also place you at the mercy of the service ever changing or failing. I would definitely get your domain elsewhere so you can at least hold on to that if the service flops or changes in a way you dislike.

    While it's slightly more DIY, my recommendation for small sites is to get a standard web host, add a WP blog, and use the blog as a site platform. It's very easy to add "fixed pages" and set one as the home page. You can select from gazillions of templates, many of them free or modest cost, and you can change your theme, and host, any time. (WP sites are fully exportable) Managing a WP site is mostly browsing menus and discovering what other options you'd like. And you can add your choice of plugins over time to add features.

    That approach is far more standards based, allows you to use the template approach to design but be totally unlimited by it, and allows you your choice of host. None of the limitations of the "services".

  7. #5
    Star Lounger pseudoid's Avatar
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    Thank you, LS,
    While digging a bit deeper into the Mozilla SeaMonkey (which is a cross-platform all-in-one web suite, that includes a browser/email/html editor and an IRC client), I ran across a link which may be of interest to other readers for html editor comparison purposes?
    Comparison of HTML editors {From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia}
    The following tables compare general and technical information for a number of HTML editors.
    This article is not all-inclusive or necessarily up to date. Please see the individual products' articles for further information, and comparison of text editors for information on text editors, many of which have features to assist with writing HTML.
    Cheers!

  8. #6
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    I am a little surprised you didn't mention NVU, an open source, web site builder. I used it to create my own site, it is easy to learn to use, you can write in plain english in one window, and see the source code in another and tweak it there, if you know a little html. It was a great tool, still is. And its free.

  9. #7
    Star Lounger pseudoid's Avatar
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    Hi genej313,
    Per the link I had provided above in post/reply #5, Nvu was discontinued, the Mozilla community has created a fork project KompoZer..
    Elsewhere, I had also read (possibly conflicting) that the Nvu project is now called "BlueGriffon".

    I was always preferential to uS FrontPage and especially Adobe DreamWeaver CS5. Unfortunately, both have gotten old in the tooth to the point that neither are truly supported any longer (partially due to html5) and the new version of DreamWeaver is truly too expensive for consumers attempting to update their personal websites. Adobe DreamWeaver has also become yearly subscription PAYware.

    Thus, my only option has become the Mozilla SeaMonkey suite, but requires templates to be sourced elsewhere (pretty easy via BitTorrent downloads).
    Per Lincoln Spector's recommendation, I am going to HAVE to try WIX, that gets good reviews.
    You are welcome to let me know, what you think of other available OpenSource or FREEware HTML editors/creator that are worthy to try.

    Cheers

  10. #8
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    Why I chose Weebley free hosting & 1and1 domain registration

    I have been using Weebly since Microsoft started charging more than $20/year when they changed their website hosting (with no preservation or transfer capabilities).

    My target was lowest cost web hosting while retaining control over my existing domain name. Some other considerations were website storage space, data transfer limits, file upload limits, redundancy.

    I researched many possibilities, but it seemed that most wanted me to get my domain name through them or had monthly hosting fees, fees for private domain registration and/or other fees, low storage, small upload file sizes, low bandwidth quotas, or limited options for email accounts or forwarding. A simple mention of a website online, such as Windows Secrets, can easily exhaust your bandwidth quota for the month, making your domain useless until the following month. The worst was a free plan where people could add subdomains to your domain.

    To make a long story short, after a lot of research and several false starts I chose Weebly free web hosting, and 1&1 for the domain registration with forwarding of web page requests to Weebly, and email forwarding addresses to existing Yahoo and Gmail accounts. 1&1 also included private registration in the base cost that hides the domain ownership information without an additional fee. I could no longer use the Hotmail addresses linked to my domain, but found that after the domain transfer I could reuse the domain linked email addresses with forwarding to other existing Yahoo & Gmail addresses (or set up new email addresses) despite Microsoft’s claim that the email addresses could not be reassigned.

    Since I was in the job market (and am again) with my resume available on my website, I first designed a Weebly web site. Then I reviewed the domain transfer process and started it on a Friday, knowing that my website would probably be “out of commission” during part of the domain transfer. I chose a time when I could frequently check emails and the progress of the transfer to minimize the time the domain name was “unlocked” or “out of commission”. There were some mandatory delays imposed by the old servicer, transfer emails to verify the transfer, and waiting for the new domain hosting information to be propagated to domain name servers. I don’t remember how long the process took, but it was several days of mostly waiting for the next step.

    It has just been a little over a year since the change. 1&1’s introductory price is usually very reasonable (currently $0.99 for the 1st year of domain registration), however renewal prices are going up from $10.99 to $14.99 per year effective 7/1/13. I have two websites, one for myself and one for my wife, and just renewed them at the $10.99 price.

    I have run into some of Weebly’s free website limitations and either found workarounds, or decided that it wasn’t important. My page header includes an image with relevant information (this would solve the complaint about “The title area proved difficult to reformat — I couldn't add a line of smaller-font text below my name), and I live with the little Weebly tagline at the bottom of the page, just like I tolerated Microsoft’s.

    There are plenty of resources for searching for good web hosts and domain registration providers.

    If you decide to try 1&1 please use the link http://www.1and1.com/?k_id=177836292 so that I can get a referral credit.

    If you are interested in a Weebly premium paid plan, you can get a $10 credit using the link http://www.weebly.com/link/gYhMki

  11. #9
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    Recommend not using your ISP's email service - what if you move,...?

    I made the mistake once of using my ISP's email service. Then I moved and had to switch ISPs. I tried using a free email forwarding service that was "guaranteed for life", but then it closed down when the domain was sold. My main email service is now Yahoo. Google was added about a year ago when one website used Google docs to provide some information updates until they could integrate it into their members only portion of their website.

    I also have several email addresses from my domain registrar that are currently forwarded to my yahoo account. I am slowly updating my contact information with this truly portable address. If for some reason my domain registrar or the big email service folded I could use another service and the change would be transparent.

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    Weebly is pretty easy to use, but 1and1 is one of the worst DNS hosts I've used, and I've used over a dozen of the most popular DNS hosts. You can use a free Google Account to create a free site, then point your A record to the free site. The result is completely free website and more importantly, free website hosting for life.

  13. #11
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    I agree, you should NEVER use your ISP's email service. The best solution is Gmail for personal and Google Apps for Business for your domain.

  14. #12
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    So when did the "Windows Secrets Lounge" turn into a pseudo advertising forum for Google?
    I've already let my paid subscription lapse, maybe its time after 12 years of great Windows / Office advise its time for me to move on!
    Just Sayin'

    John
    Thanks John
    Teamwork is essential; it gives the enemy other people to shoot at. (Murphy's War Laws #39)

  15. #13
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by t8ntlikly View Post
    So when did the "Windows Secrets Lounge" turn into a pseudo advertising forum for Google?
    I've already let my paid subscription lapse, maybe its time after 12 years of great Windows / Office advise its time for me to move on!
    Just Sayin'

    John
    I am a Lounge VIP. I have posted a complaint in the VIP area, where Lounge moderators and admins may comment and reach a decision about this user.

    Please don't let this issue, which was not created by Windows Secrets Newsletter, make your decision to stop contributing. These posts are not authorized nor condoned by Management here.

    Getting back on-topic for this thread, anyone applying for a Domain Name should become aware of then possibility of Domain Name Theft, or Domain Hijacking.

    This is a growing annoyance, and there are already a few Lounge Threads about how difficult it is to reclaim a Domain Name once it gets hijacked. These threads also contain some recommendations for and against several ways of obtaining a Domain.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2013-07-03 at 01:56.
    -- Bob Primak --

  16. #14
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    Bob,

    Before you post comments like "These posts are not authorized nor condoned by Management here.", don't you think it would be appropriate to let management respond to your complaint? My post is on topic and contributed valuable information about how to create a free website and also obtain free hosting of that site for life. I appreciate your status as a VIP, but please don't pass judgement as management unless you are management. If I am violating any rules, please bring them to my attention. Thank you

    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    I am a Lounge VIP. I have posted a complaint in the VIP area, where Lounge moderators and admins may comment and reach a decision about this user.

    Please don't let this issue, which was not created by Windows Secrets Newsletter, make your decision to stop contributing. These posts are not authorized nor condoned by Management here.

    Getting back on-topic for this thread, anyone applying for a Domain Name should become aware of then possibility of Domain Name Theft, or Domain Hijacking.

    This is a growing annoyance, and there are already a few Lounge Threads about how difficult it is to reclaim a Domain Name once it gets hijacked. These threads also contain some recommendations for and against several ways of obtaining a Domain.

  17. #15
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    The opinions expressed here regarding products and services are individual opinions. Even if we allow posts that are within the Lounge rules, that does not imply any endorsement from the Lounge. That said, each user can post as long as our rules are respected. A given user's rights are not diminished because they state they have any affiliation with a products or services provider, although common sense is required. There can be a thin line between acceptable replies and undue pushing of 3rd party services, so I would advise everyone to tread carefully.

    We will discuss this situation and decide what is reasonable and what is not.
    Rui
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