Just Starting - Suggestions

Good morning-

I am just starting out with a webpage for my wife’s business. I am not looking to do anything elaborate and the page can remain fairly static. I am setting my sight so low in fact that I have been trying to use the Web Tonight templates (Go Daddy) and have realized that I do want to do something more or different.

The problem that I have been running into is that I am not sure which path to choose. I don’t mind buying a template of some variety as a springboard but I am not sure which is the easiest path to actually developing the site.

I have access to Dreamweaver at the office and have a little working knowledge so I am thinking maybe a Dreamweaver template would be the way to go. However, then I see templates on Template Monster that look pretty cool (flash based) However, not sure how easy they would be to actually get it all to work (like flash components from http://www.flabell.com/flash-components)

Then I have people tell me - just use a CSM like Joomla or maybe use Wordpress.

I guess the point is, there a ton of options and I don’t really know where to begin. Let me ask this - not that I want my website to look like this but what would be the easiest way to create this:


Just diving into Dreamweaver or perhaps an online builder of variety would produce that most easily?

Any suggestions to get me off the ground are welcome. Perhaps pull out the CC and go to Guru.com :slight_smile:

You certainly could do that, but it would be a waste of time (and disk space). The WP site has a lot of helpful tutorials on getting started, including the ‘famous 5 minute install’ tutorial.

Right-o. I am going in head first. I uninstalled and reinstalled to my /blog directory. Temporarily redirected my domain to the /blog until I can get the static page developed.

I don’t think it will allow you to have a blog within a blog (ie on both the root directory and /blog directory). It’s one or the other.

Man, I feel dumb… my mom can do it, I can’t. Ha.

I think these days with Wordpress you can have the home page as just a static page, but I’m not sure (I’m a bit out of date). But what I’ve done in the past is just as you describe: created a new folder in the root folder of the site called /blog/ and placed all the WP files there. Then during installation you just specify that folder as the location of the blog. So then you access the blog via at mysite.com/blog. That’s a standard procedure.

Ok - thanks. I know the felling - there is nothing worse than diving into someone’s project at office and spending 1/2 your time or better trying to figure out why they did something a certain way.

I am rooting around the host control panel - that in itself has me confused…

For example - sub-domains. The hosting I signed up for came with Wordpress already installed. Say I actually want to create a static page and have a blog on a separate link. I suppose www.mysite.com/blog is the way to do it.

  1. can I just copy over all the WP stuff to that directory

  2. When I set up the subdomain, it said the address would be ‘blog.mysite.com’ as versus what I had in mind of /blog. I guess I don’t want a subdomain, rather just another folder. Same question, just move WP to that new folder?

Everything can be changed. The question is whether is is easier to change it or start from scratch. The Head First book will set you up nicely to be able to decide this for yourself.

Yeah, knowing what is customizable with the templates is the unknown. I like some of the layouts but what can’t be changed is what I would have to find out. I am sure it varies from template to template on how they are coded.

Ant - thanks, yeah, I have “Head First - HTML with CSS & XHTML”. It’s a thicker book than I can tackle between 11pm - 1 am but I am going through it.

Simple is what I am after. I will get to work.


not that I want my website to look like this but what would be the easiest way to create this:


Just diving into Dreamweaver or perhaps an online builder of variety would produce that most easily?

In answer to that question, the site is very simple and shouldnt be too hard even for a novice to produce - perhaps look at some basic HTML + CSS tutorials?


Ok - I will poke around looking for a layout / template I would like to use. This seems to be the typical response I hear about templates “Don’t do that! You won’t have the flexibility you want”.

The point is that I don’t have a ton of time to develop to learning it all (but will devote time in general). It just would be nice to select a theme that as least gets me off the ground.

The end goal is to have a static page that isn’t updated to frequently. I think the logic is that if folks want to see update they will click the follow me on x, y, z…

So, DW + Template and I should at least get started. I will check out Perch.


Yes, and you will probably hear it from people who are confident with web layouts who like to do things themselves. From my point of view, it’s easier to build something from scratch than try to understand and mess with the work of someone else–but it does depend on where you are coming from. All I’m really saying is only use a pre-made template if you are pretty happy with it as it comes.

If you can upload content yourself, it’s easy enough to make changes. You could also just install a simpler content management system like Perch, which makes areas of the page editable just like in a WordPress site.

I guess I will hunt for a simple html template… there seem to be a ton. Any suggestions … like Templatemonster.com.

If you find a layout you like, we could show you have to build something similar yourself, which you would then have more control over.

What do you recommend for a novice editor… we covered DW, how about WYSIWYG or other?

You can use Dw as a code editor or WYSIWYG design tool (though I don’t recommend going that route). If you have Dw already, I’d stick with that.

Alright, I have swapped my web-tonight over to a hosting plan.

…then got word from boss, doesn’t want “blog” style. If it were me, I would go blog type layout. Easy to update content, clean etc etc.

I guess I will hunt for a simple html template… there seem to be a ton. Any suggestions … like Templatemonster.com.

What do you recommend for a novice editor… we covered DW, how about WYSIWYG or other?

The nice thing is, if you upload WordPress as is you’ll have a ready-made website installed for you by the time you get back with your cup of tea. No blank pages necessary. :wink:

Thanks a bunch for the insight Ralph. Currently my site and domain space is hosted over at GoDaddy (inset groans and moans here…so I hear).

I will go the Wordpress route and see if I can at least get a blank page in place on the host site.

I will be back… Thanks again, I am at least heading downstream.


Hi Bman, welcome to SitePoint! :slight_smile:

If you want a site like the last one you linked to, that’s very easy to create yourself with HTML and a bit of CSS.

But some of the options you mentioned are worth looking into.

Firstly, though, forget about Flash sites. They are generally very inaccessible, and in my view the coming of the iPhone and iPad was their final death knell.

The Wordpress option is wroth considering. It is very easy to install, and there are countless free and very elegant themes available and ready to go. Look up “free wordpress themes” on the web, and head over to wordpress.org to find out how easy it is to set up and install. (of course, you can get into a lot of complexity with Wordpress, but you can also use it as is out of the box.)

An even simpler option is to get a free wordpress.com site, which is hosted for you. That’s also a fantastic option if you just want something simple.

If you know a little bit of HTML and CSS, you could easily build that site in Dw using straight code. If you aren’t confident with code, I’d warn against using Dw’s design view. It’s not hard to learn the basics, but you don’t end up with a particularly well-coed site. In that case, a custom WordPress install would be better. WordPress is awesome software, and gives you a lot of options down the line.

Hope that rambling answer helps a bit. :slight_smile:

Bman, if you are struggling that much over the basics then and if you are not going to spend a lot of time learning, attending classes then you are best getting someone to do it for you. It took me a year of playing building sites learning to code before I could make anything half decent (for those days).

There are millions of freelancer that would put a simple site together like you want for 2 or 3 days wage. Make sense to stick to what you do normally to make your money no, and paying a pro to do what that do best.

But it you have the time and want to learn then you have come to the right place to ask questions.

Ha -I am finding out real quick like that a) I either need to hire some one to do it… or b) higher someone to educate me.

I can’t even get the site to recognize a new index.html file I created. Everything syncs right but I get a 403 Forbidden. Sub-amateur hour…

This is the only html file in the root directory. Off to search button and goggle…

Yes, if you have a bit of coding knowledge and know the look you want, it may be easier to ave a go yourself and then ask here is you run into problems or have some questions.

As to cost, it can be a better idea to assess what the value would be in having a website, and look at it as an investment rather than a cost. If the return is likely to be very little, then perhaps a site is not needed at all; or at least something simple and inexpensive is all that’s justified.

It’s hard to say as some would charge the earth, some would do it dirt cheap etc - also where in the world you are as Im in England i’d be speaking in £’s

You could PM me the details of your host if you want me to take a look.