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Last post Author Topic: Freeware Website Creator For Dummies?  (Read 16659 times)

siouxdax

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Freeware Website Creator For Dummies?
« on: September 17, 2009, 10:34:03 PM »
Hello all:
I've tried searching through the forum, but was unable to get the right combo of keywords. I'm looking for a freeware website creator. Something that is for complete dummies. I know nothing about creating a website. If it helps, I essentially want to create a one-page with my bio and a pic or two. As usual, I look to you for your sage advice!
Kind Regards,
Daniel in Tulsa
AKA siouxdax

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Lutz_

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Re: Freeware Website Creator For Dummies?
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2009, 12:34:17 AM »
Hi,
the free version of WebPlus should be both, user friendly and more than perfectly capable of what you are asking.

http://www.freeserif...re/webplus/index.asp

(Word and very likely Open Office Writer can create simple "webpages", too).

mouser

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Re: Freeware Website Creator For Dummies?
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2009, 12:34:35 AM »
a number of people on donationcoder have been using Website Baker to make small websites:
http://start.website.../en/introduction.php

skwire

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Re: Freeware Website Creator For Dummies?
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2009, 12:49:03 AM »
Website Baker is a great little CMS.  Check out my site here on DC for an example of what it can do:

http://skwire.dcmembers.com/

siouxdax

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Re: Freeware Website Creator For Dummies?
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2009, 08:03:37 AM »
Well, Web Baker requirements are PHP (4.1 or higher) and MySQL (3.2.3 or higher), none of which I have. I've installed WebPlus and have had a look around. I think it may fit the bill... We'll see...
Kind Regards,
Daniel in Tulsa
AKA siouxdax

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app103

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Re: Freeware Website Creator For Dummies?
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2009, 10:44:41 AM »
For a single page site, this would probably be more what you would want:

http://www.creatingo...r/html_generator.htm

It's very easy to use (even esier than making a forum post) and there is nothing to install. The only bad thing about it is that you'll have to use it in IE. It doesn't work well with other browsers.

40hz

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Re: Freeware Website Creator For Dummies?
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2009, 01:57:51 PM »
If you're serious about it being a single page, take a look at WebDwarf from Virtual Mechanics. It's a drag and drop page creator that works surprisingly well. Very simple to learn.

If you need it any easier than this, you'll probably have to ask someone to do it for you. ;D

http://www.virtualme...cts/dwarf/index.html


Caveat: WebDwarf is designed for the creation of single page web projects. If you want to do a multipage website, you'll need to find something else.



MilesAhead

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Re: Freeware Website Creator For Dummies?
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2009, 02:34:52 PM »
Hello all:
I've tried searching through the forum, but was unable to get the right combo of keywords. I'm looking for a freeware website creator. Something that is for complete dummies. I know nothing about creating a website. If it helps, I essentially want to create a one-page with my bio and a pic or two. As usual, I look to you for your sage advice!

For something that simple you may want to try PsPad Editor.  It's free and can create html from .rtf file.  You can use WordPad for example, to create various size text of various colors.  When done, convert it to html in PsPad. It's very quick to get something up there, then if you want to get rid of the spaghetti code later, you can read up on html and css.  If doing one page you don't need navigation sidebars or anything.  The css just makes it easy to create uniform colors and fonts for various sections.  If you google you can find sites where people will help you do specific things.  It's just easier to maintain later and easier to modify if there aren't 50 "br" (line break) tags stuck together. :)
« Last Edit: September 18, 2009, 02:38:38 PM by MilesAhead »

siouxdax

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Re: Freeware Website Creator For Dummies?
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2009, 02:53:43 PM »
While, yes, I want it to be a simple one-page deal, I do want it to look as slick as possible. I'm currently perusing all of your suggestions. :)
Kind Regards,
Daniel in Tulsa
AKA siouxdax

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mouser

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Re: Freeware Website Creator For Dummies?
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2009, 03:09:33 PM »
let us know which one you go with and why.

siouxdax

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Re: Freeware Website Creator For Dummies?
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2009, 10:59:47 AM »
let us know which one you go with and why.

Well, after sifting through the options I have started working on Kompozer. How I found this one, I have no idea. I didn't find it here... I think. I went with this one because it was the easiest to dip into, and it has a good help section, explaining every menu function without alienating those of us lacking in web authoring savoir-faire. Now whether or not I'll be happy with the end result is another ball of wax. So, just in case, if you all have any additional suggestions, I welcome them with open arms. The one thing that I have yet to find is the ability to treat blocks of text as 'graphic' objects, allowing me to overlap large text headings (what typographers call leading), giving the text a more graphical feel. Ideally, I'd like to be able to move text/pictures around without the rigidity of sticking to traditional 'alignment', 'justification' and 'word wrap'. Yes, I want a 'simple' page, but I want to make it more than just a boring block of text. Like I said before, I want this to look slick.
Kind Regards,
Daniel in Tulsa
AKA siouxdax

Visit my tumblog!

Paul Keith

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Re: Freeware Website Creator For Dummies?
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2009, 01:09:08 PM »
Just a heads up, Kompozer link is timing out on my end.

MilesAhead

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Re: Freeware Website Creator For Dummies?
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2009, 01:17:05 PM »
I tried Kompozer for a bit too. On my page I wanted navigation panels so naturally the first thing I did was create frames.  Then I found frames were deprecated.  I found instead a navigation button panel maker tool on the web.  It used all html and css to do the buttons.  The current page is highlighted and it hot tracks the mouse.  Slick.  Anyway, since I had to learn some html and css to modify stuff, I eventually got all my pages to be html and css just using PsPad(that's why they are simple blocks of color.)  The other thing is if you use a complex tool to make your page(s) make sure you have them triple backed up because when you look at the source chances are it won't mean anything to you.

The front end tools are ok if you want your site to look like the front page of the newspaper.  That's how they are designed.  So all the stuff on the web pretty much looks like the New York Times web site.  If you want something unusual you either have to get a guy to do it who won't use the same tool you were going to use, buy a really slick expensive tool, or learn the stuff and do it yourself.

There's nothing wrong with the front page of the newspapers except it's just what they all are.

siouxdax

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Re: Freeware Website Creator For Dummies?
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2009, 02:56:48 PM »
MilesAhead:
Whoa. Um, I am completely lost.  :huh:
Kind Regards,
Daniel in Tulsa
AKA siouxdax

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Paul Keith

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Re: Freeware Website Creator For Dummies?
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2009, 03:01:43 PM »
Quote
The front end tools are ok if you want your site to look like the front page of the newspaper.  That's how they are designed.  So all the stuff on the web pretty much looks like the New York Times web site.

I haven't tried them but is this true?

That kinda blows considering the capabilities of such services like Wordpress, Ning, Squidoo, Hubpages, Wetpaint and Google Sites to present a simple looking site.

In this case, maybe sites like http://www.scrapblog.com/ are worth a peek? Not all the themes are free though.

(Damn this sounds like an ad...)

Also saw:

280 Slides: http://280slides.com/Editor/1224293852/

and

Terapad: http://www.terapad.com

I get that these aren't exactly website makers but it's still kind of shocking how free website creators pale in comparison to social media services in terms of looks.

40hz

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Re: Freeware Website Creator For Dummies?
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2009, 06:11:26 PM »
You might not want to do this right now. But sooner or later you'll probably want (or need) to know a lot more about how to really code a web page. When that time comes, there's an excellent free e-book that will walk you through everything you need to know about doing one up from scratch.

It's called (appropriately enough) The Web Book, and you can download a free copy here:

www.the-web-book.com

At 355 pages, this book isn't something you'll be able to skim through over a rainy weekend and completely digest. The author suggests it will take two focused weeks of effort to absorb everything that's in it. He may well be right.

I popped a copy over to an employee of one my clients when I first learned about it. (She got handed the responsibility of staying on top of her company's web presence after a technical debacle caused by the people who do their web design.) In two weeks she went from knowing zero to having a very decent competency in web technology. Now she's hooked. She told me she plans on sticking with it until she "knows as much as the people we're paying beaucoup bucks to."

There's ambition for ya!  ;D And who knows? This could be the start of a new career path for her. :Thmbsup:

Quote
About The Web Book
 
If you want to know how to create web sites,  there are hundreds of books and web pages that
claim to show you how.  Some of them are very good indeed.  But this book isn’t like all those
other books and web pages, for a number of important reasons:
 
1.  The Web Book is an electronic, or e-book.  You simply download it as a PDF file from
www.the-web-book.com and print it yourself.
 
2.  The Web Book covers all of the technologies that you need to know in order to create Web
sites, both using static html pages and database-driven sites.  
 
3.  Unlike many books on the subject that were written some years ago, The Web Book
teaches you up-to-date methods.  Follow the instructions here and you can be confident
that you’re doing things in the right way, rather than using old-fashioned techniques that
are now frowned upon.
 
4.  The Web Book is written for people with an interest in creating web sites.  Whether you
want a couple of pages for your personal site, or perhaps a site for your school, college or
club, this book will tell you what you need to know.  If you want a full-blown site for your
small company, perhaps with added features such as a customer mailing list or a picture
gallery, you’ve come to the right place.  I’ve tried my hardest to keep everything non-
technical.  If you’re "into" computers, you should be able to follow everything just fine.  
You certainly don’t need to be a professional techie.  In fact, if you are, you’ll probably
take offence at the way I’ve simplified things.  For which I apologise.  
 
5.  If you already look after a web site, perhaps for your school or college, or the department
you work for, you may be itching to take your web development skills to the next level.  Or
maybe you didn’t actually get much training when you took on the responsibility, and you
don’t really understand how everything fits together.  In which case, this book is perfect
for you.  We don’t just tell you to press buttons.  We explain what those buttons do, and
why you need to press (or not press!) them.
 
6.  Here’s the best bit.  The Web Book is free of charge, for non-commercial use.  Yes,
completely free. So if you want to teach yourself how to do Web stuff, just grab a copy of
the PDF file, print out the book, and away you go.  
 
You can always download the latest version of this book from www.the-web-book.com
 
-----------------
 
One word of warning, though.  Creating a web site and doing it properly isn’t a simple task that
can be done in an afternoon.  Yes, we’ve all seen 2-page magazine articles that like to imply
otherwise, but sadly it’s just not true.  Even at 355 pages, this book is only a basic introduction to
some of the more complex topics. It’s quite  possible to buy books on HTML, CSS, PHP and
MySQL which each run to 800 pages. I wouldn’t recommend it, however, unless you have
trouble sleeping.

Too bad this book wasn't around back when I bought a few of those 800-page web design books (@ approx. $55 each!) you find at Borders.  ;)

Worth a look. 8)

« Last Edit: September 19, 2009, 06:16:35 PM by 40hz »

MilesAhead

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Re: Freeware Website Creator For Dummies?
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2009, 06:16:29 PM »
All I'm saying is most free or even other web page designers that don't require you to know html are either named Front Page, make a front page or use cookie cutter templates.

Even if you get something that looks great, if you don't know any html how do you modify it?  You go into the front end of the designer app and generate it again in most cases I would think.

Free + snazzy + different + easy is kind of a tall order.

Neat + boiler plate + free can probably be done.  But if you have to maintain it, you might as well learn some html.  There are forums to get pointers and help. I don't claim to be a web page designer.  My interest is programming my stuff, so I can identify with the "I just want to get something up there that looks good without spending 6 months learning stuff" anxiety.

For a one page site you going to buy a $500 tool? Nice if you can afford it.

mrainey

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Re: Freeware Website Creator For Dummies?
« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2009, 07:50:07 PM »
This old freeware version of WebBuilder might be worth a look.  The commercial version is inexpensive and outstanding.

http://www.321downlo...IWYG%20Web%20Builder
Software For Metalworking
http://closetolerancesoftware.com

doctorfrog

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Re: Freeware Website Creator For Dummies?
« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2009, 10:23:32 AM »
I might get thrown out for mentioning this, but if it's just a bio with pictures, any social networking site will handle this just fine, and you'll likely be easier for others to find as well.

If you want to have a little more control, or LinkedIn gives you hives, you can use Wordpress. Either get a free blog at yourname.wordpress.com, or get a cheap host to set up a Wordpress blog for you. The same cheap host could probably set you up with Website Baker in no time flat as well.

Learning HTML, setting up MySQL and PHP is a fine thing, and you'll get lots of help doing it, but there's also nothing wrong about simply using a preset solution, and putting your energy into creating content instead of setting up the framework for it.

AndyM

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Re: Freeware Website Creator For Dummies?
« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2009, 10:40:49 AM »
.... sooner or later you'll probably want (or need) to know a lot more about how to really code a web page. When that time comes, there's an excellent free e-book that will walk you through everything you need to know about doing one up from scratch.

It's called (appropriately enough) The Web Book, ...

Nice!  Lucky coincidence since that time has come for me and I was just starting to look for things to read.

Thanks for this 40hz!!!  :Thmbsup:

MilesAhead

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Re: Freeware Website Creator For Dummies?
« Reply #20 on: September 20, 2009, 11:46:39 AM »
I guess my last suggestion would be try a few on your local machine, then see what you have to do to modify it.  Unless you are doing some server side scripting, you should be able to load the whole "site" out of a folder on your hd to see how it looks in various browsers.

Another reason I recommend staying with html/css for simple sites is many, including myself, run with JavaScript blocked unless okayed for the current page. If you rely on scripting just to do simple stuff anyone running a blocker is likely to just move off.

Merlin_AZ

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Re: Freeware Website Creator For Dummies?
« Reply #21 on: September 21, 2009, 03:39:16 PM »
I know you were looking for free(and this costs $49), but this certainly qualifies "for dummies" since it's simple enough for me to build websites with.
It's simple drag and drop so it will save you a bunch of time, and produces really nice websites.
http://www.xara.com/...roducts/webdesigner/

Clive

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Re: Freeware Website Creator For Dummies?
« Reply #22 on: September 21, 2009, 09:34:14 PM »
I used Kompozer to create my website http://www.singaporedeep.com.au. I was starting from a KB of zero so I asked questions here & elsewhere. My faith in the human race was greatly bolstered by the generousity of everyone who offered assistance.
I did use a template created by Andreas Viklund. He has several which he offers for free use. I chose to use a template as I'm the sort of guy who paints all of his rooms white as choosing any other colour is too stressful!
I liked Kompozer because it was free, WYSIWIG, & most importantly created "plain" HTML code rather than something proprietory like Adobe CS which can then only be opened in Adobe CS. This meant that if I got stuck on something I could send a file to someone & know that they would be able to open it.

siouxdax

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Re: Freeware Website Creator For Dummies?
« Reply #23 on: September 22, 2009, 09:58:09 AM »
I used Kompozer to create my website http://www.singaporedeep.com.au.

Wow. I'm impressed. Your site is clean and easy on the eyes. Fantastic! What I am aiming for is far less complex, so I feel confident that I can achieve my goal using Kompozer. Thanks a lot! (And thanks to all of you! Your help is very much appreciated!)
Kind Regards,
Daniel in Tulsa
AKA siouxdax

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OldElmerFudd

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Re: Freeware Website Creator For Dummies?
« Reply #24 on: September 27, 2009, 07:31:14 PM »
If you're serious about it being a single page, take a look at WebDwarf from Virtual Mechanics. It's a drag and drop page creator that works surprisingly well. Very simple to learn.

If you need it any easier than this, you'll probably have to ask someone to do it for you. ;D

http://www.virtualme...cts/dwarf/index.html

Caveat: WebDwarf is designed for the creation of single page web projects. If you want to do a multipage website, you'll need to find something else.




I used to own WebDwarf before it went freeware. Worked nicely enough. Uncheck the box marked "Notify me.." and you go to the download page http://www.virtualme.../dwarf/download.html

Eventually I upgraded to SiteSpinner Pro for simple sites for friends; more complicated work requires DW 8, which I like in spite of occasionally having to tweak the generated code for W3C compliance.
Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code is a violent psychopath and knows where you live.