How would I go about trying to start a website???

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:40 am
Hey guys,

Yours truly here wants to start up a travel site/blog. Me and a couple of my friends are big travelers and outdoors men, and we thought it would be cool to share our American adventures with others.

My question is, how can we begin working on the website, without putting it online yet, so we are able to work on it offline for a couple of months. Ultimately, once it is done, we would go about buying a domain and using it from there. But is there a program that people have used that is both easy to use and allows from freedom/creativity by the webmaster?

Thanks,

Mr. C
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:56 am
This is a big question that includes many things that need to be considered. First, you need to assess your skills with HTML, code (if you plan on having dynamic content), networking and computers in general. Do you want a full blown website or a blog? To answer that, you need to consider the type on content you will ultimately display/provide. Is it just going to be articles, pictures, movies, etc? It sounds like you want a blog, there are plenty of resources and what are called CMS (Content Management System).

The next thing you want to consider is what CMS to use - there are several good choices here that range from: super-easy but little customization to somewhat convoluted but you have massive potential for customization. Or you may just want to go the HTML route if you really want control and have confidence in your ability to not only make a page that works but looks clean, professional and serviceable. There are many blog sites/CMS's out there but here are the big ones:

Wordpress - By far the most popular, well developed and plenty of options for a blog of any size. Pros: Easy/simple and designed for blogging. Cons: Can't do too much behind the code, but this is really only frustrating for advanced developers.

Drupal - This is in most developers' opinions the best but it isn't the easiest, it's worth a little bit of research but many users will likely be turned off by the fact that for somethings you may need to know a little code - or at least find and implement someone else's code.

Joomla - Is kind of in the middle of WP and Drupal as far as difficulty and user friendliness. If WP is too restricting and Drupal is too complex, then Joomla maybe just right. Joomla is the least developed out of the big three CMS, but finding solutions still shouldn't be much of any issue.

Tumblr - Sounds like you might want a level of customization that Tumblr just can't provide, however Tumbr is stupidly easy to use but I don't think that you can develop a Tumblr site without your content going live.

HTML - I only list HTML and no other "programing" languages because it is essential to any webpage and it is not a real programming language, thus easy, but offers little power in the way of dynamic content. Plus you are on your own.

I don't know anything about your skill level so I don't want to be presumptuous, but you need to keep in mind that creating and maintaining a blog requires a lot of background knowledge and research (except for Tumblr and other really simple blogware). If you want to try your hand at the big three I listed above and you want to develop it locally (not commit the changes until you're ready) you'll need:

-To setup a server (test server), wampp and xampp are good easy solutions to get you going.
-To setup the CMS - I've never done this personally but it wont be like installing a program like firefox or something like that. It will come with pages and script files that will be like templates.
-To manage the live site (live server) - this will be what the user actually sees.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:15 pm
JREED wrote:This is a big question that includes many things that need to be considered. First, you need to assess your skills with HTML, code (if you plan on having dynamic content), networking and computers in general. Do you want a full blown website or a blog? To answer that, you need to consider the type on content you will ultimately display/provide. Is it just going to be articles, pictures, movies, etc? It sounds like you want a blog, there are plenty of resources and what are called CMS (Content Management System).

The next thing you want to consider is what CMS to use - there are several good choices here that range from: super-easy but little customization to somewhat convoluted but you have massive potential for customization. Or you may just want to go the HTML route if you really want control and have confidence in your ability to not only make a page that works but looks clean, professional and serviceable. There are many blog sites/CMS's out there but here are the big ones:

Wordpress - By far the most popular, well developed and plenty of options for a blog of any size. Pros: Easy/simple and designed for blogging. Cons: Can't do too much behind the code, but this is really only frustrating for advanced developers.

Drupal - This is in most developers' opinions the best but it isn't the easiest, it's worth a little bit of research but many users will likely be turned off by the fact that for somethings you may need to know a little code - or at least find and implement someone else's code.

Joomla - Is kind of in the middle of WP and Drupal as far as difficulty and user friendliness. If WP is too restricting and Drupal is too complex, then Joomla maybe just right. Joomla is the least developed out of the big three CMS, but finding solutions still shouldn't be much of any issue.

Tumblr - Sounds like you might want a level of customization that Tumblr just can't provide, however Tumbr is stupidly easy to use but I don't think that you can develop a Tumblr site without your content going live.

HTML - I only list HTML and no other "programing" languages because it is essential to any webpage and it is not a real programming language, thus easy, but offers little power in the way of dynamic content. Plus you are on your own.

I don't know anything about your skill level so I don't want to be presumptuous, but you need to keep in mind that creating and maintaining a blog requires a lot of background knowledge and research (except for Tumblr and other really simple blogware). If you want to try your hand at the big three I listed above and you want to develop it locally (not commit the changes until you're ready) you'll need:

-To setup a server (test server), wampp and xampp are good easy solutions to get you going.
-To setup the CMS - I've never done this personally but it wont be like installing a program like firefox or something like that. It will come with pages and script files that will be like templates.
-To manage the live site (live server) - this will be what the user actually sees.


wow, that is a lot of info. :D :D :D

I already know I do not want tumblr, as i do want to get a domain name eventually. I see people with tumblrs and i do not see them have much freedom. Neither does wordpress, but I think what I am going to do is just play around with wordpress. I know with them, i can eventually publish with a .com without the wordpress label.

ultimately, i do want to have an expanded site. A site that have many pages that are organized based on the different types of adventures I will be enduring.

I think for now, i am going to keep it small and simple, but eventually, once i have more contributions and more sites that I have visited, I really do want to expand it. I have a vision on how I want it to look, which included numerous series and themes that I have for travel.

Oh, and I do not know squat about code. My brother is real good with working with computer software. He's won competitions sponsered through microsoft and intel. He has told me that dreamweaver is really good. No clue what that is. He's in the military though, so i do not think he will have much time to help me out, thus the reason why I am asking people.

Thanks again JREED.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:02 pm
No problem. :wink:

I'm not sure about the tumblr domain name and if that is changeable or not. Same with Blogspot which I believe actually gives you more freedom.

I think you might be surprised with what you can accomplish with wordpress - there is more freedom than most know. Plus with WP there is a crap load of resources out there and plenty of people who are willing to help.

As far as Dreamweaver goes - I think it's overkill for a blog, but it is the best WYSIWYG editor out there and is capable of some pretty impressive stuff. It doesn't require much knowledge of HTML as it is kind of a word program on steroids - but the program itself has a learning curve.

What is cool about CMS' like WP is that it provides you with an interface so that when you want to add something to the site, you don't have to create a new HTML page. You basically just design the site one time and the page content is generated from an external source like a database or XML files which are populated by the CMS. Basically it is much easier and faster to add new content, but the drawback is that the page layout won't vary much from page to page.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:07 pm
I was going to answer this, but JReed answered this much better than I could have. I'll just throw in that I've done sites for people in both Wordpress and Joomla, and Wordpress has generally been much more user friendly for the "non-web" person to maintain on their own. As JReed says, might not be as robust as Joomla (or Drupal) but it's pretty easy to use on the back end.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:45 am
Hey, I totally agree with hobbes about that JREED answered this question in a perfect way:)

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:28 pm
Leave the idea thinking to you... and let a freelancer build the site. Having a good looking site is key.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:17 pm
I think you may of gotten your answer already, but WordPress is definitely something to consider.
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