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Setting up a website

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by Galvatron, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. Hiya
    Not sure where to post this,not especially tes related, but hoping someone will be able to help out.
    I've had an idea for a website that will involve some information pages and a forum. Have bought the domain name from namecheap.com.
    And am now stuck, lots of enthusiasm but zero knowledge.
    Does anyone have a recommendation as to how to actually build it? ie free program versus paying a hosting comany with templates? Can't afford to buy dreamweaver or anything like that really. Do you have any that I should avoid? Or anything I should look at when choosing a program or company?
    Thanks x

     
  2. madcat

    madcat Occasional commenter

    Just get yourself a wordpress site ( free from wordpress.com) -easy to get started with and loads of tutorials etc on the web..
    When you out grow that, it is fairly wasy to move on to something with more advanced features etc.
     
  3. Great, thanks for your reply madcat, appreciate it. I will have a look now.
     
  4. Colleen_Young

    Colleen_Young Occasional commenter

    I love WordPress! My very first post Jan 2009! (Some links there which you have probably found already.
    It just works! It has never let me down. They apologise if the site is down for a few seconds! (Very rare).
    What you get for free is brilliant.
     
  5. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    You will need to get your web-site hosted, and your host might lock you into particular techniques or technologies. For example, if you want to use ASP or ASP.net then you will need a Windows host. If you want to use WordPress, then many hosts with Linux servers have wizards that will install it for you.
    Hosting WordPress yourself (rather than at wordpress.com) gives you the option of adding your own pages, or swapping completely to pages that use, say, PHP or JavaScript as you get the hang of it, without having to transfer your domain name, etc. You can also tinker with the themes, etc. (although you might be able to do that at wordpress.com).
    I helped the Oaktree Co-operative (www.oaktreecoop.org) set up their web-site using WordPress hosted by a Linux hosting company and it was up and running in minutes. The downside is that WordPress is very inflexible and I tear my hair out trying to change simple things like the alignment of text, which I can do in seconds on my own site (www.advanced-ict.info), which I created from scratch using Notepad and Dreamweaver.
     
  6. Colleen_Young

    Colleen_Young Occasional commenter

    Galvatron if you are still playing around with WordPress then have a good look at all the themes. Perhaps use one where the pages are easily visible as tabs across the top?
    My current favourite is itheme2 which you will see I have used in the link in my post above.
    Numerous themes are available.
    Looking at other options Richard Byrne recently wrote this post.
     
  7. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    Thanks! It's deliberately simple - I don't like sites with multiple columns and stuff all over the place (like the BBC News site, for example), and apparently they're particularly difficult for weak readers.
     
  8. madcat

    madcat Occasional commenter

    I'm sorry JJL but that is simply not correct,
    if it were you would not be able to find any blog nor indeed most commercial websites thorugh Google - which is simply not the case.
    Well at least my own blogs and cms driven sites seem to appear O.K. on Google

     
  9. Wow.



    How did I get dragged into this.
     
  10. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    Do you host your blogs and sites yourself, or are they part of sites like WordPress or Blogspot (which presumably do this sort of thing out for you)?
    I could be wrong, but looking at how WordPress works, I can't see how Google could index pages (other than the first one), unless the robot tries random numbers to see what the pages contain. There are certainly plenty of blog pages containing distinctive text that Google doesn't find.
    I would hope that anyone creating commercial sites would know how to create and submit a sitemap. In fact, most commercial sites obviously pay Google to index their sites more quickly.
     
  11. rubikwizard

    rubikwizard New commenter

    I created our school website http://www.beckfoot.org/ using Wordpress and Google indexes all of the pages. I haven't done anything for this to happen. For example do a search for "beckfoot school science" on Google to see the individual pages indexed.
     
  12. Colleen_Young

    Colleen_Young Occasional commenter

    I'll second that - my pages from my WordPress blogs - turn up in searches! Nothing to do with me!
     
  13. Looks professional to me and the search worked.
     
  14. rubikwizard

    rubikwizard New commenter

    Thanks. I used a $30 template and then tweaked the CSS file for the layout/colours etc.

     
  15. Hi Galvatron,
    I've used Joomla - it's easy to use and looks good. lots of online tutorials available to explain things, lots of templates - both free and ones you can buy.
     
  16. Wordpress is a recommended option - 49% of all indexed blogs/sites on the net (according to a survey this week) were shown to be hosted using a Wordpress installation

    I've tried Joomla (albeit a few years ago) and didn't like it - the article system annoyed me and templates were a pain. As a Comp Sci graduate and former web design agency project manager I think there are easier options.

    If you want to add a forum, use BB Press - it's the most popular forum plugin that you can use to create a discussion forum similar to this. If you want to secure the website (to protect student identity for example) then I can recommend S2Member (another plugin) that allows you to set 4 levels of permissions/rights and you can lock down the site or individual sections (from home page onwards).

    On a search note - you 'submit' your site to google/bing etc but this can be done using the WP admin interface, made easier by installing a plugin such as Google Analytics -------- (there are tons, go on review score * most recent/regularly updated). This will speed up the process and allow you to monitor tracking data in the admin interface of your wordpress site (you will need a google id/login + analytics API key - all free and accessible with a quick search.

    Hope that helps - i need to go sort several wordpress sites, mine included! Been neglecting them for far too long and am gonna go all trendy with HTML5 geolocation etc on it (once i get the time!)
     
  17. An interesting contribution. Thanks.
     
  18. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    You need to be careful with Google Analytics, though - there's some doubt as to whether it's legal to use it on a site in the UK (my belief is that it isn't - or at least that it doesn't comply with the spirit of the law):
    http://www.cookielaw.org/google-analytics-eu-cookie-law.aspx
     

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