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Best way to create a web site???

I have an idea for a web site but have no idea about what is the best and easiest way to go about creating one. I have done blogging before, but this idea is more specific and would be better served by a web site to have the desired effect...

Anybody try this before? What was the lessions you learned, good or bad? What would you recommend as far as the best way to do this, step by step.

I have wanted to do this for a while, recently I found somebody who is willing to help me create additional content, but I need to do the set up and have no idea what I should do, or where to get started.... Any ideas, comments or suggestions?

Right now I would favor ideas that do not have additional cost, but if I am able to give enough content that people can review, some have already volunteered to contribute content, and small amounts of money if they like what they see.

What stories/suggestions do you guys have, that could help me in trying to do this???



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Drupal is the way to go like Daily Paul uses.

Tried Wordpress and Joomla both no good and limited compared to Drupal. Why do you think Daily Paul uses Drupal? Although Joomla is better than Wordpress.

Read on the Amazon Associates forum from the best people who make sites work.

try www.squarespace.com

nice designs, and not that difficult to work with

I'd go with a PATRIOT host = SHARKTECHOSTING.COM

I second the other comment here and go with a true patriot web host such as http://www.sharktechosting.com to host your website!

I also signed up with them for their Ron Paul Special and at the time they were even running a FREE promotion, but I chose to go with the $1.99 offer for Ron Paul supporters because I WANT to help support them, not just get something for free! Even $1.99/mo. is an awesome deal, and makes it that much easier for anyone to get a website up and support RP in 2012! Check them out and support a Patriot Company!

http://www.sharktechosting.com

I've had a great experience with them so far and have suggested them to my friends and family. My brother and sister are signed on with them to create sites as well as 3 of my friends.

Forget Godaddy, Hostgator, and whatever other company there is that doesn't take a stand for Liberty like SharkTec Hosting does! For me, and hopefully others, the choice was very easy and clear on who to choose to host my website!

Check it out, you won't be disappointed!

My brother does websites all the time

and he likes Joomla for it's versatility. It's also not too expensive I think he said.

_____________________________

Defend Liberty, for Liberty
Vote for President Ron Paul 2012
http://ksa4liberty.com

Joomla is free, as is Wordpress and Drupal

I'm not sure about Wordpress, but Drupal and Joomla are both OpenSource projects.

Michael Nystrom's picture

Wordpress is also free

They offer two products - a hosted solution and one you host yourself.

The hosted solution gives you a blahblah.wordpress.com address, and you can upgrade it to your own domain for $10 per month. It is easier if you're not a techie. I think there are other upgrades you can add for more money.

WP is also opensource, so the self-hosted version is also free. Download it, upload it to your server, hook it to a database, and away you go!

Incredible, really. Back when I started in webdesign back in 1999, a program like wordpress would have had to be hand coded and cost at least $100K! (And it wouldn't have been half as good). Now, free. Really incredible.

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. - Alan Watts

wordpress.com's hosted

wordpress.com's hosted solution using your own domain name, in my opinion, would be the best way for you to create and maintain a website.

There are several reasons why I am suggesting this:

"Right now I would favor ideas that do not have additional cost"

wordpress.com satisfies your requirement of having no additional cost.

Using your own domain name will cost you approx $10 per year for the domain (with a registrar such as GoDaddy.com) and $12 per year with wordpress.com's domain mapping service. $22 total per year. I believe this is extremely important, especially if you have long-term plans for your website/blog.

"I am unsure wheter a site or blog is appropriate for this topic. My instinct says create a site since blogging is so saturated and hard to establish. But then again so is a web site."

The web is saturated with both websites and blogs. There's really no easy way to get around that.

The difference between a blog that is just a blog and a blog which is also a website I think comes down to whether or not you are using your own domain name. Using your own domain name is highly recommended. Doing so gives you a great deal of control, more options and marketing advantages.

"My problem with blogging in the past is that nobody can access it outside of that blog host, and it is harder to stand out in search engines."

WordPress blogs are publicly accessible, although they probably have the option to make them private if you prefer that.

About standing out in search engines... that's a consideration for every website/blog out there that wants to have visitors. From what I understand, WordPress is well coded for search engine optimization purposes. You'll need to do other things in order to stand out in search engines. This is generally referred to as "search engine optimization." There's a lot to it, but basically you want as many other websites to link to yours as possible. You do that by writing great articles (that other sites will link to) and/or emailing other websites requesting that they link to you, etc. There's quite a bit more to search engine optimization (SEO), so you could read up a bit more on that topic by searching on Google if you're interested.

"I would not know how to do this on my own, and my partner in this idea is computer illiterate"

This is more reason to use wordpress.com's hosted solution. They take care of all the hosting as well as all of the software maintenance upgrades.

If neither you nor your partner know how to build websites from scratch, how to manage web hosting accounts, how to install and maintain various scripts, how to upgrade those scripts, how to keep your website secure, etc.... then I think your best option at this time points to services that do pretty much all of that for you. wordpress.com does it for free.

You could learn how to do everything, but it might benefit your cause more for you and your partner to focus your time on creating great content and marketing it.

Additional benefits of using WordPress.com: you can easily switch over to using their wordpress.org self hosted software at any time in the future. The self hosted software can use the staggering number of free and commercial plugins along with custom themes, which is something not available in the hosted version of wordpress. You can also make custom modifications to the code as well if you need to with the self hosted version. But it's great that you can start a no cost, or minimal cost, on wordpress.com and switch to using their software (if there are plugins you need) very easily. Using their software on your own web hosting account, though, does mean you have to buy web hosting and know how to manage all the stuff I mentioned.

Also, the MILLIONS of people who use wordpress means that there are a lot of knowledgeable people out there, with many that would be willing to share what they know with you, answer your questions, etc. There's probably a very large base of tech contractors available as well, if you reach the point of needing those types of services.

So what you need to do is:

1. Register a domain name with GoDaddy.com. Use GoDaddy ONLY for the domain name, don't bother with any of their added services during the checkout process.

2. Register with WordPress.com and go through the guided setup: http://learn.wordpress.com/

3. Make sure that you configure domain mapping: http://en.support.wordpress.com/domain-mapping/

4. Customize your website/blog design using wordpress.com features

5. You and your partner start creating great content, then promote it.

Total cost per year with this setup: $22. $0 if you decide not to use your own domain name.

...

This is exactly what I was looking for^

Thanks John2k, this post really helps me out... I am still asking people for advice and am getting plenty of great suggestions and essential feedback from the community here... I am discussing with my partner how we want to do this, and am methodically going through the options.

Starting as a blog and turning that into a site seems like the most workable option at this time. But it will be hard to see that the content gets seen anywhere... I am more than happy to do that for a period of time, say 6 months. But if I can't reach an audience, when the point of the blog or site is to solicit feedback to promote grassroots activism, then I wonder if it's worth it...

We both have the motivation to provide content, and the means to offer different topics and forms of content, but if it can't get past the web host site... then it won't really hit the mark... That is the main concern before starting this project right now. And I'm just curious how others in this position handled that issue.

I provided a word of caution below about GoDaddy, but I'll

elaborate somewhat here:

I would strongly discourage anyone from registering a domain name with them.

Yes it is cheap. That is because you don't own the name - GoDaddy retains ownership.
You can't transfer it, or sell it either.

The worst part is, I have personal experience with them "stealing" my domain name and selling it to someone else. I never could get it back. Just one day, my sight pointed to someone else's site. When I have mentioned this in the past, invariably someone else chimes in that they have had the same problems with GoDaddy.

Expect to reasonably pay $35 per year per domain name unless you get it as part of a hosting package, in which case, sometimes, the first domain is included with yearly or multi-year subscriptions. I've used Register.com for domain registration for a business with no problems. (4 years running)

HostGator has some very low cost packages. (like <5/mo) So while it is more than a Wordpress hosted site, it is very reasonable for what you get.

Go through hostgator

I love hostgator and make sure to use coupon code: 25percentofftoday

I like to have a hosting account for each website I run (if I have the funds to do so at the time that is lol) and love hostgator simply because they have A TON of features and the uptime is far better than smaller companies.

I have tested over 10 servers and hosts over the years and so far hg is kicking their butts. Now there are great servers in the netherlands though but for us servers hg is the way to go.

As far as setting up the website

use wordpress

it is SO EASY and really simple to optimize and get ranked online and in all the search engines.

You can start with a free template which btw is really easy to change. Since wordpress is pretty much point and click, knowing ANY CODE is 100% not needed. If you can facebook, you can setup a site with wordpress and run it as though it is a HUGE network site all from the comfort of your own home.

Site ideas...

forums not only are hard to get started but once they are started they can cost A TON to host due to bandwidth usage. You would end up needing a dedicated server at some point and always on the look out for hackers and people trying to ddos your forum just for fun.

Hostgator and wordpress are the perfect match for any site.

good luck!

http://shelfsufficient.com - My site on getting my little family prepped for whatever might come our way.

http://growing-elite-marijuana.com - My site on growing marijuana

Roll your own!

The first step if figuring out what you want to your site to do. Then you need to find the tools that help you do it. The posts below covering Wordpress and Drupal will work if your data is straightfoward. Both are very powerful and extensible, but sometimes you have to design your own.

If your site will have many different data types and interactions, it can be worth it to build your application around the database design. The major web programming languages can all do pretty much the same thing. Some are easier to learn than others, it depends on what you [or your web programmer knows] PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby and Java are the most well known languages for the web and all can interact with a web page and the browser. There are also many frameworks for building web applications, likely using Model, View, and Controller breakdown (google MVC).

Most likely, open source software exists to help make your job easier. Good luck.

This is a response I recieved from Seth at the "Daily Anarchist"

Well, to be honest, I'm not a master at this stuff. I had no idea what I
was doing when I started doing it. But I might be able to help with a
couple of things.

For starters, you have two choices. You can either create a website
completely from scratch, or you can use a CMS(Content Management
System).

Unless you are a codemaster, don't even think about creating one from
scratch. There's no point in re-inventing the wheel.

Today's CMS's are pretty amazing. That's because they have millions of
people from all around the world inspecting the code for safety, also
many many people contributing new code for development. I would venture
to say there are very few cases where one needs to create a new website
from scratch.

So, now that you've decided to use a CMS, you need to pick which one.
There are several to choose from but it is my understanding that the
best two are Drupal and Wordpress.

My site uses Wordpress and I am very happy with it. Wordpress is best
for constantly adding new content, like videos and articles and such.
Drupal can also be used as a blogging platform, but it does more as
well. I would venture to say that Wordpress is better at blogging, but
Drupal is better at fixed websites, with blogging as well. So, if the
blog is a small part of something much larger, I would choose Drupal. If
the blog is the meat and potatoes, then I would choose Wordpress.

After you've made your decision, then you have a lot of work to do. No,
seriously. I mean you have A LOT of work to do. Unfortunately, there is
nothing I can say to help you on that goal. There are seriously too many
things to do to build a website. In fact, if I could recommend anything,
it would be not to build a website, for reasons I discuss here:

http://dailyanarchist.com/2011/04/25/freelance-journalism-an...

After you read that, consider the fact that you will have zero visitors
to start. Ask yourself how much content you are willing to contribute
every day? Ask yourself how you will get contributors to your website.
Are you aware that I am paying ten cents per unique visitor per
article(worth about $50 per post, give or take) and I am still having
difficulty getting contributing posts? Are you aware I have spent
thousands of dollars on advertising with little return?

Now, I'm not trying to shatter dreams. If you've got a website idea that
is truly revolutionary and different than anything else you see on the
market, by all means, shoot for the stars. But if it's not
groundbreaking, earth-shattering different, well, you know my advice.

reedr3v's picture

An excellent analysis, not only of problems

for individual bloggers, but of the current state of citizen journalism. It is wonderful there are now so many enthusiastic bloggers, but most of us get totally lost in the crowd. And I've experienced the overwhelming amount of work in attempt producing a useful, quality one-person site with multiple pages and posts. Research alone is so time-consuming.

Your model described in the link is a great approach. Clearly it is time to explore division of labor and more cooperative publishing ventures. Libertarians appreciate the merits of decentralization; the trick is to balance that with the strength of cooperative efforts.

Here's what I would do.

Make sketches of what you would like the site layout to be like.

Go on Elance.com and post a job for several designs to be made.

Pick one and post another job to Elance for someone to convert the design to a wordpress blog.

Open an account at bluehost.com (or any other hosting service) to host the site.

Wordpress is a great way to run a web site and is very flexible. I think you will find that you can get a great site done very inexpensively on elance. Just make sure you do the prep work to explain what you want.

For Smaller Web Sites...

For those who are not technically minded whatsoever, but would like a web presence of some sort, I would recommend

http://weebly.com

It will let you set up a basic site with multiple pages, blog, gallery, comments, embedded video etc. for free, or you can pay for more features.

It has web based site building tools which are simple to understand, and the online video help is pretty good. The web based approach does limit what you can do though, but it would probably suit most folks basic needs.

I don't use it myself, but I helped out my ex with a website she wanted to make. She did a pretty good job for someone with pretty much zero technical skills other that what she learned from facebook.

Here is a site I just threw together in the last 5 mins.

http://uklooney.weebly.com

The People's President
Ron Paul R[̲̅ə̲̅٨̲̅٥̲̅٦̲̅]ution 2012

I just got my first website

I just got my first website started. I was shopping around and bought from http://www.sharktechosting.com. They have a deal for free hosting of a small website if you affiliate with Ron Paul.

http://www.dailypaul.com/169523/sharktec-hosting-endorses-ro... (this is their endorsement.)

Im still learning but im using Dreamweaver. Lets link our sites once they are done . Mine is going to be atlasacres.net

yt = classicalliberalism

Patriotic Senex

Here are some suggestions:

WordPress - is the most turnkey and easiest to use. But it doesn't fit for every site. It is more blog oriented, but some non-blog sites have managed to use it effectively. Of course, these weren't novices doing that. Excellent theming.

Joomla - should be easy to install and navigate, functionality and additional add-ons/extensions to cover most needs. Theming is not the best.

Drupal - what the DP runs on. Steeper learning curve, but for the basics, even a newb can handle it. Greater functionality available hands down. Wide variety of themes, but not easy to custom theme. (but easier than Joomla)

Regardless of what you choose, be sure to choose a webhost that supports easy one-click install of your preferred platform out of these three. Of particular note is Drupal does not play nice unless it sits on a Unix/Linux host, running Apache server. (yes, it can run in Windows with IIS, but it isn't pretty)

Also, make sure if you chose Drupal, your host not only lets you install it, but that your host is "Drupal Friendly." Network Solutions would be an example of such a host company that allows you to install Drupal easily, but is not friendly to how it needs to be set up. (I have a site I can't do software updates on for example - not good for security purposes)

Falcon Internet - who hosts the DP should accommodate you fine, as well - HostGator.

I'd stay away from GoDaddy. I've had bad experiences with them, and I've heard too many bad stories from others.

Stay away from things like:

MS FrontPage, Yahoo! Site Builder, or any other host-provided website authoring tools. You will likely find them very limited and only of use to people with the absolute barest of needs for a site.

Finally, if you have the time, you could always teach yourself HTML/CSS/PHP and code it yourself. It really isn't that hard. You could learn HTML in an afternoon. CSS the next day, and enough basic PHP to make the site easy to template on the third. You'll spend more time playing with the look and feel of the site than actually learning how to do it. The Sam's Teach Yourself books are excellent references. You can also find free tutorials all over the web. W3Cschools' website is probably the simplest and safest to trust to be up to date.

Also, try to avoid WYSIWIG webpage editors. Some are okay, but you're better off just using a plain text editor like Gedit (free) to make your pages. Avoid NotePad, WordPad, etc. since they don't work well for this purpose. (you can use them, but Gedit and others are easier) TextWrangler is also another good free one I've played with. What is nice about Gedit and TextWrangler is they have syntax highlighting so you can see better what is text on the page and what is the code to make it happen. WYSIWIG editors like FrontPage, DreamWeaver, etc. insert a lot of unneeded code in the page and make it harder to hand edit. They also don't generate the code up to web standards sometimes, and you'll be fighting your site constantly. They also cause you to break rule #1 below.

If you choose this route, I have some strong recommendations:

#1 Content First - write as much of the site content out as possible in plain text first. Do not even THINK about what the site will look like.

#2 Structure - how do you want the site organized? How many pages, sections, features, etc.?

#3 Usability - visit Jakob Neilson's http://useit.com Even if you don't code yourself, visit this site anyway. Read as much as you can, especially about the biggest mistakes in websites. (also, visit http://websitesthatsuck.com - learn not to repeat those mistakes) Turnkey solutions like the big three above should help you avoid most of these mistakes, but you can always fubar something if you don't know what not to do.

#4 Templates - using some easy to learn and simple PHP codes here and there, you can avoid repeating the same info on each page such as menus, site info, etc. as static copies. With PHP, you can write these things once and include them on every page with a short code snippet. Then, when you want to change something, you only need to change it in one place, rather than every single page on the site. (this is how Drupal, Joomla, and Wordpress work, by the way, though they are more complicated than that)

#5 CSS - avoid like the plague any tutorials that try to explain how to layout a webpage with tables or by putting visual code tags directly in the webpage. There are plenty of excellent books and resources on the web to teach CSS. Unfortunately there are still many long outdated websites teaching people the wrong way to do it. This should be the LAST thing you do to your site.

FOCUS ON THE CONTENT & USABILITY FIRST - NOT HOW THE SITE LOOKS. (there will be plenty of time for that later)

If you don't follow this one rule, you will be kicking yourself later and you will make more work for yourself than necessary, no matter what method you choose to build the site.

Good luck.

Michael Nystrom's picture

Wow!

Amazing, comprehensive summary. There's really nothing I can add, only to emphasize:

Stay away from things like:

MS FrontPage, Yahoo! Site Builder, or any other host-provided website authoring tools. You will likely find them very limited and only of use to people with the absolute barest of needs for a site.

In general, I think that Wordpress is much easier than Drupal, especially for a noob. I've been messing around with Wordpress a little recently for another site I've been thinking about. Drupal is powerful, but the real problem is scalability. It is built to scale, but is finicky, and will need some special attention if traffic really starts to scale up, which can be expensive. I don't think Wordpress suffers from the same problem.

Wordpress is very bloggy, but can be customized. I'm pretty sure that the C4L site is built on WP: http://www.campaignforliberty.com/

Finally, don't underestimate how much work it is going to be, and how long it will take to get traffic. I know it looks like these things appear by magic, but every page, every sentence and every word is going to be produced by you (at least in the beginning).

In the early days of the Daily Paul, things were pretty slow around here. It was more like the weekly Paul - or the monthly Paul, lol. It takes time for people to learn about your site, and the most important thing, in the long run, is persistence.

I don't know how many times I've seen someone set up a site then abandon it a few weeks or months later because it is a lot of work, and they're not getting a lot of traffic. It takes time to spread the word.

To that end it is important to think about the purpose of your site, and your own motivations for doing it. You really have to have something you want to say, that isn't already being said. Why will people visit your site instead of a site that is already there?

All this being said, don't worry about the end. The process itself is fun and interesting. And please drop me a line, and let others know how much work it is once you get a peek!

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. - Alan Watts

.

.

Thank you...

I am grateful that somebody like you Michael would comment on something like this, I will take your advice to heart.

The idea comes from my reading Thoreau and Emerson, and my collaborator motivated to a large extent by Thomas Paine.

We both agree that with this coming election the opportunity exists for huge disappointment with the establishment and the government. And we are advocating the idea of peaceful non-compliance to push for a redress of grievaces or a movement to alter or abolish a corrupt and overreaching government.

Both myself and my collaborator and researcher in this project support Dr. Paul, but we recognize the problem is instituitonal... Rather than being put in a position of accepting less, and less, and less, like Paine argues, we should be asking for more from our representatives and government. They should be protecting our rights and liberties, not making laws to erase them, while subjectively exempting those they choose to from enforcement or compliance. If you have read Paine ("Agrarian Justice/Common Sense/Rights of Man", for example), you can see what is the underlying point to what we are advocating. Replacing a fraud based economy with a free economy. A fraud based government, with a republic.

My thought on this topic would be something along the lines of showing what the Constitution and Bill of Rights states, and giving examples to how the government ignores those rights and passes unpopular legislation to eliminate upholding them.

Through examples in real time, along with the historical words of the founders, we can make the arguement that the government we have is hopelessly corrupt, and we have to come up with a way to support each other and protect our natural rights that come from natural law, inspired by the founders to protect ourselves, and our fellow man, from abject poverty and tyranny of the state.

I am unsure wheter a site or blog is appropriate for this topic. My instinct says create a site since blogging is so saturated and hard to establish. But then again so is a web site. My problem with blogging in the past is that nobody can access it outside of that blog host, and it is harder to stand out in search engines. Maybe a blog with a bulletin board would be appropriate, but I wouldn't know how to create a BB on a blog, on my own.

What do you guys think would be best for something like I am trying to pull off here? I know I want to post links to articles and videos, have the ability for people to comment (that is crucial), have original content, along with links to articles or books that are in line with my topic, and I want to be able to allow others who are interested in these topics to be able to share ideas and observations to share their voice, and offer solutions...

I just don't know if a blog can stand out, or a site has a better shot, at allowing me to carry out what I am attempting to accomplish with this idea... Any thoughts/suggestions?

Sage advice from a seasoned webmaster - thanks Michael!

FYI, that C4L link is now just a placeholder, the new site is .org.

I use the Wappalyzer add-on for FireFox. It tells me that the C4L is currently running on Drupal. (they may have started on Wordpress, I don't know)

Wappalyzer is a nifty tool to uncover the technologies used on websites.

Yes, thank you for the Wappalyzer tip

I appreciate it.

Michael Nystrom's picture

Indeed

The new site it on Drupal; the old .com was a Wordpress hack job.

Thanks for the tip on Waqppalyzer.

:)

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. - Alan Watts

Second Wordpress

Sign up for a hosting company like Dreamhost or anyone with a one-click install for Wordpress (easy way to install Wordpress on the web host.)

From there you can choose a Wordpress theme. Wordpress makes it easy to install themes.

From there you can start adding your content (pictures and text.)

I made www.iendorseronpaul.com in a few hours one night. My team also created auditthefed.com using wordpress. RonPaul2012 is also built on the Wordpress platform. It is easy to use but no one said it isn't powerful.

Google+ Account: www.jmariano.com

Having created some and

Having created some and helped create and commission others, I would have to say WORDPRESS is the best way to go. Their coding is icing to google.

I would stay away from Joomla unless your a master, most of their sites don't look that good put together imho.

Theres a site that you can find the coolest templates, called StudioPress.

You can find all their templates for free at blackhatworld.

I have tons of resources to not only create websites, but to do keyword research to attract the right audience, social media marketing along with Search Engine Optimization of the site. If you wanna chat, look me up on fb jbilyj...

Plus I know how to outsource all of it for lower than usual costs if you just have a vision and need others with the expertise to help manifest it...

Thank you...

My collaborator in this endeavor is anxious to get started, so I will defintely hit you up with some of my questions and am open to any suggestions you or anybody else has...

Thanks for the advice, and the offer to help. I really appreciate it. I would not know how to do this on my own, and my partner in this idea is computer illiterate, so it's pretty much up to me to create the web site. So I am open to any and all suggestions...