My current site is all hand-built with HTML and extremely time-intensive to update. I need to get all new work up there, but it will take a year because of my old-school architecture.
I’ve heard of CSS templates, but it is really over my head…
Ideally, I’d like to download a template that allows me to customize typefaces, colors, background images, and content while providing me with the basic structure of the site.
Auto-updating the content I creat on facebook would be really cool too…
Any ideas out there?
PS, tools I have:
http://www.indexhibit.org has a great template that you can download and install. Takes a few steps and a basic knowledge of CSS and html to have an website which is easy to update and manage.
Only downside is you’d probably have to remake the entire site. They provide a very bare bones template. If you still have all of your files from your current site it shouldn’t take too long to plug everything in.
Updating is a breeze. I made my site using this template and helped out a whole lot.
Hope that helps.
You should look into websites that offer semi-built templates.
I second the recommendation for Indexhibit and personally use it. am very happy with it. It is stable, super easy to update and individual enough with a tiny little bit of coding so that your website does not look like everybody else’s or like a blog.
Considering that you already have html/css knowledge, this should be a piece of cake for you.
Also it prevents from common webdesign coding mistakes, since the architecture as you well put it, is so nicely thought out from the beginning through an open source community.
Besides Indexhibit there is Wordpress and a couple of others. What drew me to Indexihbit though is the fact that 90% of its users are art directors, garphic designers and artists which speaks for its design savvy.
wordpress or blogger
Couldn’t be happier of deciding to go wordpress for my site. Now I can really focus on the content.
Look at http://www.squarespace.com – it has a fabulous interface, extraordinary customization…and inexpensive.
Thanks for the ideas! I love the concept behind indexhibit: keep the architecture simple and consistent among various websites, and let the content be the focus. I dug around a bit, and had two questions I couldn’t get answered on their site:
- Do I get to keep the HTML files or is this all web-based, like wordpress?
- Is it possible to move or modify the navigation bar?
All the websites that used indexhibit really looked the same to me.
Dan: I’ve seen squarespace before, but didn’t dig too deep because it includes web hosting, which I don’t need. I wouldn’t be against switching providers, however… same question as above: do I get to keep the HTML files or is this all web-based?
Are there any other semi-built templates out there for me to check out?
Thanks again, this is really helpful!
yes, there is a lot that can be done with Indexhibit. In order to customize, you re-write and alter the html and css codes.
If you are web savvy, you can move the meny bar anywhere you want.
The reason a lot of the sites look the same is that the users do not really care too much to put in a lot of customization time and having the menu on the upper left is default.
In any case, I personally think that a website should first and foremost be easy to navigate, load fast and have the work shine. Indexhibit does that for me.
However, with the benefit of having a template for updating on you FTP such as Indexhibit comes the fact that one will probably always be able to see that it is an Indexhibit page. The DNA will probably always be there.
I have seen some Indexhibt pages that were altered beyond recognition but it does take time.
I would strongly suggest you check out the forum. There you can discover plug-ins and get swift answers to your questions.
I really dig the ease of your set up there. You don’t realize it’s wordpress unless you look at the links (___.wordpress.com/etc)
Is that a custom template you developed? Or did you just play with the posts, etc. enough to get it set up that simply?
I’ve recently found http://mut8.me. Its an easy way to edit areas of your website. Mostly for text and images.
It works by add a HTML class to the areas of your website you want to edit. Pretty simple
I also think that wordpress would be the way to go. You can develop the sight locally on your computer using MAMP+Dreamweaver. Then just upload it to a server. if you find a prebuilt theme you can just go into the CSS and tinker with it and pretty much change whatever you’d like. It worked pretty well for me!
You might want to consider Wix as well, it’s very easy to use and customize. They offer hosting as well.
I used to use wordpress, but recently I’ve switched to Cargo Collective. It’s invite only, but if you go to cargocollective.com you should be able to email them, make your case, you’ll probably be fine. Wordpress is simple, but I found it to be more than enough.
I second the option to build on CSS. You can get an open source template then change it around in dreamweaver. It is fairly easy once you play around with it and realize what line of code effects individual elements. check out www.oswd.org for a lot of templates.
I agree with Dan. Do yourself a favor and just get a squarespace site. It’s cheap, supports a custom domain, easy to modify without any coding, but also supports custom code if that’s your thing. Their support is amazing too. If I have a problem or need to ask a stupid question they answer right away 24 hours a day. Amazing service. Unless you are a web designer it makes more sense to spend your time improving your content rather than messing around with code every time you want to update something.
You can also do a 14 day free trial with squarespace too. I put mine together over a weekend, was amazed how easy it was.