© 2014 BOB SKIDMORE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Creating a website has always been a challenge for those not knowledgeable in what is known as HTML protocol. In previous articles, I have reviewed various software that was a giant step forward in making website creation easier for the novice. Since then, a number of sites are now offering true drag and drop programs as part of their website hosting offerings. For the uninitiated, hosting means a service that publishes your website using your existing Internet address. If you do not already have an Internet address, a/k/a domain name, they can generally provide one as an optional extra and at an annual cost. One such site is weebly.com. They not only offer their own web hosting service, but also partner with several others who offer Weebly’s website creation software for free.
(TIP: If you use the weebly software with one of their partners be aware that you cannot redirect your newly created site to Weebly.com. I strongly suggest using Weebly for the site creation software, hosting, and domain name/address, if you do not already have one. It is best to keep everything under one vendor as it makes life easier when making changes or updates. Also, take note that Weebly stores your site’s template in the cloud and not on your computer. This means that the host always retains rights to its release thus preventing its use elsewhere without their permission or possible extra charges.)
(TIP: If you use a domain name currently in use on another site and wish to redirect it to a different host such as Weebly, you will need to advise the provider of that domain name to redirect it to the new host site. This can be done by you supplying the necessary technical information to the provider or requesting that the provider do it for you. Most domain name providers will do this at no cost. Weebly has a standard email form that you can use for this purpose which contains all the technical data needed should you be redirecting the domain name to their hosting service.)
The Weebly website creation software is a true drag and drop program. You simply drag/drop the feature options from the menu on the left side of the template design screen and then enter the desired text, video, audio or JPEG files.
(TIP: Content changes and or additions are easily made by just bringing up the design template and making the changes or additions just like you did when you created the page. Once done hit publish and the content changes are now on the site for all to see.)
A full selection of background themes, fonts, sizes, effects and social media icons are available for the choosing. You use your computer’s cut, paste, spell check, and highlight functions along with the Weebly tools. What could be simpler? The results are truly professional and are automatically re-formatted for mobile and tablet use.
(TIP: As is the case with designing any creative project, look at other sites similar to your theme for layout and other creative ideas.)
The Weebly Group, founded in 2007 by three college friends, saw a need and made it happen. They offer email, live chat and phone support (844.493.3259), in addition to a FAQ selection on their web site.
(TIP: Intro-Tek Creative Guides, publishes, CREATING A FREE WEBSITE USING WEEBLY.COM. This softcover, “show-and-tell”, book written by Jill E. Poyerd, is an easy to read, step-by-step tutorial that will answer many of the questions you may have and offer the reassurance that you’re doing everything correctly. Her presentation is geared towards the fine arts and photographic field, but you can easily relate what she says to what you’re trying to do. It reassures you that you are on the right path and is chocked full of many tips and tricks too. It is well worth the $40 and it is available at amazon.com)
If you’ve wanted to create a website, but thought it was too complicated or too costly, weebly.com may be your solution. It’s available in eleven languages. The use of the on-line creation software is free. Four hosting offerings range from FREE to $25 monthly and include ecommerce and business capabilities. An on-line “web stats” report is always available on your computer or via a smartphone app so you can easily see the number of hits by page, search terms that were used, and referring sites.
GADGETEER’s RATING: ★★★★★
Graphic credit: picgifs
Bob Skidmore is a freelance writer, who may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, or followed at twitter.com/bskidmore for the latest gadget industry news. He does not represent, make any legality of use claims, or endorse any of the products he reviews. His opinions are solely his points of view and not those of the manufacturer. The manufacturer generally supplies products at no cost for the articles and no other compensation is received. THE GADGETEER is highly selective as to products he feels worthy of review so as not to waste the reader’s time, thus the reason for many superior ratings. Some information for this article may be gathered from various news sources available to the author.