How long have we waited for the ability to take our web design ideas and just sit down and build? Yes, you. Take your photos, drawings, artwork, text, any form of media we might want to add to some type of a Internet presence and begin to build it. Imagine a website created by your 9 year old son or daughter, pretty cool just to let them have a go at building a web presence for you, right? Whether it be a birthday party for your Spouse, or a website for a small business or even just to have some fun with family and friends.
Recently my son began to build his own website. He’s only nine. Yeah he rides his bike, plays soccer and goes Wirling as often as he can, but he LOVES to work on his website too. He uses an online tool for building a pretty robust, graphic filled, creative, energetic, and all around FUN website. No special skills except taking a little time to learn the ins and outs of that new online tool (sorry my Little Man for revealing your secrets, but your Website is looking really sharp anyway). So how does one learn to Design their own website? I’ll reveal this and much more, in a series of articles, as I review a number of different solutions such as software products, websites, online tools and more that will help you do just that. Design your own web presence.
So how would you like to save money, in some cases lots of it, and be able to build a pretty cool website at the same time? No, that’s not a trick question, just reality in the 21st century, and the direction technology has allowed us to travel.
It’s been such a long time since building your own website lived in the realm of black-framed, eyeglass-wearing, palm-pilot-toting, geeky graphic designers in the alleys of SOHO or pencil-necked gearheads who lived, ate, and dreamed about code in a place called Silicon Valley. Well all of that is now changed.
There are a number of different companies that offer solutions, some of them very simple and easy to use, solutions for building a very nice, super clean, PROFESSIONAL web presence. Over the course of the next couple of months I will talk about them and reveal how you can build your own, with very little or practically no skills. For most of these solutions having the knowledge of how to use Microsoft Word is about all you will need to accommplish some magical feats of web design. Some might be slightly more advanced, but then with the addition of some great “Templates” you’re once again off and running. Yep, the software does all of the coding, extra design elements and so much more.
So let’s begin with a couple of very unique, and also very different programs; you might consider them bookends in the world of “Design-Your-Own-Web”, but ultimately each one of these great products, keeps it real and allows you to create wonderful websites.
SiteGrinder2 and Yola. Sound like some characters from a Star Wars movie? No, just some pretty cool tools to help you be more creative and save you lots of money.
Yola brings website building to the rest of us. Small businesses, groups and organizations, Non-profits, even your Aunt Jenny. How about the gal sitting next to you on the subway, or the dude in the cubicle next to you. Everyone. The Yola website builder lets you easily take what’s in your head and turn it into webpages in front of your eyes. Yola lets you make great-looking sites with webages that work beautifully together.
The magic of all this is the company does this without any imposing banner ads or plastering pop-up ad windows everywhere. They fundamentally believe that the user of their product should be able to build and host their websites without paying for a designer, a suite of software or a hosting company. With Yola, you have absolutely everything you need to get your site up and running. If you want even more, they offer premium features too. The company is also there to provide you with a helping hand, so you’ll never feel like you’re stuck. They work very hard so you don’t have to. They believe they have truly created a “no-brainer” solution for everyone to build outstanding websites. We’ll let you know as we review this product in the coming weeks. So in a nutshell that’s who Yola is.
Sitegrinder 2 turns Adobe Photoshop into an easy-to-use and powerful website design and production tool. It’s true! In fact, a SiteGrinder 2-equipped designer with no HTML programming expertise needs only some basic Photoshop skills to go from design concept to full deployment of a professional, standards-compliant website in just minutes with no programming whatsoever … and they do it all from within Photoshop.
SiteGrinder 2 takes care of everything, even ensuring cross-platform browser compatibility. Best of all, pages created with SiteGrinder 2 retain the exact look and layout of the parent Photoshop file from which they were created. Pretty amazing huh?!
I specifically chose Yola and SiteGrinder to begin this series of articles because they are very different- one takes absolutely NO skills and the other you need the skill of a specific software. One is online and used via the web. The other is a software tool, a Plug-in that is used off-line and you build the webpages within that software program.
As easy as either one of these might seem to you, everything else I introduce to you over the next couple of months will either be almost as simple as Yola, and may not be as diverse as SiteGrinder2, but rest assured all of these tools will allow you to build your own website fairly easily and with very little cost!.
Until then, do not hesitate to send us your feedback and comments on what you might want us to review in the future.
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