Helpful Platforms to Build a Website
:: By Hassan Bawab, Magic Logix ::
Your website can be as individual as you are, whether you are designing an online store or portfolio, news site or family album and weblog. You can design your website on your computer and upload it, use an online service, or utilize an open source software to develop your content online. Free and paid options enable you to configure your website as you wish using plugins, themes, extensions or modules. Your best choice depends on a number of factors including what you want your website to do, your budget, your skill level, your Web designer’s skill level, and your goals. It is advisable to consult with your Web host regarding whether he or she can meet your technical requirements. Here are five helpful platforms to build a website to get you started.
A free open source option, Wordpress is a popular solution for bloggers and other publishers. You can choose the free online service and follow the online instructions or download the free software, upload it to your website address, and manage your site entirely online. An open source software, users can view the software code, change it, and share it for free or for a fee. Wordpress has an active user community that has developed many enhancements to the basic software. The self-hosted Wordpress site can be customized with themes, which are add-ons giving the website a new look and style. Multiple plugins can dramatically expand the abilities of your website to include a storefront, a bulletin board, advertising, search engine optimization tools, multi-site management, translation, visitor statistics, and affiliate links. A robust community with a user forum can provide assistance should you need it, as well as referrals for paid help. You can drop in blogs, upload photographs and allow others to register and become users, guest bloggers, and buyers.
Adobe has long been regarded as the provider of premiere professional publishing software. Its website software, Dreamweaver, provides visual site-creation tools as well as advanced capabilities for those who want to enter code directly into their pages. Adobe also produces the popular Adobe Indesign page layout software and Adobe Illustrator for logo and art creation, both which work seamlessly with Dreamweaver through Adobe’s Creative Suite. The suite is available in different configurations to suit your needs. You can buy Windows or Macintosh compatible versions, prepare your website and upload it to the Internet. Dreamweaver is compatible with Wordpress, Joomla! and Drupal.
NetObjects Fusion Essentials
A free Windows-based option, NetObjects Fusion Essentials offers a downloadable step-by-step guide covering the essentials of preparing a website and explaining how to add products, a photo gallery, a rotating banner, a table and site navigation tools. Paid upgrades are available for more advanced uses.
An open source software, Joomla! offers multiple capabilities to manage your content. Templates provide basic design; you can expand Joomla’s power through free and paid extensions and modules. Some of Joomla’s noteworthy abilities include multi-language support, banner management, polls, e-mail cloaking for security purposes, content syndication, and fast page loading. Extensions are available for banner images, chat, social networks, bulletin board automation, shopping carts, advertising, multiple sites and more. Its dynamic community provides a user forum, user groups around the globe, community events and a magazine.
Another open source option, Drupal is free and versatile with active community support and many add-ons to expand its innate capabilities. An installation profile includes the core software and pre-packaged additions for different uses. Drupal also is utilized for a wide variety of website applications. It is powerful and flexible, although it requires time to learn how to use. It is a good choice for software developers and has an active support community across the globe.
Hassan Bawab is the founder and CEO of Magic Logix, which provides social media, Web design, Web development and online marketing services to commercial clients.