Surfer mom
May 18, 2012 4:54 AM   Subscribe

What's a good place/way to set up a website for a parent?

I am looking around for a good solution for a website for my mother. I've tried searching, but mostly get results for online parental controls and occasionally for talk about the defunct business sites of parents. I'm looking to set something up which would be sort of an artists portfolio site. More of a personal site than a business site.

I have never done anything like this (setting up a site for a parent, or anyone non-technical) so any tips and suggestions are more than welcome.

A nice, easy interface is essential, including image uploading and posting. I don't want any solution which requires uploading to some external site, or manual copying of links/IDs/etc. I'm looking for effortless.

Multiple accounts would be nice too, in case anything goes wrong, or a password is lost. And also maybe (but this is hardly a requirement) a sort of non-public section in case she wants to share with a limited group of people.

I saw Squarespace, and thought it might be a good fit. Does anyone have any experience with them? The reason I thought this might be a good option is because everything seems to be rolled into one. It would for instance also would allow my mother to tweak the design without having to know what HTML or CSS is.

She has never had her own website. She does have a computer and sending email with links and photos is something she manages just fine, so she's not a technophobe, but I'm pretty sure a complex system would be a barrier to her using it.

Are there things I haven't mentioned that I should consider? All advice is welcome.

posted by bjrn to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Tumblr and WordPress (probably .com in this case) would be worth looking at, I think.
posted by backwards guitar at 5:07 AM on May 18, 2012 [2 favorites]

I set up Squarespace for my mom's small business/personal site and thought they did a great job on the interface. Some things could be easier, but overall it's a nice blend of capabilities and ease-of-use.

Hosted WordPress also tends to be fairly simple, though it can feel like overkill.
posted by odinsdream at 5:25 AM on May 18, 2012

Google's Free Blog space is very easy and a good starter site. Also, I know this sounds overly simple, but you can set up an artist's page on fb. Extremely easy.
posted by myselfasme at 5:48 AM on May 18, 2012

Google Sites or are both good options.
posted by COD at 6:10 AM on May 18, 2012

Posterous ( is an obvious answer. You can post by email and it will automatically embed the photos (and video links) and audio. It's easy to theme, although not very tweakable).
posted by Gilgongo at 6:13 AM on May 18, 2012

Not quite the same but I've used to allow a non-technical person to manage a site. Took a bit of initial setup, but it's pretty easy to get something up and running and it allows quite a lot flexibility if you need it later on.
posted by crocomancer at 6:38 AM on May 18, 2012

I like Weebly for this sort of thing. Everything's very simple. I suggest just checking it out by making a throwaway evaluation account.
posted by No Shmoobles at 7:01 AM on May 18, 2012

I asked this question before (although a while ago now) and got some good answers. I went with a Google Site thing in the end and it worked well.
posted by emilyw at 7:07 AM on May 18, 2012

I use Squarespace for my personal site and highly recommend it. It's easy to make a nice-looking site whether you have experience in web design or not. And their customer service is excellent. When the next version comes out it looks to be even more geared towards portfolio-type sites. You can always try the free trial.
posted by theuninvitedguest at 7:34 AM on May 18, 2012

I've been impressed by Weebly. They have surprisingly discreet advertising for such a robust permanently-free solution (a small line of text at the bottom edge of the site).
posted by lorimer at 9:02 AM on May 18, 2012

I set up a Squarespace site for an older relative and they have found it very easy to use after initial walk-through. I didn't get up a gallery, though, so can't comment on that element.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:17 PM on May 18, 2012

Thank you all for your answers.

Since the main options all seem to be free or have a free trial period, I'll probably set up an account on each, poke around a bit, and let my mother decide which she likes best.
posted by bjrn at 3:58 AM on May 19, 2012

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