Super easy, foolproof web design and hosting?
March 9, 2006 6:41 PM   Subscribe

I need an easy (free or very cheap) way to make and host websites. I've been using blogger since it is free and easy, but I'd ideally like more of a website format, rather than a blog format (no comments, and being able to keep my main messages right at the top). Any advice appreciated.

I'm extremely clueless when it comes to webdesign and hosting. Which is why blogger has been so nice. I've designed this blog at:

for a campaign i'm working on (i'm not trying to be self promotional, just so you get an idea of what I'm trying to do.) I'd like to do this kind of thing often, but could really use an easy way to make and host a website. Any help appreciated.
posted by krudiger to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
A few to try: Google Pages if it ever comes back up, Infogami, PBWiki. All very easy and free, though you don't get your own domain name.
posted by Jeanne at 6:54 PM on March 9, 2006

Hmm, what is a "website format"? Everything on the web is a website, even blogs. Do you have an example of a website that you'd like to emulate?
posted by delmoi at 7:45 PM on March 9, 2006

If you have, or plan to buy your own domain name, you can host it for free at something liek The band I've been with has been using it for YEARS with no issues. charges like $4 a month for hosting, which is peanuts compared to everybody else. Comes with site builders.

Awardspace has a free plan as well. Eventually you'd want your own domain name. Get it. It's dirt cheap nowadays.

Don't worry too much about design and such. Get a free design at Open Source Web Design and get a program like NVU, which is WYSIWYG, to put it all together. Domains are $2/ year at godaddy, if you get hosting from them (at $4/month).
posted by Sallysings at 7:47 PM on March 9, 2006 [1 favorite]

The golden age of free and easy website hosting has passed, sadly. I yearn for the days when you could get a bajillion megabytes of space and unlimited bandwith through geocities and tripod.

I haven't personally tried it, but Typepad (hosted Moveable Type weblogs) might work for you. If the level of customization is anything like that found in MT, you could make a site that doesn't necessarily resemble a weblog with it. Of course, it's not really cheap...

If you can get cheap actual website hosting (or free, so long as you have access to PHP and a MySQL database) I would highly recommend TextPattern. I've used it for a few different projects now, and I'm in love with it. It's a content management system that, while primarily used for managing blogs, can certainly be used to design a non-weblog site. There's a bit of a learning curve though, and you have to have a knowledge of HTML, so it might not work in this case.

If you're just going for a simple design, you might want to check out Seamonkey (formerly the Mozilla suite). The WYSIWYG html editor is really quite nice, and unless I'm mistaken, you can upload straight to a site from the editor. Couple that with the fact that the Mozilla team has tweaked Seamonkey quite a bit to much faster. It actually runs smoother on my PC than Firefox does, which is strange.

Erm, sorry I wasn't more helpful. I'll search through my bookmarks, I might be able to find something that's more applicable to your situation.
posted by kryptondog at 7:55 PM on March 9, 2006
posted by jason9009 at 8:25 PM on March 9, 2006

for the record, you can do those things in blogger.

modify the template html & you can do whatever you want, pretty much.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 8:42 PM on March 9, 2006

I would get some cheap hosting (self-link: Dreamhost is doing one of their periodic $10 for a year including domain registration deals at the moment) and use Movable Type (mostly because that's the content management system I'm most familiar with, and it's free for one user/noncommercial). It's flexible enough that you can do pretty much anything you want with it, and mix static and dynamic content.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:03 PM on March 9, 2006

If you're going to use dreamhost you might as well use wordpress. It's a one click intall from your control panel.
posted by justgary at 10:57 PM on March 9, 2006

'struth. I'm not as familiar with Wordpress, so I didn't think of it, but you're right, it's a one-click install, and installing MT can be a little scary and confusing for nontechnical folks.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:06 PM on March 9, 2006

I'm using 1and1 and Wordpress for a personal blog and a free church web host and Wordpress as a CMS for my church. I find Wordpress to be so flexible and fun to use with lots of support. You can use it right out of the box, as I am on my personal site, or do serious mods, like on my church site.
posted by Biblio at 12:08 AM on March 10, 2006

So ... I'm getting the impression there's a church involved somewhere..?
posted by AmbroseChapel at 1:24 AM on March 10, 2006

But you have to use Internet Explorer.
posted by Roger Dodger at 7:28 AM on March 10, 2006

And then you have to go on a waiting list for a product key:

What’s a Product Key?
To sign up for the Microsoft® Office Live beta, you will need your own 25-digit Product Key. A Product Key is a unique identifier that helps us associate a small business owner with a specific beta product.

Don’t have a Product Key?
If you don’t have your 25-digit Product Key, click here to get one.

NOTE: Due to the number of requests we have received for this beta, we cannot guarantee participation. If you are selected as a beta participant, you will receive an e-mail message from us that will include your Product Key and additional instructions.

I've now discovered that all of my hotmail accounts are so inactive they've been emptied. Sigh. I'm dying to see it though.
posted by ceri richard at 8:10 AM on March 10, 2006

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