Web page updates for the musically-inclined
January 23, 2007 8:55 PM   Subscribe

Help me update my group's website without pulling my hair out...

I play with a musical group that is presently (though hopefully not for much longer) doing all its own admin: finances, promotion, management, and website. We are trained in music, and untrained in everything else, so we end up spending WAY too much time trying to do tasks that, for the more technically savvy, should take just a few minutes. For example- simple content updates and revisions to our website.

Presently I'm using an html template and plugging in the relevant details of upcoming events, etc. However I find html code very tedious and dizzying to look at, so I would love to find a program (I know they exist) into which I can type normally and it will convert into code. The catch (and I'm not sure if this is much of a catch) is that we want to stick with the same layout, fonts, etc that we have already, so something like Google Page Creator, where you have to use their layouts, wouldn't work. Can you recommend any applications (bonus points if they're free) that would allow me to do this more easily, freeing up hours of my time for practise and surfing AskMefi?

posted by purplefiber to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
NVU: WYSIWYG HTML editor with site manangement features derived from Mozilla Composer.
There's a little bit of a curve, but I managed to train a wide range of computer users to use it to create eBay aution listings. I had a shortcut set to open the template, and they just hit upload when they were finished.
posted by niles at 9:15 PM on January 23, 2007

Obligatory WebGUI plug.

Setting up a website with WebGUI will probably take a good designer a *little* bit longer than traditional methods, but then it looks spiffy, and you're done with them -- you can do your maintenance yourself, from anywhere, without knowing any HTML or having your entire website stranded on One Guy's Laptop.

You can get it hosted for as little as $10 a month, or Plain Black, the creators of the package, will host it for you for $30 a month.
posted by baylink at 9:18 PM on January 23, 2007 [2 favorites]

Dreamweaver is a frequently recommended WYSIWIG HTML editor, that could do what you desire, if you can get past its cost and some of the negative reaction to Adobe's managment of the product since the MM takeover. No WYSIWIG tool is perfect, as all are a compromise between ease of use, and code flexibility. It doesn't sound as if you have any need of full design capability, and a WYSIWIG editor might be what you need, until you migrate your site to a full CMS, or put it under the care of a tech person, who will probably choose their own maintenance tools and approach, unless you insist on maintaining editorial privileges.
posted by paulsc at 9:31 PM on January 23, 2007

Mozilla Suite (not Firefox) comes with a very simple WYSIWYG editor. It's not fancy, but it works. I used it before I started learning HTML. I think development of Mozilla Suite has been somewhat abandoned since the dawn of Firefox, though.

There are also a number of very easy-to-use server-side editors. Wordpress and Drupal come immediately to mind. Get your geeky friend to install the software on your server for you and help you make some templates that stick with your page design. The rest will be easy.
posted by roll truck roll at 9:39 PM on January 23, 2007

I have a client who uses Contribute and is absolutely in love with it.

It's brought to you by the same people as Dreamweaver, only it's cheaper and with less bells and whistles. I don't have direct experience with it, but from my understanding it's fully WYSIWYG (i.e. no source view). As a code geek I think it would drive me bonkers. However, for your purposes — plugging in new tour dates and news updates — I think it would work well.

That said, I've done a few musician's websites and my rates are not bad, if you'd like to upgrade your experience a bit. My email's in my profile.
posted by Famous at 2:49 PM on January 24, 2007

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