Help me find a website (non CMS/Blog) program/tool for my wife.
December 29, 2007 1:31 AM   Subscribe

My wife and I have a small family farm. While I run a few websites that are hand coded, Wordpress or Joomla based, with galleries and more, she can not handle that. We are trying to find a simple website creation program for her to maintain the farms website.



The one we are testing and it almost what we need is 'Website Baker'. It is a PHP web application that is somewhat WYSIWYG. The big gripe we have is image handling. If we have a large photo from a camera and want to place it on the website, it can not create thumbnails or a browser friendly size. You have to upload the images before you can use them on the page, etc. You can not have images float on the page to the right or left of the page, they have to be within a paragraph break.

We don't need commenting, blogging, ratings, voting or anything like that. We are looking for software that will let her create the website, a professional non crap looking page. I can do the templating, that is not the problem.

The software needs to be able to create a static page for an animal. That page will contain its recent genetics along with a few paragraphs about the animal. Photographs are required on the pages.

If the menu system can support sub pages/categories, that is great.
Example:
Breed 1
Animal 1
Animal 2
Animal 3
Breed 2
Animal 1
Animal 2

Nvu, Frontpage, Dreamweaver, etc. are not an option. Web based apps get bonus points. It will be on a Linux server running Apache web server with MySQL and all of the usual stuff.

Thanks for any, and I mean any, suggestions.
posted by Leenie to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Sorry for the layout of the question. I think it is too late for me to be working on this.
posted by Leenie at 1:32 AM on December 29, 2007


I don't use the software, but it looks like Website Baker does have the ability to resize photos under certain conditions—this documentation page on news pages says the Settings button reveals a Resize Images To... option. If you're creating all your pages in the WYSIWYG interface, this might not work, but the code is in the Website Baker software somewhere.

As for your other concerns: it sounds like the inability to float an image is a problem with the WYSIWYG editor Website Baker uses, as opposed to an intrinsic problem with Website Baker itself; I'll bet someone's figured out a workaround. And uploading an image before you can place it in layout is the way nearly all web-based CMSes work; even Wordpress requires you to upload an image before you can insert it into a post. I doubt you're going to find a web-based solution that doesn't involve image uploads.

You may want to ask the Website Baker forums with more specifics about what it is you're trying to do. You may not have to drop Website Baker, and if it does 90% of what you need it to do out of the box, that's pretty good.
posted by chrominance at 1:46 AM on December 29, 2007


Uploading stuff is pretty painless if you use the FireFTP extension for Firefox. It's a full featured FTP client that opens in a Firefox tab with a simple click on a Firefox toolbar button, you can set up one-click login to any FTP server, and it has this neat "show on the Web" feature: once you've set that up, you can just right-click any uploaded file and have it displayed in another Firefox tab, which makes for easy copying of the web address for pasting into whatever.
posted by flabdablet at 5:18 AM on December 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


The big gripe we have is image handling. If we have a large photo from a camera and want to place it on the website, it can not create thumbnails or a browser friendly size. You have to upload the images before you can use them on the page, etc. You can not have images float on the page to the right or left of the page, they have to be within a paragraph break.

Do you have Photoshop? If so, you can automate resizing a folder of images.

Have you tried ExpressionEngine? It can resize images and create thumbnails. It would allow you to create the templates, which you wife could then use to update the site.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:27 AM on December 29, 2007


Do you have Photoshop? If so, you can automate resizing a folder of images.

You don't need photoshop to do this. Just download Irfanview (free) which can batch resize any folder quickly and efficiently.
posted by special-k at 5:53 AM on December 29, 2007


Why, exactly, is Dreamweaver et al not an option? Just curious, especially since it's probably one of the few options that would actually allow you to cut and paste in your picture, and offers you total control over layout in the WYSIWYG.

And why is a CMS tool out of the question as well? I mean, this is what you are doing. And if you have mySQL running, a dynamic (vs static) page should not be a problem either, unless for some reason you are expecting millions of hits on your farm website.

My recommendation would be to choose any one of the numerous Open Source cms tools out there. I'm guessing there are some that have been designed to be especially easy and simple. Any decent AJAX-based website design tool is going to offer features like automatic image cropping, etc.

Another option is uploading all of your images via flickr and using it as the source for images. I'm pretty sure you can link to those images from another site.
posted by Deathalicious at 5:55 AM on December 29, 2007


Do you need to host it on your own server? Have you looked at Google Apps? It was covered in a post on lifehacker a few weeks ago. You're able to use your own domain name, but have the site hosted on Google's servers, using their interface.

I've used Googlepages a little bit for our wedding web site, and if your web pages are static as you describe , it may have the functionality you need. It resizes images, is WYSIWYG, and was very easy for my wife to use (if we're using the wife benchmark).

Going to Google may be a step back for a guy who's running his own web servers, but I think it might meet the rest of your criteria.
posted by reckman at 6:11 AM on December 29, 2007


tried rapidweaver? it's really versatile and has a wealth of layouts available to the non-coder/non-designer. mac-only.
posted by patricking at 9:32 AM on December 29, 2007


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