Fast Web Development Tool Needed
March 16, 2008 5:10 PM   Subscribe

What's the best web site builder software for a non-beginner?

I know there are a lot of applications out there for beginners who don't want/need to learn HTML, but I want to create a number of basic sites (20-30) quickly (within a week) and then edit the HTML, do some SEO for each, etc.

Desired features:
- choice from a number of templates
- ability to easy add content (text, graphics/pics, multimedia)
- ability to eventually expand the site to develop more than 100 pages per site (i.e. I don't want an application that limits the number of pages in a site)

I'm open to either
- a standalone web site builder application (e.g.
- a hosted application (e.g. HostGator's built-in Web Site Builder)
- a traditional CMS
but the speed to create a site is the most important feature for me

I use HostGator for my hosting and Dreamweaver 8 for my editing/design/development.

Thanks in advance.
posted by jurczyk to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Joomla and Drupal are both good picks.
posted by lunchbox at 5:42 PM on March 16, 2008

You could check out MediaWiki and its available extensions.
posted by Smart Dalek at 5:49 PM on March 16, 2008

What do you want to do with the sites? I've been using Wordpress for non-blog purposes. It's pretty damn quick. Joomla and Drupal are great, but depending on what you want to do, the learning curve is a lot steeper.

For a wiki, I like TikiWiki, or for a hosted wiki, there's nothing faster than pbwiki.
posted by edjusted at 7:11 PM on March 16, 2008

Seconding Drupal.

The Drupal handbook has lots of tutorials that tell you just what's involved in setting up a new site.

Doing the kind of straightforward site you describe is easy with the built-in tools. If you decide you want to add bells and whistles later, Drupal has hundreds of modules (plug-ins).
posted by kristi at 7:12 PM on March 16, 2008


posted by unixrat at 8:59 PM on March 16, 2008

Loves me some Drupal too, but there's a pretty significant learning curve if you want to use it seriously.
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:24 PM on March 16, 2008

Sounds like you could easily get what you needed out of a wordpress install.
posted by FidelDonson at 11:37 PM on March 16, 2008

Head over to OpenSourceCMS and have a good long look, they have live demos of tons of CMS's, including the admin page for each.
You're bound to find something in the list that fits your needs best.
posted by arungoodboy at 4:27 AM on March 17, 2008

Might want to have a look at this thread from some time back. A lot of good suggestions there, as well as some gotchas about Drupal. I'd steer clear of Drupal unless you're really ready to invest some time. Sounds like WordPress with a heavily modded theme might suit you best. YMMV, of course.
posted by littlerobothead at 6:26 AM on March 17, 2008

posted by kirkaracha at 6:47 AM on March 17, 2008

I would recommend against ExpressionEngine. It's not that great, costs money for the full featured version, and doesn't play well with others. Nthing joomla or drupal, or if what you need to do is pretty simple, just use wordpress.
posted by zazerr at 12:20 PM on March 17, 2008

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