What should I use to create a website my dad can update by himself?
April 23, 2008 4:29 PM   Subscribe

What should I use to create a website my dad can update by himself?

I have told my dad I'd create a portfolio website for him a while ago and now I am finally getting around to it. I am wondering what I should use to design it so that he can make changes to it himself later on.

- he has registered a domain name (I'm still shopping around for hosting)
- he has a photography business, which is what the website would primarily be for, but he also wants sections for his other interests like antique books

I was making several websites with Dreamweaver back in 2003, but haven't created anything since.

The last company I worked for used Joomla, which I liked (except for the numbered URLs)

My dad would like to be able to make changes to the site. He is quite good with computers in general, but I don't think he'd be up for learning Dreamweaver.

- Should I go with something like Joomla? Wordpress? Blogger? The site itself will be relatively simple, but he will probably want to make changes from time to time. What would you recommend for this?

Thanks for your help, just discovered this site and I LOVE IT!
posted by Flying Squirrel to Computers & Internet (26 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
I am in the process of building a site for a client. For editing/adding text and pictures, we are going with cushycms.
posted by B(oYo)BIES at 4:47 PM on April 23, 2008 [2 favorites]

I just built my site using squarespace and I cannot say enough in praise of it. For easy to use web-based software, I think it looks far better than blogger or wordpress and is just as easy to use.
posted by Bookhouse at 4:59 PM on April 23, 2008

I've been amazed at full-blown websites created only with Wordpress. It is so easy to make changes and updates, yet with heavy use of static pages it makes for a great website creation tool. Here's a place that does Wordpress website templates - just to give you an idea, I'll link to one of their templates (a golf-themed website) that shows a site with simple gallery, etc.
You'll find it here.

Good luck!
posted by Gerard Sorme at 5:09 PM on April 23, 2008

If you're going to include a lot of images, you may want to consider a Flickr Pro account (25 bucks a year for unlimited images!). It'll probably be cheaper than getting a humongantic webhosting account. Flickr integrates with pretty much every CMS around, including Wordpress and Joomla.
posted by theiconoclast31 at 5:11 PM on April 23, 2008

I'll second Wordpress. I just set up a web site for a guy at work who had absolutely no experience with anything other than typing in Word. He now happily updates his Wordpress site (not a blog), including uploading photos and files. It's pretty amazing.
posted by jdl at 5:26 PM on April 23, 2008

Everything that's said about wordpress is true. You can't go past it for ease of use.
I'll also point you towards gallery2, which does photographs far better than WP's integrated uploader, and which integrates into WP.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 5:40 PM on April 23, 2008

Use WordPress. It's good for everything. Always.
posted by devlin at 5:41 PM on April 23, 2008

Check out viewbook.com...hopefully to be taken out of beta shortly. Imbedable too.
posted by sully75 at 5:48 PM on April 23, 2008

I'd use Joomla. I used this service provider for at least 5 websites I've set up for friends. Set-up is a snap. You pay like $2 a month, and as soon as you register there's a wysiwyg editor that allows you to instal Joomla (or wordpress) in one click. After that, you don't have to touch any code. You can simply use the default Joomla templates, or google "Joomla Template" and easily install one of the hundreds of free templates. That's my vote.
posted by xotis at 6:57 PM on April 23, 2008

posted by Webbster at 7:12 PM on April 23, 2008

Weebly! http://www.weebly.com/

Or wordpress.
posted by jesirose at 7:13 PM on April 23, 2008

I made a website using dreamweaver for the local preschool and the teachers have found it extremely easy to update. I made them their own instruction sheets and I was thrilled the other day to see they had created a new g2 album, uploaded pictures and embedded them in a new post. These are teachers who kept telling me beforehand that they were "glazing over" when I was talking about "technical subjects" like domain names and such.
posted by slightlybewildered at 7:23 PM on April 23, 2008

> What is the html editor he uses in that screencast?
posted by pedmands at 7:37 PM on April 23, 2008

Oh no... I mean wordpress. What am I talking about? Wordpress.
posted by slightlybewildered at 7:44 PM on April 23, 2008

eh, nothing is easier than has a portfolio since all you need to do is add images through tumblr and tumblr makes wordpress look terribly overcomplicated and unwieldy. indexhibit is also a dream to use, and very flexible.
posted by lia at 8:10 PM on April 23, 2008

I also recommend you check out the aforementioned Gallery2. If you decide to go this route, you may want to choose GoDaddy as a hosting company. They have a slick interface that allows you to install Gallery2, Wordpress, Joomla, and tons of other nifty applications with just a few clicks. Try them out; it's just as easy to uninstall the ones you don't like.
posted by upplepop at 8:56 PM on April 23, 2008

I would recommend Wordpress over Joomla. WP is super easy to use, especially with the new dashbord in 2.5, while Joomla is very powerful but not very user friendly.
posted by gemmy at 9:19 PM on April 23, 2008

there's always http://sites.google.com/ it's fairly simple to embed picasaweb slideshows. it's not very flexible in terms of design, but it's free and simple
posted by maulik at 9:59 PM on April 23, 2008

>he has a photography business, which is what the website would primarily be for, but he also wants sections for his other interests like antique books

Slight derail, but, if that's what he wants to do, he should really have two websites. It will look very unprofessional if he has business and hobby/private stuff on the same site.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 11:32 PM on April 23, 2008

Contribute! It is DreamWeaver lite. Or go the long route...iMac and iWeb. The whole suite of i apps make it damn easy to create and modify WebPages.
posted by Gungho at 4:21 AM on April 24, 2008

Another vote for WordPress, with a gallery plug-in for his photography.
posted by LolaGeek at 4:54 AM on April 24, 2008

Thank you for this question! I'm in the same boat with my Dad. And it looks like he and I will also be going the Wordpress route (and also maybe changing hosting company to GoDaddy) thanks to friends' recommendations, and info here.
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 8:40 AM on April 24, 2008

I'm using Joomla, but maybe its little too complex and probably an overkill for your dad. I would suggest a blog (wordpress) platform or a wiki (Docuwiki).
posted by WizKid at 8:53 AM on April 24, 2008

There are a lot of places besides godaddy that install scripts like Joomla and Wordpress with one click. A Small Orange and Servers and Domans both have Fantastico, which installs 50+ scripts, and their rates are $25 or $30 a year for hosting.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 2:03 PM on April 24, 2008

I nth WordPress + Gallery.
posted by exhilaration at 2:13 PM on April 24, 2008

Response by poster: Wow, thanks for all the thoughtful responses. This is very helpful -- lots to go on here and it seems like Wordpress is the consensus!
posted by Flying Squirrel at 6:33 PM on April 24, 2008

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