Resources for the Uninspired or Busy Web Designer

When I started to learn web design back in the dark ages of the interweb – in 1995 – we had to do it all via the lovely program of Notepad and I had to learn HTML by hand, which is frankly – a very good way to learn to code things.  I also try to explain to my children (who are teenagers) that I learned to code BASIC on a computer the size of our fridge at a terminal with my coat on because the room was kept cold so the computer wouldn’t overheat – yep – I’m the same age as the dinosaurs and cave people.  Then came lovely WYSIWYG programs that did the HTML for you – it was pretty much just a word processing program – but you still should have known your code because you often had to write a lot of the back end stuff yourself and now……now – you can either pay a designer or get a CMS system – depending on your preference.  

I, in my very humble opinion as a current freelance web designer will recommend a CMS system for novices who want to have control over being able to edit the content on the fly.  My SLDO contracts with our host for a CMS system – and it has its benefits and detriments.

Benefits:

  • So easy,  it’s even hard for me to mess it up
  • I can manage it any where at any time – I just log in and edit away
  • The look and feel of the site is guaranteed to be the same no matter how many pages I add

Detriments

  • It’s not Mac friendly – and since we’re a Mac office – I can sometimes screw up the code and have to back to a PC to fix it.
  • I can’t access the source code – so I can’t change the keywords or title of the page for SEO purposes
  • Someone else writes the CSS code – so if I want to play with the look and feel of fonts or navigation – it’s a process

If I was going to build a SLDO site from scratch – I would approach it different – in fact – I would use a system like WordPress here.  Find a host, download the software and then launch.  It has been recommended by other web designers for other clients.  For more information, click on wordpress.org/.  

There are tons of places around the web that give tutorials or templates – here are some that I’ve run across in my research

What has been most helpful in my search for this type of solution is talking to other women techies & developers – they don’t mind dumb questions.  If you get into this – do a search on Digital Eve in your area – it’s a great listserve for this type of support.

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