Easy way to set up a web-page myself?

I asked this question about five years ago, and I’m afraid the answers were too cumbersome for my techno-peasant self.

I’m going to re-ask, hoping that in the past five years, technology will have come to my aid.

Is there an easy way for me to set up a web-page for a small non-profit group I belong to? I don’t want it to be on a blog page, like Google offers, and I don’t want to use Facebook, because it’s too cluttered with all the adverts, and invitations to like, and what all. It would be hosted on a url provided via GoDaddy.

I really want it simple: a banner across the top, with the name and logo of the organization, and then two, maybe three columns underneath: one column, very static, for things like contact info; a middle column, to list events, which I can update easily and regularly myself, with new events pushing past events down the page until they drop off; and a third column, with more long-term info that will likely be more static, but may need to be changed from time to time.

i use a Mac / Safari, but I would want it to be Windows compatible, probably for IE and Chrome.

Any thoughts? Bueller?

Quick question. Why don’t you want it to be on a blog page?

I just ask because your events list seems very like a blog function, and the main blog providers (Google, Wordpress) have gotten pretty good at giving you easy ways to manage your site that don’t look like traditional blogs. I haven’t tried doing something exactly like your layout in Wordpress, and I don’t have direct experience with managing Google/Blogspot, but I suspect you could get something that looks pretty good without a whole lot of trouble.

On edit: I have also heard good things about Squarespace.

For bare-bones HTML, you can learn enough in a weekend to put it together yourself, and could have done so 15 years ago as well. There also existed, and still do, free WYSIWYG tools to make it even easier.

It probably won’t be pretty, though. If that matters to you, then you probably want to hire someone. To make a really nice webpage requires artistic ability as much as technical ability, and that’s not something easily learned.

Find a student at a local school. They may even do it for free so they can add it to their resume/portfolio.

This will work. I lost some of my smaller clients to this system and was very impressed at what they managed to do with zero skill.

That’s me! :slight_smile:

Squarespace is great.

Barring that, if you have any money at all, I’d just bit it out to 99designs.com. Offer some measly amount, like $100 - $200, and you’ll still probably get something better than what you can make on your own.

Buy a domain and a hosting service, upload Wordpress software or something similar (I use textpattern, but it is pretty simple and I’m thinking of switching), and spend a weekend figuring out how to use it. The difference here is between having a domain like nonprofitblog.wordpress.com on a server that Wordpress owns, versus having a domain like nonprofit.org on a server that you control (well rent, but it’s a start – you can host your own content if you want later).

You upload a template you like. There will be some special page you log into to upload content, and it will probably look a lot like the dope – a big text box to type in, and some buttons on the side to markup the text with formatting and pictures. I think something like this is a sweet spot between writing your own HTML, 90s style, and paying someone a lot of money for a custom design. This way you get a decent template and the ability to control it yourself.

And don’t use GoDaddy.

Why not?

dreamhost.com will give free hosting to non-profit charitable organizations. Evern if you are not a 501c3 organization the hosting cost is pretty cheap $9 a month is you buy it for 2 years. The free hosting is their lowest tier of hosting but if you don’t have anything fancy like a big database of dynamically generated content anything more is over kill.


Seconded using Dreamhost, WordPress and avoiding GoDaddy.

WordPress doesn’t have to look like a blog; but it needs a lot of security plugins, and upgrades a lot. Add the former and you can ignore the latter.

Nearly all the web is platform agnostic as far as viewing is concerned. Microsoft put up the bravest fight in history against the alien imposition of Universal Standards ( not written by themselves ), but in the end even the infamous Internet Explorer folded.

Godaddy is fine when it comes to registering domain names. I have over 100 with them.

All their other services are shit.

You rang? :slight_smile:

I am indeed studying web design. I will admit that I may not be local, depending on your definition of ‘local’…

WordPress.com will handle all the hosting, security and upgrades for you, if that’s what you want. It’s free for the basics, paid only if you want extras.

There are also other managed WordPress hosts, and managed hosting for other CMS applications. I’d strongly recommend going with something managed unless you have a very good reason not to.

Disclosure: I work for the company that runs WordPress.com.

DrCube pretty much nails it. Wordpress and similar systems are actually what are called “content management systems”: they keep track of all the interrelations and formats and styles and colours and whatnot of all the different pieces of info you might want to put on your website, so you don’t have to.

Once the initial setup is done, you just log on and add updates, and it’s all automatically formatted and made pretty. It is indeed a bit of a sweet spot between handling all the details yourself and hiring someone to do all the details and updates for you.

And yes, I’ll also say, “Don’t host with GoDaddy.” I found that the amount of upselling they do is ridiculous. Even on my account’s internal configuration pages, they were always trying to get me to buy upgrades, and the pages were arranged so that the most obvious thing to do was always buy the upgrade, rather than just let me go to the page containing the thing I wanted to do. Very annoying and obstructive. I did not renew my contract, and now host with a local outfit.

I agree with domain/wordpress. You can do anything with wordpress.

I’ve had problems of slow loads with godaddy hosting in the past, but generally just a slight delay here and there with page loading. It’s been stellar over the last year or so, given that we host several sites with not very high traffic though, and it costs us only $50/year, regardless of how many new sites or domains we add.

ETA: Not sure if our unlimited site plan is still available.

A properly constructed web site is user independent. There are quirks in the way a particular browser renders a page. Among the Tier I browsers, Chrome, Firefox and Opera are the best. The worst are IE and Safari.

Ideally build it using HTML5. Plenty of free templates available.