Recommend an idiot-proof website maker

My aged Mother-in-law has been a typical consumer PC user for years. She knows what she knows, but her knowledge has a real cliff at the edge, and she does’t learn as well as she used to (Not that I’m dissing her; she’s a wonderful lady).

Now that she has high-speed access, she want to make up a personal website, the usual claptrap with pictures of her cat and some “witty” sayings. Maybe 10 pages total, but lots of static graphics. Her ISP, as is typical, gives her umpteen MB of server space included in the price. As a Depression baby, the idea of an unused “free” thing is tearing her up; she’s just gotta get something out there.

So she calls me for a software recommendation for web page/site authoring. Shit lady, I write the stuff, I don’t use it. Certainly not consumer stuff.

So I’m looking for a simple, easy to use, cheap program that’ll let her compose a few pages and upload it to wherever. It needs to be pretty auto on the upload; she can’t seem to grasp the idea that any referenced graphics files are separate entities that have to be sent to the web server too.

It needs to be able to do more than just fill-out-the-canned-template-and-save, but I sure don’t want to let her near FrontPage or Dreamweaver.

So I ask the experts … What should I get for her?? (And remember, you’re talking to her tech support dept, so I get to service your suggestion :rolleyes: )

How about she dumps the images into a word doc and saves it as html? It generates some crappy code, but it is a bout as simple as it gets.

Given the title, I’d recommend Notepad…
I think you mean “idiot-friendly”.

I can’t think of any “easy to use” all-in-one WYSIWYG and web-sync page builder. There are website management suites that can do all that, but I think you want to limit her so she can only contribute yet another “Aren’t my cats cute” animated GIF monstrosity.

I’d point her to W3C, HTML Goodies, and other similar sites, explain the “View Source” option of whatever browser she uses, and see what she can work out on her own. I’d rather give her the tools to become a powerful web developer saying “You may not need or understand most of this stuff to begin with, but it’s there for you if you want to do more.”

Most ISPs provide tools for making a simple web page. My children made ones with some pictures, text, and comments pages when they were about 10. Once is usually enough for doing this sort of thing; no sense in spending money.

The first one I did was just Word files which I uploaded using my college’s ftp server.

Then I did one using Yahoo! Pagebuilder. Never got the hang of html, but I’m at the cutting edge of cut and paste these days :wink:

I found it pretty intuitive.

Apple’s .Mac service has Homepage, a nice template-based system. You can also auto-create some pages from their iPhoto and iMovie programs, or just upload regular HTML files.

I’ve had good luck with Cool Page . It’s inexpensive, WYSIWYG, and fairly self-explanatory. Uploading is automatic for most ISPs - all the parameters are already loaded.

Thanks for the various suggestions everyone. I’ll play with these ideas and see what works for her.