It wasn’t that long ago when the only option you had to build a website was to use a HTML editor such as dreamweaver or frontpage and create your site by writing HTML code. The introduction of CSS added the ability to create amazing designs. And if you’re happy to pay a webdesigner and developer, or you are competent at coding, this won’t be a problem for you.
If you can write code, the recent release of HTML5 and CSS3 may even get you excited. Sitepoint think HTML5 and CSS3 is awesome and they have published a book called HTML5 & CSS3 for the real world to prove the point.
But what if you can’t code for toffee apples, don’t want to pay a developer, and want to build a professional looking website? Are there any tools to help you? Website building has become a lot easier than it use to be. There are now some amazing tools, and here are three that have impressed me.
Headway and Pagelines PlatformPro are both wordpress themes with a difference. They create designs using drag and drop and boast no coding is needed. Concrete5 is an open source CMS (Content Management System) that is really easy to learn and use. It’s great for both marketers and geeks.
The headway theme appears to be just one of many thousands of premium themes available for wordpress, however, it’s real power is revealed when you build a website or blog. In this week’s featured video, David from buzz media marketing, shows you how to design a business site in under 10 minutes starting with the default headway theme.
WordPress has revolutionised the building of not just blogs but websites too. Their famed 5 minute installation is easy for techies or you can outsource installation for a low price. WordPress is free but the headway theme will cost you $87. This is a low cost way to have a powerful business website building tool at your fingertips.
Pagelines are a California-based web design and development company. They have a small selection of wordpress themes and their latest is the platform pro theme. It’s called a drag and drop theme framework. This gives you easy and quick control of design, colours, typography and layout, without any coding. It even integrates with bbpress to create forums or buddypress to build a community site. Platform pro theme costs just $95.
Concrete5 is an open source, free CMS, which is easy use and install. It’s unique in that it’s been designed for site editors, designers and developers, who all have different needs. In 2003 Franz Maruna and Andrew Embler needed a fast way to design and build websites that were easy to use and maintain, flexible and robust. The concrete CMS was born and today it powers many thousands of websites.
Concrete5 can be used to create any kind of site and has an impressive array of features. You can easily change content from anywhere with in-context WYSIWYG editing. There is a showcase of sites, tested add-ons, active user community, forum and support. It’s easy to theme and HTML sites can be converted quickly. For the developer it has advanced features and functions. And it’s free. The testimonials are more like fan mail. Could it become the last and only website builder you ever use?
Website design and development has come a long way in the last decade. Your only problem now is choice. Which site builder should you choose? It’s got to be a tool that suits you; that you find quick and easy to learn and use. And it’s got to produce professional looking websites. These three tick all the boxes for me, so it’s down to your personal choice.
You really can build professional websites without coding.
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