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  • Easy web design software?

    Evening all

    I currently have a website with Mr Site, which is fine and works and has everything I have needed to get me started, however I am looking into the future here, and would something with more flexibility.

    Ideally something I can build myself, but allows me to change and add things, without the restrictions of something like Mr site, like pop up's, headers, layout, promo codes and all sorts of things that I consider to be my next step and are frustrating me at present.

    I am not a complete novice when it comes to web design, I did Comp science as my degree and used Java and Hot Metal Pro to design a website for my dissertation, but that was several years ago now, and I never learnt HTML (although I can pick up basics, I'm sure)

    to get to the point..... can anyone recommend a reasonably easy (not all in html) web software programme that I can purchase and work on a new website in slow time - I don't want a pre packaged company such as Mr Site or Do your own site etc..

    Hope I've made sense, and if anyone can help (with the above problem - it's too late for me!) thanks very much.

    Stacey

  • #2
    OScommerce is the leading open sourced eshop scripts thats free to use and completely customise.

    If you want a full list go to Paypal.

    Look at their partners list (cant remember link, but just search on paypals website search tool and it will come up)

    The partner list contains around 75 free and pay for shop scripts you can use all intergrateable with paypal of course

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    • #3
      I use Dreamweaver. It's great and gives you total control, but it's not cheap.
      Elinor
      x

      My Misi page
      Follow me on Twitter

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      • #4
        Originally posted by cupcake View Post
        I use Dreamweaver. It's great and gives you total control, but it's not cheap.
        Which actually makes something like Microsoft Visual Web Developer (Express Edition) more tempting - especially as the OP has used Java in the past (C# is very similar in some respects).

        That said, though, if you want to sell things through your website - I'm trying to find a polite way to say this! - don't. We've put over a man-year into our framework so far, and have been doing this programming lark for a while

        If you don't want to sell stuff, then theres no reason not to try - but in that case, you probably don't need very much more than HTML + JavaScript - which you could actually do without any sort of IDE/Programming Environment - just get a good text editor (e.g. TextPad), and a book - and curl up with 'em!

        Good luck!
        --Matt

        Web Development
        Beads, Charms & Findings - Jersey Craft Shop

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        • #5
          I bought a 'Mr Site' package in the Summer with the intention of using it to build our website. However, I couldn't get it to work satisfactorily (I think the computer & internet connection I was using at the time was just too s l o w ...) so I went Waterstones and bought myself a book:

          'Sams Teach Yourself HTML and CSS' and used it to build our site.

          I can reccomend this book - easy to read and use and I'm sure you could build your own site too! (I must admit, I found it good fun as well, but I'm more of a techie and it's Becky that is the creative & crafty one!)

          Best of luck

          Jeff
          site: www.dotsandspots.biz
          blog: http://dotsandspotsdesign.blogspot.com/
          MISI page: www.dotsandspots.misi.me.uk

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          • #6
            Originally posted by matt.chatterley View Post
            Which actually makes something like Microsoft Visual Web Developer (Express Edition) more tempting - especially as the OP has used Java in the past (C# is very similar in some respects).

            That said, though, if you want to sell things through your website - I'm trying to find a polite way to say this! - don't. We've put over a man-year into our framework so far, and have been doing this programming lark for a while

            If you don't want to sell stuff, then theres no reason not to try - but in that case, you probably don't need very much more than HTML + JavaScript - which you could actually do without any sort of IDE/Programming Environment - just get a good text editor (e.g. TextPad), and a book - and curl up with 'em!

            Good luck!
            ooh C#, Java, the thought makes me shudder. Can't get my head round them at all. I'm actually quite good with HTML, just lazy, that's why I like Dreamweaver. I thought the OP wanted to avoid doing any HTML though.

            Kompozer is supposed to be a pretty good freeware alternative to Dreamweaver, I've never tried it, but as it's free it might be worth a look.
            Elinor
            x

            My Misi page
            Follow me on Twitter

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            • #7
              Originally posted by cupcake View Post
              ooh C#, Java, the thought makes me shudder. Can't get my head round them at all. I'm actually quite good with HTML, just lazy, that's why I like Dreamweaver. I thought the OP wanted to avoid doing any HTML though.

              Kompozer is supposed to be a pretty good freeware alternative to Dreamweaver, I've never tried it, but as it's free it might be worth a look.
              On the bright side (for me), if everybody could get their head around everything, I'd be unemployed.

              You're right though, it does depend heavily on what the OP wants to achieve, and how - there are lots of options out there, really - ranging from free to cheap to expensive!

              Apart from that (and a bit of learning), imagination is the limit, really - and that shouldn't be a problem for crafty folk!
              --Matt

              Web Development
              Beads, Charms & Findings - Jersey Craft Shop

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              • #8
                i thought he was looking for open source free scripts where it works alrdy but you can edit the html etc when as where you want

                Another good edititor i use is php designer 2007

                You can edit css, html, php, xml, sql, js, c, etc etc and run it on your own local host setup so you dont need to get hosting to launch and test your site out

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                • #9
                  Like Cupcake I use Dreamweaver and I love it.
                  It's so visual and I can (more or less) follow it's logic (or if not, find a way round it).

                  So Matt, are you saying that if you want to create a site with a shopping cart it's better to ditch Dreamweaver et al and go for one of the 75 Paypal partner website builders?

                  I'm asking on belhalf of my son's up and coming (we live in hopes) rock band who want to sell their music....and badges and T shirts and....and is about to start making a new site - today-

                  AnnieAnna

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                  • #10
                    Hmmm, some food for thought. I think I'd rather steer clear of full on programming if I can and really just utilise any programming to add on funky extras etc... (sorry for my lack of technical language!)

                    I'll have a look at some of the free ones, but had thought about dreamweaver, especially since they are doing a 30 day free trial - would be interested though Matt if you think this is no good for e-commerce as above.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by staceyjlew View Post
                      Hmmm, some food for thought. I think I'd rather steer clear of full on programming if I can and really just utilise any programming to add on funky extras etc... (sorry for my lack of technical language!)

                      I'll have a look at some of the free ones, but had thought about dreamweaver, especially since they are doing a 30 day free trial - would be interested though Matt if you think this is no good for e-commerce as above.
                      The issue with eCommerce is more - how will you do it?

                      If you want to use one of the 'free' frameworks (e.g osCommerce, et al), then you will need to start there, and learn how to edit/add/amend the page templates which they utilize - although there are good resources out there for most of them.

                      But if you plan to build your own site entirely - then you can't avoid 'full on' programming AND have eCommerce! I think part of my point was just that rolling your own eCommerce solution (e.g. avoiding the free/budget frameworks which are available for incorporation) is not practical - it's a lot of work.

                      There are various other carts, et al which can be integrated with - although you will need a bit of programming knowledge, and also you will need to pick the cart first, as you may be placed under technological restrictions (e.g. if it is built in PHP, you will probably want to interface via PHP!)

                      Obviously, I have a bit of a bias here, and am not terrible "pro" some of the free/budget solutions - but they do have their place in the market (otherwise they would have disappeared!).

                      There are other options ala hosted carts - e.g. the PayPal cart, but I'd strongly recommend steering completely clear of these!

                      Hope that is of some help, and not just confusing? I'm a bit confused now, lol.
                      --Matt

                      Web Development
                      Beads, Charms & Findings - Jersey Craft Shop

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                      • #12
                        i mentioned the paypal 75 sites lol

                        They are not website builders.

                        Basically they are prebuilt shops that have no targetted audience. You can download the shop and upload on your own hosting and it will work straight away, they are paypal partners for the payment system they have intergrated is usable with paypal.

                        You get complete source, but you need to know html to beable to change the design

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by AnnieAnna View Post
                          Like Cupcake I use Dreamweaver and I love it.
                          It's so visual and I can (more or less) follow it's logic (or if not, find a way round it).

                          So Matt, are you saying that if you want to create a site with a shopping cart it's better to ditch Dreamweaver et al and go for one of the 75 Paypal partner website builders?

                          I'm asking on belhalf of my son's up and coming (we live in hopes) rock band who want to sell their music....and badges and T shirts and....and is about to start making a new site - today-

                          AnnieAnna
                          I'm trying to play devils advocate a bit now.

                          Three real-world examples:

                          My brother runs an online clothes store (ironically called 'the clothes store'), which is built on osCommerce - he does most of this himself, although he isn't technically inclined - and occasionally ropes in people to tweak it (normally moi, when it breaks). I think he did pay someone to assemble it originally, though.

                          My mum's craft shop site runs on our bespoke framework, because she needed some help to get her business moving again, and we needed a willing volunteer to do some real testing for us, back then.

                          Many people on here use MrSite, which handles the cart stuff for you mostly behind the scenes in the editor, while letting you assemble your own pages nice and easily.


                          Onto the practicalities - if you build the site yourself, through any method (the editor you choose for the HTML etc is irrelevant at this stage) - you will have to do the work to integrate your chosen shopping cart - so the first thing you will need to do is to establish the cart which you are going to use, and how you can integrate it into your site.

                          An alternative, as you say is to use someone who will build it for you - but that can be really hard to justify for a new venture, because it costs money (and also takes away some of the feeling of control - which is a bit uncomfortable when you launch a new project). I believe there are also companies out there who will integrate any of the various carts into your own site, if you wish!

                          If you go down the last route, you have a further myriad of options, unfortunately!

                          Trying to be useful, rather than just going on at great length and not helping, I think you (and/or he) need to figure out:

                          1. Exactly what you want to achieve - e.g. online band site with music downloads, T-Shirt purchases, etc.

                          2. The budget which you have available (as little as possible!)

                          3. The sort of time-frame you want to achieve this in (obviously an option which involves a lot of work and/or learning on your parts will take longer).

                          I hope that helps, and as a PS - I'm happy to give advice (being as impartial as possible - please remember I _am_ slightly biased), but I suspect we should probably move away from this thread, because I don't want to fill up too much of a crafts forum with my opinions on eCommerce

                          Most importantly of all - Good luck!!
                          --Matt

                          Web Development
                          Beads, Charms & Findings - Jersey Craft Shop

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                          • #14
                            Thank you. I will duly inform impoverished student son and instruct him to put you in his will when he gets a number 1 hit
                            AnnieAnna

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                            • #15
                              easy to use software

                              I'd highly recommend the following - you can purchase and download the software. It's about £50 for the PRO version which has some little extras but you could start with the standard version (about £35) and then upgrade.

                              If you follow the links to either of my sites you'll see it is capable of building truly beautiful sites that can have all kinds of added extras and look and feel different to most sites. I get lots of lovely comments on my sites and the software is really easy to use - sort of like desk top publishing where you simply click and place the elements. It may take a while to find out everything it does but it's quite good fun and not tedious.

                              No programming needed and it writes all the HTML for you.

                              You can find it here http://www.lmsoft.com/

                              If you get stuck with it you can give me a shout and I'll do my best to help.

                              Good luck

                              Jude

                              www.bath-bomb.com
                              www.delipots.com
                              www.adamjollyart.com
                              Last edited by Bath-Bomb.Com; 30-12-2008, 08:02 PM.
                              for bath bomb, soap & Skincare kits
                              plus Soap Base, Bath Bomb Ingredients, Butters,
                              Oils and packaging for Bath & Body Products

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