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My first website

Question

Gabe84    57

Hi!

 

I'm a total noob at this.

 

In the past I've created a couple of websites using WordPress, and one using Joomla!, but I've found myself more comfortable using WordPress; however everything was already set up for me, I just had to log in and use WordPress or Joomla!

 

This time instead I have to do everything by myself, so I bought a Linux Hosting service only to discover that WordPress needs a MySql database and my hosting company (Aruba) charges separately for the database, and charges separately for the backup. Since this would be the website for a charity I'd like to keep costs in check therefore I'd prefer, if possible, not to buy other services.

 

So now I'm thinking of a way out.

 

What would you suggest? An offline WYSIWYG html editor? Consider that my coding knowledge is zero, I can manage to copy and paste very simple html strings but not much else.

 

Something like Bluefish, KompoZer or XAMPP?

 

Or the - very - old way of creating a series of .html files with LibreOffice, starting with index.html for the home page and then load everything, .hmtl files, images, documents, on the server?

 

I'm fairly good with graphics so I know I can create a nice looking website, even though I wouldn't be able to incorporate things like maps and calendars because I wouldn't be able to write the entire website in HTML.

 

I also don't know how easy it would be to update the website and adding new content this way, because I'd have to manually update a few pages offline and then reload them, and I remember that WordPress takes care of this all by itself.

 

Also, probably, I wouldn't be the only one allowed to post new content and the other guy is even less knowledgeable than me about websites, so I thought WordPress would be the easiest solution.

 

So, am I destined to spend more money or is there a way out?

 

Thanks

Edited by Gabe84

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pqt    275

You could use GitHub Pages for free https://pages.github.com/

 

This leverages a software/platform called Jekyll (https://jekyllrb.com/) and is really quite nice. GitHub offers the service for free and you could set it up to serve the website from whatever domain you'd like.

 

Don't fret too much about the command line stuff going on with the link(s) I sent you. You can get more information from the Help articles (https://help.github.com/categories/github-pages-basics/) It wouldn't cost anything, could be updated by anyone you'd like to allow, and no database required. Saves you from having to deal with the hosting headaches and spare you some loose change.

 

Edit: It also is apart of Git versioning so you'd have all of the backups stored indefinitely.

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DevTech    1,517

There is a large number of utilities for generating static web sites like the one GitHub uses.

 

Also, Azure has a free Website hosting plan which gives you a lot of tech choices.

 

If you provide a detailed description of what the site does, you might get more specific advice from people.

 

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Gabe84    57
53 minutes ago, Mur said:

You could use GitHub Pages for free https://pages.github.com/

 

This leverages a software/platform called Jekyll (https://jekyllrb.com/) and is really quite nice. GitHub offers the service for free and you could set it up to serve the website from whatever domain you'd like.

 

Don't fret too much about the command line stuff going on with the link(s) I sent you. You can get more information from the Help articles (https://help.github.com/categories/github-pages-basics/) It wouldn't cost anything, could be updated by anyone you'd like to allow, and no database required. Saves you from having to deal with the hosting headaches and spare you some loose change.

 

Edit: It also is apart of Git versioning so you'd have all of the backups stored indefinitely.

Thanks, but we already have our hosting and domain, that we paid for :S, also doing everything via terminal, I'm on Linux, seems awfully complicated.

27 minutes ago, DevTech said:

There is a large number of utilities for generating static web sites like the one GitHub uses.

 

Also, Azure has a free Website hosting plan which gives you a lot of tech choices.

 

If you provide a detailed description of what the site does, you might get more specific advice from people.

 

This will be the website of a charitable organization that manages a community center, it will have a part that doesn't really gets updated, like a top bar with Home, About Us, Activities with a drop down menu with the different activities we offer, contacts.

 

On the right side I'd like to put icons with links to our social media pages and below that a map, taken from Bing or OpenStreetMaps via generated html code, maybe a calendar that for each day will show the activities in our community center, and at the bottom there will be links.

 

Then it will need a blog-like part for us to post updates, notices, news, galleries, etc.

 

This is something very simple I created in the past for another charity, via WordPress on a free hosting service.

 

http://novarasud.altervista.org/

 

I'd like to replicate that, but it will have more content, and hopefully it will be more visually appealing.

Edited by Gabe84

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DevTech    1,517

Static generators like Jekyl just produce a bunch of HTML pages that you can then copy to absolutely any hosting site since static HTML is the lowest possible common denominator.

 

Static generators fall apart as dynamic content requirements enter the design.

 

 

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Gabe84    57
14 minutes ago, DevTech said:

Static generators like Jekyl just produce a bunch of HTML pages that you can then copy to absolutely any hosting site since static HTML is the lowest possible common denominator.

 

Static generators fall apart as dynamic content requirements enter the design.

 

 

What about HTMLy or FlatPress?

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DevTech    1,517

 

16 minutes ago, Gabe84 said:

What about HTMLy or FlatPress?

It's Neowin, the cereal that contains at least 50% Microsoft Nuts (tm)

 

My preference for webby stuff is either of:

 

1. ASP.NET

 

2. Node.js -  the cognitive overload reducer of Javascript at both client-side and server-side

 

 

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Gabe84    57
17 minutes ago, DevTech said:

 

It's Neowin, the cereal that contains at least 50% Microsoft Nuts (tm)

 

My preference for webby stuff is either of:

 

1. ASP.NET

 

2. Node.js -  the cognitive overload reducer of Javascript at both client-side and server-side

 

 

That would be waaaaay too advanced for me :laugh:

 

I think HTMLy may do the job, I just need a simple databaseless CMS with nice looking responsive themes that can be customized, that would allow me to use some basic HTML, to incorporate images and videos from YouTube in posts, and to incorporate maps, images and text on the right sidebar, like you do on WordPress with menus, and that would allow me to use HTML or JavaScript to obfuscate email addresses and phone numbers.

 

As long as it has that, drop down menus and simplicity I'm happy.

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Jack W    419

Gabe, this might work for you: http://philecms.com/

 

Uses flat-file database (e.g, stored in a file), and uses markdown as the language. Also has Twig templating.

 

Give it a try. :)

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DevTech    1,517
55 minutes ago, Gabe84 said:

That would be waaaaay too advanced for me :laugh:

 

I think HTMLy may do the job, I just need a simple databaseless CMS with nice looking responsive themes that can be customized, that would allow me to use some basic HTML, to incorporate images and videos from YouTube in posts, and to incorporate maps, images and text on the right sidebar, like you do on WordPress with menus, and that would allow me to use HTML or JavaScript to obfuscate email addresses and phone numbers.

 

As long as it has that, drop down menus and simplicity I'm happy.

I was just trying to keep the thread alive in case some Linux hosting fans dropped by to give you better advice and was not suggesting that you learn a large new platform from the ground up!

 

So just some general thoughts:

 

1. ASP.NET and Node.js are just yet more platforms that run other stuff like a CMS

 

2. Your hoster has a Windows plan at the same price that might add to your choices

 

3. The hoster's auto-installer lists 25 different Linux CMS and maybe one of them doesn't need a database

 

https://hosting.aruba.it/en/hosting/included-services/softaculous-app-installer.aspx

 

 

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Gabe84    57
12 hours ago, Jack W said:

Gabe, this might work for you: http://philecms.com/

 

Uses flat-file database (e.g, stored in a file), and uses markdown as the language. Also has Twig templating.

 

Give it a try. :)

I'm looking at their website... but... no GUI?

12 hours ago, DevTech said:

I was just trying to keep the thread alive in case some Linux hosting fans dropped by to give you better advice and was not suggesting that you learn a large new platform from the ground up!

 

So just some general thoughts:

 

1. ASP.NET and Node.js are just yet more platforms that run other stuff like a CMS

 

2. Your hoster has a Windows plan at the same price that might add to your choices

 

3. The hoster's auto-installer lists 25 different Linux CMS and maybe one of them doesn't need a database

 

https://hosting.aruba.it/en/hosting/included-services/softaculous-app-installer.aspx

 

 

Yeah, but then I'd have to buy another plan.

 

I tried HTMLy and removed it less than a minute later, it's horrible.

 

I think I'll just buy the MySql plan, hoping that would not be unbelievably complicated to set up, and use WordPress, the competition either lacks features or it's not user friendly at all.

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pqt    275
20 hours ago, Gabe84 said:

Thanks, but we already have our hosting and domain, that we paid for :S, also doing everything via terminal, I'm on Linux, seems awfully complicated.

You'd be able to possibly refund the hosting and you'd still be able to use the domain, you'd also be able to do the edits right on the GitHub website so it wouldn't require command line anything at all.

 

If you want me to show you a demonstration I could. I really feel like it could be the best possible option for you.

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+Fahim S.    1,088
20 hours ago, DevTech said:

2. Node.js -  the cognitive overload reducer of Javascript at both client-side and server-side

I'm pretty sure there are several arguments that managing callbacks well and truly shifts that cognitive overload right back ;) 

I love node - my tech of choice right now.

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Jase    130

I absolutely loooove Macaw: http://macaw.co/ - Great WYSIWYG editor, grab the trial and give it a go!

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Gabe84    57
19 hours ago, Jase said:

I absolutely loooove Macaw: http://macaw.co/ - Great WYSIWYG editor, grab the trial and give it a go!

No love for Linux :( ... Wine sucks :D

19 hours ago, Mur said:

You'd be able to possibly refund the hosting and you'd still be able to use the domain, you'd also be able to do the edits right on the GitHub website so it wouldn't require command line anything at all.

 

If you want me to show you a demonstration I could. I really feel like it could be the best possible option for you.

Even if I'm the VP of said charity I'll have to talk with the others.

 

Anyway this GitHub stuff intrigues me and I'll play with it, it wouldn't hurt to learn something new anyway!

 

thanks again!

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pqt    275
6 hours ago, Gabe84 said:

No love for Linux :( ... Wine sucks :D

Even if I'm the VP of said charity I'll have to talk with the others.

 

Anyway this GitHub stuff intrigues me and I'll play with it, it wouldn't hurt to learn something new anyway!

 

thanks again!

No problem, you could also easily put it onto a server too in the future if you'd like.

 

You'd need git, ruby & the proper web server setup but otherwise you'd be able to SSH into the server and run  "git pull" to update the files (you'd have to git clone first from the github url but every time after you'd update by just pulling).

 

I do that with this repo, and have the docs displayed to this url

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DevTech    1,517
1 hour ago, Mur said:

No problem, you could also easily put it onto a server too in the future if you'd like.

 

You'd need git, ruby & the proper web server setup but otherwise you'd be able to SSH into the server and run  "git pull" to update the files (you'd have to git clone first from the github url but every time after you'd update by just pulling).

 

I do that with this repo, and have the docs displayed to this url

Ruby can be a pain in a Windows environment.

 

Even with a CMS, you always have to consider cases where you might need to add/modify/hack on code in the underlying platform so it's always a good idea (when possible) to pick a CMS running on a platform you could visualize yourself actually be able to work with...

 

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DevTech    1,517
On 4/22/2016 at 7:11 AM, Gabe84 said:

I'm looking at their website... but... no GUI?

Yeah, but then I'd have to buy another plan.

 

I tried HTMLy and removed it less than a minute later, it's horrible.

 

I think I'll just buy the MySql plan, hoping that would not be unbelievably complicated to set up, and use WordPress, the competition either lacks features or it's not user friendly at all.

I think you might have misunderstood my item #3.

 

Your Linux hoster has 25 different Linux CMS you can auto-install on your hosting and I'm not familiar with any of them but perhaps a few of them don't need a database... and if so you could read up on them to see if any have appeal. If they do, it becomes a least-effort scenario.

 

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pqt    275
1 minute ago, DevTech said:

Ruby can be a pain in a Windows environment.

 

Even with a CMS, you always have to consider cases where you might need to add/modify/hack on code in the underlying platform so it's always a good idea (when possible) to pick a CMS running on a platform you could visualize yourself actually be able to work with...

 

He's running linux so Ruby wouldn't be difficult at all to get operational, also jekyll isn't a CMS.

 

 

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DevTech    1,517
13 minutes ago, Mur said:

He's running linux so Ruby wouldn't be difficult at all to get operational, also jekyll isn't a CMS.

 

 

He is running WIndows as his client computer and hence if he wants to work and test locally before uploading to the server it becomes a consideration.

 

It's Neowin, you will have to expect Windows to always be a consideration...

 

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Gabe84    57
On 23/4/2016 at 10:00 PM, DevTech said:

He is running WIndows as his client computer and hence if he wants to work and test locally before uploading to the server it becomes a consideration.

 

It's Neowin, you will have to expect Windows to always be a consideration...

 

No, Linux hosting and my PC runs Linux.

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+illumination    29

I've just started using Grav (https://getgrav.org/) It's a flat file CMS, so no need for a database, pages are in markdown syntax, so you can edit them in any text editor, but it also comes with an admin plugin that allows you to edit the markdown on the site itself.

 

Seems really good so far.

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pqt    275
On 4/23/2016 at 1:00 PM, DevTech said:

It's Neowin, you will have to expect Windows to always be a consideration...

Except when he explicitly said he's on Linux.

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DevTech    1,517
1 hour ago, Mur said:

Except when he explicitly said he's on Linux.

omg - I've fallen into a stereotype I just hate. The Windows O/S and the PowerShell command line is just technically competent and complete as Linux and they each have their purposes but when I saw "total noob" and mention of GUI interfaces I mistakenly stereotyped Windows. Oh silly me. :)

 

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pqt    275
1 hour ago, DevTech said:

omg - I've fallen into a stereotype I just hate. The Windows O/S and the PowerShell command line is just technically competent and complete as Linux and they each have their purposes but when I saw "total noob" and mention of GUI interfaces I mistakenly stereotyped Windows. Oh silly me. :)

 

Total noob specific for building web sites I guess? That's what I understood anyways, not a noob with computers. I can design anything and develop a lot of complex web apps, but I'm very lousy with server administration, never really know though right?

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imort    1
On 22.04.2016 at 0:47 AM, Gabe84 said:

I also don't know how easy it would be to update the website and adding new content this way, because I'd have to manually update a few pages offline and then reload them, and I remember that WordPress takes care of this all by itself.

Also, probably, I wouldn't be the only one allowed to post new content and the other guy is even less knowledgeable than me about websites, so I thought WordPress would be the easiest solution.

So, am I destined to spend more money or is there a way out?

1

Hey

 

Maybe you can afford to rent a VPS (virtual private server) for $5-10/month and configure software required (apache, MySQL)

You can install WordPress then and use it like you used to before.

 

I can sound as a very complex job but it isn't at all.

You can use one of the many manuals available on the web about that, for example, take a look here.

 

Installing WordPress is not a big deal too, it all should take about a few hours even if you didn't have any experience with such things.

I'm as a Linux system administrator can do such a job in a half of hour for example.

 

I think it will be a best solution in your case.

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