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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Applications > Looking for Web Page(s) Authoring App

Looking for Web Page(s) Authoring App
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Feb 5, 2014, 08:30 PM
 
I'm looking at updating my personal pages to something a bit more modern than what I have now (hand-coded with Text Edit and lots of manual reference - totally static). I'd like to find a free or inexpensive package that gives a bit of WYSIWYG but doesn't keep me from tweaking the HTML if I feel the need. I don't need a whole lot of hand holding, but I'm rusty at HTML and have limited experience (and I'm even rustier) with anything dynamic or computed by pages. I'd also like to have the ability to version pages, do a few automatic things like maintaining inter-page links, updating copyright dates, etc. Oh, and free is good...VERY good; did I mention that?

I have MS Office 2008 for Mac, and it says it can author web pages. I am leery of this for a number of reasons, including having my pages covered with Redmond's fingerprints, which was something I found when parsing through some pages I'd seen as examples elsewhere.

No problems here with open source stuff, as long as it works and doesn't require me to learn an entirely new paradigm for creating content.

Thanks in advance!

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Feb 5, 2014, 08:37 PM
 
Yeah, don't use Office, it is a horrible solution for building websites...

WYSIWYG editors and free form editing sorts of solutions ala Dreamweaver are kind of outdated now, so called Web 1.0. Have you looked at a service like Strikingly, Squarespace, or Weebly? These are great for creating a site with the least amount of friction, and a solution like WordPress (wordpress.org, that is) is nice for when you want to "own" your site.
     
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Feb 5, 2014, 08:44 PM
 
Thanks for the advice. Using a service seems like a whole different "which ones do what I want" quest. My web hosting service, 1 and 1, provides some authoring tools online, and in trying them I found that sort of approach to be unpleasant. It was like I was playing with an HTML simulator, and the preview was clunky enough that it didn't feel like I was getting out of it what I thought I was putting in.

On the other hand, "outdated" doesn't scare me. My coding experience began in school with the Turbo Pascal integrated development environment (which rocked at the time), so a "nobody uses anything like this anymore" solution isn't' a problem. I just don't have the time to poke through hundreds of "we do web pages" packages any more than I have the time to routinely hand-code my pages.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Feb 5, 2014, 08:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Thanks for the advice. Using a service seems like a whole different "which ones do what I want" quest. My web hosting service, 1 and 1, provides some authoring tools online, and in trying them I found that sort of approach to be unpleasant. It was like I was playing with an HTML simulator, and the preview was clunky enough that it didn't feel like I was getting out of it what I thought I was putting in.

On the other hand, "outdated" doesn't scare me. My coding experience began in school with the Turbo Pascal integrated development environment (which rocked at the time), so a "nobody uses anything like this anymore" solution isn't' a problem. I just don't have the time to poke through hundreds of "we do web pages" packages any more than I have the time to routinely hand-code my pages.

If you were to go with Weebly, Squarespace, Strikingly, etc. *they* would become your web host, you wouldn't need a separate hosting provider. Strikingly provides some free websites as well. I would narrow your quest down to these three, plus WordPress if you don't want a rental-type site.

I appreciate that you may not want a super modern sort of web presence, but unless you really want to get your hands dirty, these options will really make your life easier so that you can focus the bulk of your attention on your content, rather than messing around with HTML.
     
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Feb 7, 2014, 10:34 AM
 
There's a new thing I've been tinkering with a bit, called Kirby. It uses simple markdown and php and I think would work well for a static site.

How big is your website? Are you adding to it frequently? Wordpress is a fine solution, and you can get as code-involved, or not, as you wish. Your host does need to support it though.
     
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Feb 8, 2014, 10:03 PM
 
I currently have a very small site, which I have used primarily as an image host, but I want to grow it. The current content is minuscule and pretty crappy looking, to be honest, but I did actually write it with Text Edit and Notepad, so I think I can take credit for having build my site with stone knives and bear skins.

I don't want to go with something like Wordpress for a few reasons. One is I don't like the idea of their banner on my page. Another is that I want to maintain full ownership of my content, and that's something that bugs me about Wordpress and other, similar publishing tools - I'm not sure whether my read of their licenses are good enough to ensure that my stuff remains my stuff.

And I want enough control that, if I feel I need to, I can change my content at a moment's notice, and just upload a new page. I know that is so last decade, but it's a paradigm I am comfortable with.

I've been looking at apps like KompoZer and CKEditor, which offer WYSIWYG editing without a real need to pay attention to the code most of the time. I'm probably going to play with them a bit, unless something better turns up. Perhaps my similar {but not actually "cross-posted") thread in the Art and Graphic Design forum will turn up some interesting suggestions, as well.

Yeah, maybe I'm just not progressive enough, but if it's a site with my name on it, I want it to be mine, and my fault, and options like Weebly and Squarespace aren't particularly appealing because I don't want to change web hosts. I do appreciate the suggestions, though. I just don't want to completely change my concept of my web presence to use some of these tools.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Feb 8, 2014, 11:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
I don't want to go with something like Wordpress for a few reasons. One is I don't like the idea of their banner on my page. Another is that I want to maintain full ownership of my content, and that's something that bugs me about Wordpress and other, similar publishing tools - I'm not sure whether my read of their licenses are good enough to ensure that my stuff remains my stuff.
You don't need their banner on your page, and you can own your content. I think you must have looked at wordpress.com, which fits your description, but wordpress.org is open source software you can download and install on any server that supports PHP + MySQL. You can obtain WordPress themes to use with your WordPress project in a number of places.

And I want enough control that, if I feel I need to, I can change my content at a moment's notice, and just upload a new page. I know that is so last decade, but it's a paradigm I am comfortable with.

I've been looking at apps like KompoZer and CKEditor, which offer WYSIWYG editing without a real need to pay attention to the code most of the time. I'm probably going to play with them a bit, unless something better turns up. Perhaps my similar {but not actually "cross-posted") thread in the Art and Graphic Design forum will turn up some interesting suggestions, as well.

Yeah, maybe I'm just not progressive enough, but if it's a site with my name on it, I want it to be mine, and my fault, and options like Weebly and Squarespace aren't particularly appealing because I don't want to change web hosts. I do appreciate the suggestions, though. I just don't want to completely change my concept of my web presence to use some of these tools.

It would seem that the open-source WordPress edition would be a nice compromise for you, allowing you to tap into the 20394820934 themes out there (many of which are free), free plugins, widgets, etc., while owning your content.
     
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Feb 10, 2014, 09:00 PM
 
I think you're right about ther .com/.org thing. I'll re-check with the correct site and see what they're up to. In the meantime, I'm still puzzling over what I want on my site. Bio (sanitary enough for my own peace fo mind), some professional links, and "the latest thing I'm interested in, are already there, but the other stuff I want (a lot more professional stuff, for example) needs to be thought out before I just throw it up there.

Thanks for diving into this. I'm in your debt for your bothering.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
   
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