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Programs for developing a new basic website
For someone not experienced in html

 12:28 am on Jan 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

Hello all, I am trying to start a martial arts academy with a friend of mine and advertising through the internet will be a big part in it since people use google to find places. I am looking to build a website that is simple, not too complex, but still that decently looks attractive.

I want to know a program for the mac that I can invest in that would allow me to create a simple website. Something that I will not get a headache trying to figure out, that I can launch easily, and not really worry about html.

What I am looking to build has to contain:

1.Tabs on the side you click on that will give you different information like contacts,rates, schedules, location, and a section with the biography of the instructor.

The ability really to click on a link on the webpage and it take you to another page about the information.

2. Ability to put pictures of the classes, instructors, etc.

That's really it. If I can change the colors, and go to different tabs

Also, if anyone has any recommendations on books that focus on the basics of web designs for a beginner like me that would be great. The one I recently got was web designs for dummies.

Thank you very much.



 10:45 am on Jan 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

I am looking to build a website that is simple, not too complex, but still that decently looks attractive.

It looks like you are going to risk the reputation of this business before it gets off the ground by producing a DIY website. Give the business a chance and get a professional to do it.


 11:08 am on Jan 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

Hi there, first of all welcome to WebmasterWorld.

As has been pointed out your website will reflect upon the company, in this case your martial arts club. Because of this it is important that it is done right.

My advise for anyone interested in learning about web development is go for it, but don't just dive in at the deep end. Build another site and use it as a learning experiment. No ones first attempt is going to be great, but it does help you gain experience.

Think of a hobby and build a site about it. Learn the basics before you try and get advanced. Walk before you run.

Regarding software. There are quite a lot of "what you see is what you get" html editors for the Mac, but honestly. Try and learn html. This prospect scares a lot of people, but I have personally taught someone to use hand coded html in under a week.

It's a learning process that will put you in good standing for any other projects you undertake.



 3:56 am on Jan 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

Ok, but are there any specific programs that you can recommend.
Martial arts websites are pretty basic as is from my experience with this hobby.


 4:22 am on Jan 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

I wanted to jump in the other day when I saw this posting and pretty much say what the 2 other members here have said. But, I'm learning to keep on topic -- not easy for a wandering mind like mine that is curious about everything! Your question was specifically if anyone could recommend a program -- I say yes -- a plain text editor. Something like PSPad Edit [pspad.com ] or Notepad++ [sourceforge.net ] -- both are very good and both are free. But I won't encourage you to use a WYSIWYG program. They typically heap on so much fluff to source code it is discouraging.

In fact I just trained a 70 year old man about 2 weeks ago to maintain a site that I had just redesigned and I'm peeking at his progress ever since and he's doing tremendously well with it. He's hand coding and it is not difficult. I created a read-only template for him and a 9 page editing manual and he has become a star within his non-profit organization! So far he's even producing valid xhtml. I'm sure you can find someone who can give you a few pointers to get you up and running too. Or even this forum, there are many helpful members here.

The best route is to hand code using HTML and CSS. It is very easy to learn. For a basic site like you are stating you probably wouldn't need to know more than about a dozen or so elements and style them using cascading style sheets.


 9:16 am on Jan 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

Yes but you trained him to maintain the site not to designand build it. The problem I often see with DIY sites is that the owners have no real conception of design or layout. This often leads to poor websites that jump out of the page saying "I built this myself".

Not good for business! ;)


 11:35 am on Jan 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

To DESIGN a site the best tool is pencil and paper.

To BUILD I am not a MAC user so can't recommend any software but agree with the recommendations to master basic html. It isn't difficult, the basics can be mastered in a day although the complexities of stylesheets may take a little longer.

Don't forget that you can build and test html and javascript locally without uploading to the web.


 4:05 pm on Jan 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

An example of a site I would like to have is something like this:


It's not too complicated. It html really required for this?


 4:13 pm on Jan 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

Something that I will not get a headache trying to figure out, that I can launch easily, and not really worry about html.

What this is describing to me is a professional web developer.

What would you say to someone who said:

"My friend and I are starting a martial arts studio. Does anyone know of any good books I can use to teach martial arts without a headache and having to learn martial arts?"

Building websites is a profession for a reason. If you want to make one there is some learning that is required.


 5:38 pm on Jan 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

A very good point!


 10:27 pm on Jan 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

Ok, the site wouldnt go up until next year anyways. I will probably hire someone else to do it. In any case, is there a book or a program where can I learn how to do this? Whether it be basic html or not? I want to learn for personal reasons.
Thank you.


 10:42 pm on Jan 11, 2011 (gmt 0)


Sorry to have sidetracked from your original question. There are lots of good reasons for you to learn this, even as a hobby, or to gauge BS levels when dealing with a web developer.

This may sound silly but I have heard decent things about:

"Creating Family Web Sites For Dummies"

Also online there are lots of good tutorials. For me I learn better using tutorials because you get some working practice and the "why" makes more sense to me when I see it in action.

You can try tutorials on W3.org (the standards body for all things web)

All tutorials:

HTML and CSS Tutorials (You will be mostly concerned with these):

Good luck and as you run into questions this is a great place to ask.


 5:22 pm on Jan 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thank you very much. I will take a look at the tutorials and check out the book. thank you!


 10:15 pm on Jan 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

be aware that building a good (or bad) website is of course not a guarantee that anyone will find you using google.

although you do mention advertising, but also be aware that there is a significant skill level in making the most of your money when buying adwords ads from google too.

IMHO unless you want to be a cutting edge developer (whatever that means) i don't believe you need to hand code or have that much knowledge.

you do need some though.

the de fecto website editor for the mac is dreamweaver and you can buy ready made website templates from 100s of sites online, these you can load into dreamweaver and change pictures and text and stuff.

alternatively something like Yahoo Sitebuilder is very easy to use and requires little experience - i would suggest looking into it, it requires hosting with yahoo i think, but you've got to host somewhere anyway.

i'm pretty sure microsoft have a similar product but i'm not sure what it's called.

alternatively many of the big hosting companies have got 'site builder' type products which are designed to be idiot proof and i suspect would suit you.


 10:19 am on Jan 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

I think some of the comments in here were coloured by the OPs spec ...

What I am looking to build has to contain:
1.Tabs on the side you click on that will give you different information like contacts, rates, schedules, location, and a section with the biography of the instructor.
The ability really to click on a link on the webpage and it take you to another page about the information.

The above could have been more easily described by saying "I want a vertical menu and eight (or whatever) pages".

My point is that the OP's way of describing this led me to believe that he was not very familiar with websites and their structure and that he would be better advised putting his valuable time elsewhere and getting someone else to do this for him.

OP this is not meant to be in any way critical of you so please do not take it that way. I specialise in small websites like this and I can sometimes produce sites for less than what you would pay for the software required to do it yourself. These sites will be properly structured, validated and optimised such that you should get a return on your investment in a relatively short period.


 6:20 pm on Jan 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

My recommendations:

Pay someone to set up a template and a CMS. A CMS is a content management system that allows you to log in and modify the site with very little knowledge of HTML.

You may struggle through it and be very proud of yourself (as we all were the first times) and will be equally crushed when someone tells you the truth. Anyone can build a web site. Build it well is a whole different story.


 3:16 pm on Jan 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

Kompozer is a good page builder!


 4:09 pm on Jan 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

We are recommending Website Tonite, a service offered by GoDaddy, for small businesses or non-profits. All you need is a connection to the internet. This will give you a website that you can easily manage yourself.

Still, I'd recommend hiring a designer to build it within Website Tonight.

But, today you want more than just a website. You need to have links into an email system, Twitter and Facebook. All of this can be done with


 6:13 pm on Jan 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

Website Tonite, I will definitely check it out. Thank you everyone for the generous advice :)

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