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icekreaman 01-11-2011 09:49 AM

Google sites vs. GoDaddy. Writing html vs. WYSIWYG
 
Hi all,

I have been assigned the task of creating a website for a social group I belong to. I work as a software consultant (on the IBM iSeries) so people think I know how to create websites (which I don't).

I have played around with Google sites which I found to be straightforward and intuitive, I had a domain registered and a site created from a template within an hour. The downside is that I don't think I can create and access a database using Google sites. I have another domain (for my business) registered with GoDaddy. I find the GoDaddy site very user unfriendly, I find myself wandering around trying to figure out the simplest things... I still do not have a website up even though I registered the domain almost a year ago.

So, first question - does anyone know if I can create forms to access a database using Google sites or do I need to figure out how to use GoDaddy.

Second question - for the website designers out there, would you recommend learning html, PHP etc. or learning something like Bluefish. Would you create from scratch, or would you start with a template? I would like to have a website that allows members to post announcements, add calendar events, discuss issues... etc. which I suppose makes it a little more than a basic website.

Any comments or advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks,

Jon.

sycamorex 01-11-2011 10:04 AM

The easiest solution would be some Content Management System (CMS).
Have a look at the following:
http://joomlatutorial.blogspot.com/2...omponents.html
Joomla is very popular and has lots of extensions.

Also:
http://dzineblog.com/2010/03/top-10-...l-network.html

It depends on what functionality you require out of the site, but I'm sure one of the CMS solutions will meet your needs.

Cultist 01-11-2011 10:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by icekreaman (Post 4220533)
Hi all,

I have been assigned the task of creating a website for a social group I belong to. I work as a software consultant (on the IBM iSeries) so people think I know how to create websites (which I don't).

I have played around with Google sites which I found to be straightforward and intuitive, I had a domain registered and a site created from a template within an hour. The downside is that I don't think I can create and access a database using Google sites. I have another domain (for my business) registered with GoDaddy. I find the GoDaddy site very user unfriendly, I find myself wandering around trying to figure out the simplest things... I still do not have a website up even though I registered the domain almost a year ago.

So, first question - does anyone know if I can create forms to access a database using Google sites or do I need to figure out how to use GoDaddy.

Second question - for the website designers out there, would you recommend learning html, PHP etc. or learning something like Bluefish. Would you create from scratch, or would you start with a template? I would like to have a website that allows members to post announcements, add calendar events, discuss issues... etc. which I suppose makes it a little more than a basic website.

Any comments or advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks,

Jon.

Sounds like you just need a site with something like Joomla installed. I wouldn't use GoDaddy since IMHO they're the incarnation of evil on the internet, but any server should be able to handle Joomla.

Snark1994 01-11-2011 12:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by icekreaman (Post 4220533)
Second question - for the website designers out there, would you recommend learning html, PHP etc. or learning something like Bluefish. Would you create from scratch, or would you start with a template? I would like to have a website that allows members to post announcements, add calendar events, discuss issues... etc. which I suppose makes it a little more than a basic website.

Bluefish (unless there's something I've completely missed while using it) is just an editor for HTML/PHP; with some nifty features, granted, as it's specifically designed for website development, but otherwise any text editor is as good.

It is definitely worth learning HTML and PHP as they are useful skills to have - however, if you're trying to include the features you talked about, then that's quite a tall order to write from scratch with no programming skills... I think I could just about manage the first and third (not the calendar!), but I would be worried about the potential for security flaws. I think, especially at this stage, you would be best served by finding free packages to do this. But like I said, do bear in mind that PHP/HTML are very useful skills :)

Hope this helps,

geek745 01-12-2011 10:38 AM

Quote:

I don't think I can create and access a database using Google sites
That is correct; Google Sites is a very high-level and restrictive platform for web development but it can get you a basic informational site with an easy-to-update calendar (integrate with Google Calendar and Gmail for your domain) very quickly.

Quote:

do I need to figure out how to use GoDaddy
GoDaddy is a web host and domain registrar, which means that they provide the equipment and a pre-configured software package to host websites. Their control panel is proprietary, which makes it different than a lot of other web hosts that use more standard software like cpanel or Plesk; you will have to learn how to use GoDaddy's tools for domain administration as well as configuration of databases, but they offer standard database services (MySQL) just like any other host and serve their sites on standard server software (Apache on Linux; IIS6 & 7 on Windows). So I would say there is not much to learn about GoDaddy and more to learn about web hosting in general.

Quote:

I would like to have a website that allows members to post announcements, add calendar events, discuss issues...
These three features will be called blog, calendar/events, and forum. There are web softwares you can integrate into a "flat" site (no CMS such as Joomla already mentioned) that accomplish each of those, and there are CMS that include all of them. Joomla is one of these, but I prefer Drupal because of the maturity of their codebase and the elegance of their design workflow. You will need to have a basic understanding of PHP and a fairly advanced understanding of HTML+CSS to deploy a Drupal site (in order to write the theme that contains your site's specific look) or just kind of know how web servers operate and download a nice-looking Theme from the Drupal community.

I hope that straightens out some of your questions. There are tons of good guides online for deploying sites like this. People say that Joomla is easier to start out with but I think its upgrade process is a bit more involved than Drupal's and from a software design standpoint, it's kind of bloated. You might also check out Wordpress, which claims even more user-friendliness, at the cost of flexibility (though it, like Drupal, is a good system IMHO).

resetreset 01-14-2011 10:27 AM

Since you HAVE to create this site, and you're a software guy, why don't you just learn PHP and MySQL? :)


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