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Author Website advice
Tamarmole

Joined: 20/05/2009
Location: Tamar Valley

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Posted: 10/10/2019 12:11:52
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As some of you may know I do a lot of lecturing /guided walks etc for local history societies, U3A groups etc, plus some TV work. On the back of this I get a lot of e mail enquiries about what I do / services I offer.

I am getting to the stage where I am getting hacked off sending out broadly similar e mail replies to prospective customers. To this end I am thinking that having my own website might be the way forward.

As a techno luddite I would really appreciate your opinions on the way to go. My criteria are that it is cheap (free?) and simple for me to upload to and update. Has anybody got experience of widely advertised sites like Wix?
IP: 86.134.157.180
ttxela

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Joined: 04/09/2007
Location: Cambs

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Posted: 10/10/2019 12:49:03
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Probably not the most knowledgable reply you'll get on this subject but Mrs T finds most of her clients don't visit/use her website. She gets much more interaction with her Facebook page which is a 'business' page.

IP: 195.171.131.2
royfellows

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Joined: 13/06/2007
Location: Great Wyrley near Walsall

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Posted: 10/10/2019 13:30:50
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All of my lamp sales springs off the website. I guess it falls on whatever medium you flout around, people talk.

I am not a pro web developer and would class myself as 'hobby' standard but it does the job.

So

I use an old copy of Microsoft FrontPage which is now about 15 years out of date but still works. Its running on Win 7, 32 bit, I doubt it would run on Win 10 or even 64 bit 7.
As I said it works.
You would need to have something like Photoshop as well to manually size your graphics.

Publishing is by the free from Microsoft website Expression web.
Now here is the wrinkle!
You are 'told' that your provider will need to be running a Windows server with FrontPage extensions. Expensive if still available and its BS.
Expression web will upload your website to a cheap Linux server no problems. But dont get 'opening' your website in Expression or it will screw up side navigation bars.

I am running about 5 different websites this way for an annual pittance.

Of course, it you want a really good website, go to a professional like Simon.


--

'' as rare as a Cwmystwyth padlock''
IP: 88.108.155.88
Blober

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Joined: 16/12/2012
Location: Anglesey

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Posted: 10/10/2019 13:40:53
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WordPress website is probably the easiest way forward these days if you want a website.

Deffo get a Facebook page and possibly an Instagram.

--

FILTH - Think this is a playground? Think again...
IP: 95.172.232.42
royfellows

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Posted: 10/10/2019 13:50:57
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Yes. The only problem is that with everything being engine driven you can have some strange issues. Like the karate club website where search engines described the activity as 'ball games'!
Obviously a template leftover not visible to the eye.

I think this was 1 and 1.

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'' as rare as a Cwmystwyth padlock''
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ttxela

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Joined: 04/09/2007
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Posted: 10/10/2019 15:33:59
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royfellows wrote:

Like the karate club website where search engines described the activity as 'ball games'!
.


A bit below the belt eh! Sound like a rough club!
IP: 195.171.131.2
ChrisJC

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Joined: 13/10/2007
Location: Northants

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Posted: 10/10/2019 19:10:16
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We use Wordpress at www.catmhs.org.uk

It depends on what you want. Wordpress is overkill if you just want a 'virtual advert', perhaps a handful of static pages.

This is about as basic as it gets:
https://www.red-horizon.co.uk/ (it's my on-line CV), just one page, no contact details.

You also need somewhere to put it (maybe £60/year), including a domain name.

Chris.
IP: 94.126.234.198
SimonRL

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Joined: 27/11/2005
Location: North Wales

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Posted: 10/10/2019 21:02:34
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Of the templated web site systems Squarespace probably creates the most elegant looking sites, if used well. WiX similarly OK.

Bear in mind with any system like this you won't own your site. If you get fed up of paying then they turn you off, your pages don't exist in a form you can download and take elsewhere (OK that can be done with a web site downloader tool, but the output is never ideal).

Chris is correct that WordPress is probably OTT for a small information site, and it does require a bit more technical knowhow and time than setting up a WiX site, but it does have its advantages. Specifically the ability to extend the site quite easily with plugins, and the fact (with the self hosted version) it's your site to move around as you wish, you are not tied to any one host. That said shifting a WordPress site isn't totally straightforward as there is the database hosting the content to transfer as well as the files. A plugin called All-In-One WP Migration is your friend here!

WordPress exists in two forms; WordPress.org who develop the open source content management system called WordPress, security holes included free of charge; and WordPress.com who provide a commercially hosted service based on the system, but in a simpler form.

WordPress.org - download and install pretty much anywhere, or more commonly buy a WordPress hosting package with it pre-installed, log in, download a theme and get adding content.

WordPress.com, pay a monthly fee for a simplified version hosted for you, less to set up but rather more restrictive in terms of what you can install.

Just one word or warning with WordPress - the self hosted open source system. It is very widely targeted by hackers. OK, it powers a huge percentage of the web, but the percentage of hacked WordPress sites is disproportionate to the number of sites run on it.

Historically WP had some major security holes. Nowadays most hacks come via dodgy code in plugins - add ons you can install to add features to web sites.

My best advice to anybody considering a WordPress web site is:

- Be careful who you host with
- Be careful what plugins you install, vet them before installing and make sure they are from legitimate vendors
- Keep your WordPress install up to date
- Keep your plugins up to date - use a tool like managewp.com
- At very least use the free version of WordFence firewall

Or if you can't be bothered with all that use WordPress.com!

Somebody will probably tell me all the above is nonsense, and they've never had a problem, but I read the Defiant blog (publishers of WordFence) and the number of plugin vulnerabilities published is alarming. And I've seen well maintained and secured WordPress sites hacked on occasion, in an attack that turned out to be a file permission issue that allowed cross infection of sites on the same server, or in other words, poor server setup by the host (and these were several big name hosting companies) that caused infected sites to be able to manipulate files in well maintained sites. Not good.

WordPress is a great tool for editing sites, but if going down the self hosted route take a bit of time to be sure your site is secure.

--

my orders are to sit here and watch the world go by
IP: 213.205.192.50 Edited: 10/10/2019 21:09:43 by SimonRL
ChrisJC

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Posted: 10/10/2019 21:55:58
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Or you can cross Simon's palm with silver and he'll sort it for you!

Chris.
IP: 94.126.234.198
NewStuff

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Joined: 26/07/2010
Location: NE Wales

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Posted: 11/10/2019 06:49:16
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SimonRL wrote:

Somebody will probably tell me all the above is nonsense, and they've never had a problem,


I've never had a problem. Tongue
But I don't (and wont) use it. A couple of friends have had major defacement's, drive by malware and ransomwares droppers, outright ransoming of the site(s).

As you say, mostly plugin vulnerabilities.

OP - A static page or two on a bit of hosting is about as simple as it comes, and sounds like all you need.

--

Searching for the ever elusive Underground Titty Bar. DDDWH CC
IP: 88.97.32.83
Mr Mike

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Joined: 09/06/2007
Location: Bury - In The Laboratory

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Posted: 11/10/2019 07:22:16
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For those in the know, you will think this archaic, but I still use Hotmetal Pro HTML editor that I got free with Zen Internet in 1997 - I do 3 simple sites with it.

However, there is a learning curve if you have never done this before.

I would say that if you don't have the inclination to have a go / time, then pay someone to do a simple few pages for you. Should not be that expensive as it will be easy for them to do.

Once you have the html pages, you can get a editor and do a bit of playing with them for your updates.

As mentioned you would have to get a web hosting site and domain name. You can then modify your bsic pages and upload as and when needed.


--

Mr Mike www.mineexplorer.org.uk
IP: 92.7.109.172 Edited: 11/10/2019 07:30:33 by Mr Mike
SimonRL

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Joined: 27/11/2005
Location: North Wales

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Posted: 11/10/2019 07:56:47
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Agreed, there is a lot to be said for flat file HTML for small and basic sites. Fast loading, not targeted by CMS-specific attacks, easily portable, and if anything goes wrong, just upload again.

As long as you're happy learning some HTML and CSS it's a good way to go.

But for an easy life something like Wix or hosted WordPress.com is a good option if you want to DIY without having to worry about technicalities of setup.

--

my orders are to sit here and watch the world go by
IP: 213.205.194.96 Edited: 11/10/2019 08:03:12 by SimonRL
royfellows

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Joined: 13/06/2007
Location: Great Wyrley near Walsall

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Posted: 11/10/2019 15:38:18
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SimonRL wrote:

Agreed, there is a lot to be said for flat file HTML for small and basic sites. Fast loading, not targeted by CMS-specific attacks, easily portable, and if anything goes wrong, just upload again.

As long as you're happy learning some HTML and CSS it's a good way to go.



Yes, and to rub salt in i am paying £30 a year per 10 gig server space, read this as per website.


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'' as rare as a Cwmystwyth padlock''
IP: 88.108.155.88
Paul Marvin

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Joined: 29/10/2012
Location: Derbyshire

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Posted: 11/10/2019 18:52:00
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SimonRL wrote:

Agreed, there is a lot to be said for flat file HTML for small and basic sites. Fast loading, not targeted by CMS-specific attacks, easily portable, and if anything goes wrong, just upload again.

As long as you're happy learning some HTML and CSS it's a good way to go.

But for an easy life something like Wix or hosted WordPress.com is a good option if you want to DIY without having to worry about technicalities of setup.



I use wordpress and I find it pretty good Roy.

--

"I Dont Know Where I am Going, But When I Get There I will Know Where I am"
IP: 5.62.43.164
SimonRL

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Joined: 27/11/2005
Location: North Wales

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Posted: 11/10/2019 20:28:05
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Paul Marvin wrote:

I use wordpress and I find it pretty good Roy.


Glad to see you've got WordFence installed Paul Thumb Up (just had a look at the code!)

--

my orders are to sit here and watch the world go by
IP: 213.205.240.44
SimonRL

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Posted: 11/10/2019 20:30:25
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Hope we've not scared you off Rick! All this talk of firewalls, HTML and drive by hacking!

Wix or similar are a good starting point. That or a local web designer, but depending on how they set things up you night end up having to go back to them for updates.

--

my orders are to sit here and watch the world go by
IP: 213.205.240.44
royfellows

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Joined: 13/06/2007
Location: Great Wyrley near Walsall

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Posted: 11/10/2019 21:47:00
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Servers

DCC and NAMHO both use Webhosting UK. They look good value and their help is very prompt. Recommended.

The outfit I am with I would not recommend. They are cheap, at least to me as I am what they call a "migration client" from their old server. But I have lost all of my domain forwarding. They are currently only taking my money for what works and leaving what doesn't, which I suppose is rather sweet of them.
An odd bunch.
Laugh

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'' as rare as a Cwmystwyth padlock''
IP: 88.108.155.88
Tamarmole

Joined: 20/05/2009
Location: Tamar Valley

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Posted: 13/10/2019 08:21:45
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Thanks for all the advice chaps. As I only need a few static pages and haven't a clue about coding Wix looks like my way forward. IP: 86.134.157.180
The Fresh Prince of Portreath

Joined: 05/08/2015

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Posted: 13/10/2019 16:23:23
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Talk to Tom (my other half) [PCG] IP: 194.53.187.184
markc

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Joined: 04/02/2008
Location: Atherstone, Warwickshire

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Posted: 14/10/2019 11:15:28
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Microsoft FrontPage, which is out of date, but still works.
It Does run on Win 10 64 bit.Smile
IP: 82.31.216.112
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