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Cheap and Easy Web Site Builder

By dereko ·
I volunteer my services for an unofficial non profit club. Web design is not my specialty. I can do basic stuff but I am not fluent in CSS, PHP or anything much more than HTML itself.

The club is a book club. We want to make a website to include components such as
- Basic webpage with a links column on the left, main area in center and a few displays along the right of books available.
- A library page with a library index and pages for each category with thumbnail images for each book that links to the full scan of the front and back cover of each title. We want to be able to add to the catalog of books one item at a time without having to recompile the whole page or display.
- Mail list sign up page
- Paypal donations page and potentially a paypal buying page for selling off used books.
- Internet links page

Does anyone know of good web page building software that can do this, that doesn't cost a whole lot and doesn't take significant web development skill to operate?

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Your best bet is to learn the languages needed.

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to Cheap and Easy Web Site B ...

There are no free WYSIWIG programs that are worth giving them a shout. And, none of the paid for software can do it all either. No matter what you use, you're going to need to learn the languages so you can fix the problems they all "generate". If you have the money, DreamWeaver is probably the closest thing you'll find to doing MOST of it for you. It won't do PHP, but it will recognize added PHP pages as components of your overall "web". It WILL require a learning curve just to run the program.

Another up and coming WYSIWIG program is MS's Expression Web. I haven't checked into it yet, but it MAY require FrontPage Extensions installed on the hosting server and those are being removed from many hosting companies as they upgrade to Apache 2 due to incompatibilities.

You should check with your hosting company to see what they recognize and/or recommend.

Personally, I use a program called Edit Plus 2 (that or NoteTab Pro) to do the coding by hand, especially for the PHP pages. Neither are free for commercial use. But, they have nice syntax highlighting for several languages, including CSS, HTML and PHP, among others.

When it comes time to add your cart, look at OSCommerce, an open source "store" which will connect to the PayPal payment gateway easily.

Accepting PayPal Donations doesn't require anything special. PayPal has everything you need.

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