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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Website software (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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aussiemagic
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Up until now I have always paid people to create my websites for me.
This has been expensive and I have not always been happy with the end product. When someone else creates the website, I have to get them to update it for me as well.

I was just wondering what software people are using to create their websites. I would like something that makes it easy for me to update myself as well.

Any advice would be appreciated.
Does anyone have any experience with bigpixie?

Thanks

AM
How to become a professional magician:
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alexa
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NJ
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I paid a designer to make this CMS site for me: http://www.princesslexiloo.com
I can add unlimited pages including internal links and I can edit it as much as I want anytime I want.

For a new start-up I created my site myself at http://www.sitecube.com
The site I created is http://www.greatglitterparties.com
It was extremely simple to do.
sb
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Look into "wordpress"
Alikzam
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Wordpress is probably your best bet. Lots of plugins, lots of templates, and it gets updated often. My wedding website I built with wordpress. You can see what it looks like at http://www.MagicalWeddingStory.com. (The "enter your name" script I wrote myself in php and isn't a part of wordpress, or any wordpress plugins)

If you have limited design experience, I would recommend finding a wordpress template that you like and then just editing it to suit your needs. A few color changes and a custom header can easily change the entire look of a site with minimal work. That way you can focus on whats really important- your offer, and your content.
Mr Hyde
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I was just writing up a tutorial for my MagicCoach readers.

Here's the short version.

Wordpress + The Thesis Theme

Wordpress is free and comes with a one click installation on quite a few hosting packages. (Host gator, GoDaddy etc.)

Thesis continues to get huge reviews and has all sorts of SEO features built in. It also has a great support community. You can do anything with this and some of the sample sites shown via the link are amazing. I think it's around $80.

If the thought of learning a new tool is a worry, seriously suggest you invest $25 for a months membership of Lynda.com .

Timothy
Majestic12
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Maryland
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Quote:
On 2010-02-24 23:21, alexa wrote:
I paid a designer to make this CMS site for me: http://www.princesslexiloo.com
I can add unlimited pages including internal links and I can edit it as much as I want anytime I want.

For a new start-up I created my site myself at http://www.sitecube.com
The site I created is http://www.greatglitterparties.com
It was extremely simple to do.

No offense but that sitecube website you built leaves lots to be desired. Your other site is great.
jackturk
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Wordpress is great and so's using a theme.

Be aware, it still requires coding skills to do anything beyond adding text and graphics to a basic template.

If you want to adjust colors, fonts, change banner graphics, adjust widths, add opt-in boxes, etc. etc. etc. you will need to get comfortable messing with PHP and CSS for themes and some basic HTML nonetheless.

It's not rocket science and to be honest, IMO most folks need to spend more time on writing quality sales copy than on formatting issues. A very simple 3 page site with:

Home page sales letter
FAQ page with answers to frequent questions
Clients page with testimonials

And contact info on each page will do very well. The main benefit of Wordpress happens when you include a blog page that you'll regularly update with content packed with relevent keywords / keyword phrases -- if you don't do that (and I will admit, this tends to get backburnered pretty easily) then the major benefits of Wordpress fade a bit.

--Jack Turk
"59 Ways To Recession Proof Your Entertainment Business -- FREE!"
http://www.GetLeadsLikeCrazy.com

"How To Make $25,000 a Year Doing Birthday Parties Part-Time"
http://www.magicmarketingcenter.com/birthdayPT
TheMagicianGuide
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One thing to keep in mind, ask yourself just how much designing does your time allow for, and is it really something you can continue to use to gain business advantage (especially against competitors)? We have been in web dev for 11 years and have seen many small business owners who have tried to start their own websites etc. Its really just about knowing what you do best (in your business, in your business niche), and what you are able to do best to promote your own business.

In the time it can take to teach a business owner how to "do" their own site (whether in WordPress, Dreamweaver, Joomla, etc.) we could have built them a very professional site, as well as a number of additional professionaly presented landing pages and advertisements etc, and who knows what else? (and at extremely affordable costs) . . .

Magicians are naturally creative and if your tech savy and have a ton of time on your hands, all the better - Go for it! Just remember who looks at your website - your customers. Remember to also ask yourself if your competition is designing their own site as well? Make sure from the get-go that you will be able to design a site that replicates your professional presence (and, equally at the least, your competitions). More importantly, know your limits . . . nothing can be more frustrating than devoting time, money, and energy into an endeavor that will only result in "I did it myself" design . . .

Not to be discouraging though, just recognize what you do, and can do, best!
TheMagicianGuide.com - National Magician Directory.

The Magician Guide is part of Kids Party Resource network of childrens entertainers and event rentals.
alexa
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NJ
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I am not saying the SiteCube site is the be-all-end-all of website building in a box. It's a really easy to customize template so that I could have a site that looks professional up and running for my target market. Already clients are booking more because of it. It's a start-up, as opposed to the professionally done site, and I'm very happy with both because I have different expectations of both.

If you feel that sitecube leaves a lot to be desired because it's entirely flash, that's not a concern for me. SEO is not a main concern with that site at this time, but it certainly doesn't look like a site done ten years ago like a lot (most) entertainer's websites.
Ed_Millis
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I'm in the process of creating my own site. I'm not that graphically creative, but I did teach myself VB programming, and I'm diving into HTML and JavaScript.

I'm using PageBreeze free web page builder. Yah, it has limitations, but for me and my first site, it'll be fine. And I use FileZilla (also free) to upload any changed pages or files to my site. (Note: nothing on the site you get to from my sig link was created by my PageBreeze efforts. That's the stuff you get when you save a Word file as HTML!)

On the other hand, I am learning why a good web developer is worth the money. The pHp and JS coding that go into making it all run smooth under the hood is like the computer stuff on my car engine - there's a reason why it takes a lot of tools to make it work!

Bottom line for me is: if I could afford it, I would spend my money having someone else do this and my time working on my routines!

Just my thoughts.
Ed
Brian O.
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It really depends on what you want for your site. If you're looking for a basic three- to four-page "virtual business card," I'll echo others' recommendation for Wordpress. (Heck, even a decent Blogger template could do the job.)

If you're looking to create your own feature-rich site, and you want something that's accessible to the average person who's willing to take a bit of time to learn, I'd suggest looking into Joomla. (http://www.joomla.org) It's open source (read: FREE!) and very versatile.

Best of luck.
kinesis
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Scotland, surrounded by
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My current website I authored using SWISHMAX (although I could have written it just with HTML)

The one I'm working on right now is created using Serif WebPlus X4

Both sites required a knowledge of dynamic html, php and javascript. I learned it all on the job with the help a loads of people on appropriate website forums.

Watch out for the new one appearing in a few weeks...

Derek
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein






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Scott O.
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Midwest
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I built my site using HomeSite. That's basically an HTML editor. But that's just me. I like delving into the code stuff and can truly enjoy the fruits of my work. Its just another creative avenue. Mind you, I built this when I first went 'full-time' and I had more time than funds at that point. But if you have the basic skills, and an already well-designed site, tweaking it isn't that difficult and doesn't take that much time.
Do not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time you will reap a harvest, if you do not give up. Galatians 6:9
Mr Hyde
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I've had a bunch of queries about the Lynda.com training videos.

To answer your questions ... Yes, No, Yes, Perhaps.

Seriously, the best way is to try it out. Visit the site
and search the Software titles. Most major Products have their own
training videos and quite a few minor ones are there too.
Photoshop, ACT, Office etc

I believe this link will give you Free access for 24 hours!
It might be all the time you need Smile

Free 24 hour pass to lynda.com.
chefmagic
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Try this site is seams reasonable: from $1 - $9.95 a month with free domain name

http://www.tiptopwebsite.com/index.html
Mike

Magic Legacy - Low prices on great magic!
www.magiclegacy.net
aussiemagic
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Thanks for all the responses. It seems like Wordpress has a lot of fans.
How to become a professional magician:
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ScottRSullivan
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Yup. Wordpress and Coda. I have about 8 blogs/websites that are all Wordpress themes. Some look like blogs, some like traditional websites.

All were created with Wordpress on the server and Coda on my laptop. Coda helps you to code the actual site.

Coda (a Mac only program) allows very efficient design of CSS, HTML, as well as several other standard formats.

It allows direct upload from within the program of the files, very easy error correction and much more. I live by Coda:

http://panic.com/coda/

Of course, if you're on a PC, nevermind. I'll just keep it for myself. *grin*
MikeClay
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Atlanta GA
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Yep Wordpress ALL the way...

there is a theme out there with some REAL power as far as LOW geek speak and ability to adapt..

Builder by Ithemes.com

also if your going to dive into Wordpress my ASKMIKECLAY twitter account has a list of WP Gurus that you can follow and learn things from..

If you choose not to use Wordpress that's fine to.. just keep a few things in mind..

Search engines cannot link to internal content built inside of FLASH,
IPhone, Ipad, ITouch do not support flash and the user base is GROWING

If you menu is javascript, the search engines will ignore it.. build it with CSS (this is one of the many reasons search engines favor wordpress)

don't forget the basics of ON Page marketing and SEO
1. Use Proper Meta tags (Title, Description, Keyword "not read by google")
2. Use keywords in header tags (h1-h6, and use CSS to style them)
3. Check the crawlability of your site.. to make sure the search engines like it..
Cesar Munoz
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I use Adobe Dreamweaver. It has a lot of functionality that I haven't learned how to use. But, it was relatively easy to learn how to create a simple website. It's also super easy and fast for me to do my own updates.
Marshall Thornside
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chicago
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I've finally bit the bullet and really started to use WP
last summer. its really the easiest CMS available.

I've been exploring other options.
and intergrating other feeds.

Like artist data for show
and even looked into four four
you will remember my name

World's Youngest Illusionista
7th greatest pianist in the world
Go Red For Women and Stroke Ambassador
www.mai-ling.net
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