Best Website Building Software?

I am very new to building a website from scratch (my experience is in using pre-existing templates only or maintaining existing sites and forums).

I need to be able to do the following with this new website:

  • Have at least two levels of accessibility (public & member-login access); preferably three levels (public, member login, leader login), with viewable pages corresponding to those levels.

  • Have an events calendar with RSVP capability for registered users only – not visible to the public (with preferably the ability to tie into an email list, so ideally we can email out an event announcement and include two links to RSVP YES and RSVP NO).

I have iWeb on my laptop. But I can’t find adequate plugins for it to do what we need.

I tried WordPress but the blog aspects were very frustrating to deal with. The purpose of the site is not a blog. It’s to communicate general info publicly, and specific event info to registered members (with the ability for them to RSVP, etc.). A blog is very low on my list of priorities for the site.

So I uninstalled WordPress and tried Joomla, because I found what looked like some potential plugins for it ( But I admit, I am completely lost now. :frowning: It is even less intuitive than WordPress.

Does anyone have any recommendations for which website building software would work best for what I’m needing? Doesn’t have to be open-sourced, etc. But of course free is good. Thank you!

Maybe this will help:

Thank you! I did search, extensively (so I thought), for specific software and/or plugins that would allow for multiple level logins and a calendar with RSVP functionality. The challenge I’ve had is finding the one platform that has the accompanying plugins that will allow the functionality I need. It’s not just about finding a software that’s user-friendly for beginners. It’s about finding one that will allow reliable plugins that will provide these aspects to the site, that are key.

I’ve returned to WordPress and am trying several different plugins, but am still very appreciative if others have had greater success using different software that will allow for the specific functionality I’m needing, and/or have recommendations regarding WordPress plugins.

Thanks. :slight_smile:

Nevermind. I have found some plugins on WordPress that I think will work. Thank you any way.

Admin, feel free to delete this thread.

As forums are considered to be a repository of knowledge, threads are usually not deleted, so that others can learn from them.

You can help others by telling us which plugins you have found useful.

Well, sure! :slight_smile: (I’m very new to this. I appreciate the suggestion.)

I ended up going back to WordPress (Joomla was a bear to deal with and I finally gave up) and now have the following additional plug-ins activated:

Comment Control
Custom Meta Widget
Page Links To
Restrict Categories
User Access Manager

I have quite a few others I had uploaded to try, but those above are the ones I’m using now. The rest are deactivated.

So far, it seems to be working pretty well. I still have a long way to go in terms of functionality (allowing specific groups to create blog posts in restricted areas, etc., and tying a mailing list to the events, and customizing the theme so it’s not quite so minimalistic – see below), but I am at least not as completely overwhelmed as I was initially.

I switched from Coraline (I like the look but functionality wasn’t working for me) to the Twenty Twelve theme and created a child theme for it to make changes in.

I’m still having some issues with the 404 text (it’s appearing on restricted pages and I’ve tried changing the test to read, “You must be a registered user to access this page. Please login, thank you!” or something. But so far it’s not worked. The default 404 “This is embarrassing” text is being very stubborn. I still have a lot of searching to do on that yet.

But at least I’m getting somewhere. :slight_smile:

Just a FYI - Don’t forget to clear cache, and possibly even close the browser and launch it again, to make sure you’re not just viewing the cached version of that page.

Thanks! I’ve tried that and am still getting the “embarrassing” message when I am not logged in, but click on a private link (restricted to certain user groups).

I’m still getting it for non-existing pages as well. I’m trying to figure out if there’s a different place in CSS (etc.) that handles restricted access? Maybe one of the plugins is overwriting the theme’s custom 404 text with a traditional WP one?

Here’s my 404 file. Maybe I mucked something up when I changed the text? Or perhaps it’s because it’s using the “twentytwelve” text and it should instead be “twentytwelvechild”? I tried changing that bit too, but no good.


  • The template for displaying 404 pages (Not Found)
  • @package WordPress
  • @subpackage Twenty_Twelve
  • @since Twenty Twelve 1.0

get_header(); ?>

<div id="primary" class="site-content">
	<div id="content" role="main">

		<article id="post-0" class="post error404 no-results not-found">
			<header class="entry-header">
				<h1 class="entry-title"><?php _e( 'You must be a registered member to view this page.', 'twentytwelve' ); ?></h1>

			<div class="entry-content">
				<p><?php _e( 'Thank you.', 'twentytwelve' ); ?></p>
				<?php get_search_form(); ?>
			</div><!-- .entry-content -->
		</article><!-- #post-0 -->

	</div><!-- #content -->
</div><!-- #primary -->
<?php get_footer(); ?>[/code]

Also, when I enter a random word behind the URL, I get this:

[quote]Not Found

The requested URL /welcome was not found on this server.

Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.[/quote]

So apparently I’ve mucked up the code somehow? I don’t mean to veer offtopic from my OP, but I appreciate the help. :slight_smile: If it would be more appropriate for me to start a new post on this issue, let me know.

wordpress is best i think so.