Is there anything out there I can use to publish a paragraph or so of text on the front page of my website that I can change regularly without having to upload the entire website every time? Does that even make sense? I’m using iWeb create and then upload the files via FTP to Dreamhost. Each time I want to change the greeting on the website, I have to go through that process. I’d love to find something easier to use. I’m thinking something like an RSS feed, but I really have no idea. I’m pretty new to the whole web site building/ hosting/ maintaining gig. It’s just a hobby for my homeowner’s association. Any help would be really appreciated! Thanks.
Sure! That’s exactly what Content Management Systems (CMS) software does. Joomla! and WordPress (using the WordPress “Pages” functionality) provide this “out of the box” and are available as “one-click” installs on DreamHost. There are literally hundreds of other programs/scripts available for doing this in varying ways and to varying degrees - some a “news” type scripts that allow you to keep an easily changeable section of a page for the updating of an section, while others take a different approach by simply provided a CGI facility for editing a definable area of a page (check out hotscripts.com for many such things).
You are likely to find that iweb is difficult to use, at best, in a traditional web hosting environment. It was primarily desigined as an interface/tool for .mac, and it does things very differently than the way traditional websites are constructed and managed.
If you search for iweb in these forums you will find quite a bit of discussion about its use on DreamHost, and several excellent suggested alternatives that might be of interest. Even for a “hobbiest”, it’s good to maximize the return on your investment of time, and many other technologies/tools will give you a much bigger “bang for your buck” in the long run than iweb.
Since you are embarking upon a learning process anyway,why not learn something that is universally useful rather than something that is particularly .mac oriented?
Both Joomla! and WordPress can do a great job of handling a site like this. WordPress would be great for a basic informational site, and provide a “discussion” vehicle via blog comments, but Joomla! would be a much better choice, as it has a good selection of user management tools, community related features, and a wide selection of extensions that would allow you to have a “public facing” site and private sections for discussions, photos, etc.