Website Publishing Software Selection Help

I need help getting website design / publishing software. Maybe a website or two that gives unbiased comparisons of different products, or a list of specific products that have proven to work well for developing pages to be published to a DreamHost website.

I’m a web application developer at work but all Microsoft stuff (IIS, Microsoft SQL, Visual Studio 2008, and using VB), so I’m out of my element (besides the fact that VS 2008 is too complicated and expensive to fit this job).

I want to develop a simple / static website for our swim and racquet club. It would mainly consist of some pages of pictures (maybe some video to), a calendar, a newsletter section, and maybe a blog at some point. My plan is that after I have it laid-out that I can get someone at the club to take over the task of updating it, so I’ll need this software to be usable by novices too. I’m hoping that since our site is quite simple, there should be some software out there that’s fairly inexpensive and easy to use that will do the job.

Any help would be greatly appreciated

I don’t have a comparison resource on-hand but Mr. Google might have a few.

Take a look at WordPress. Many Linux-hosted CMS sites use it as a framework base, there are oooodles of themes readily available, stacks of free plug-ins, and even the most greenest of green internet users can quickly get the hang of updating pages when it comes to handing admin jobs over.

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I’ve been programming computers for 25 years, and been developing Windows based eCommerce sites for 10 years, but being an old guy, I don’t feel like spending hours chasing false leads with Mr Google when there are people here that would love to share their insight on what they find works best for them.

With all my experience being with the Windows environment, I am out of my element here, and know that getting input from experienced developers that have tried different approaches to doing what I’m trying to do will put me way farther ahead then chasing down a marketing website of someone trying to sell you their software. For instance I’d have never thought of using WordPress to publish my website.

Isn’t WordPress an app that’s designed from the ground up to be used for blogging? I was told by a colleague to use WordPress for our eventual blog page, but I didn’t think that would be the kind of tool you’d use for the type of site I described (multiple pages of pictures, videos, a calendar, and of course a blog). I’m interested in getting something very simple started quickly and then expanding on it later. I love the fact that WordPress is free but that’s not one of my prerequisites. From what you described, and from what very little I know about WordPress, I’m going to have to do extra work to make WordPress fit my needs, and more-over, the novice user that I turn this over to will require more of my assistance. I spend a lot of time at work helping users do stuff with there computers, and would really like to minimize the amount of my time required to turn this over to a novice, once the basic setup of the site is done, and pages are built.

Thanks for the info on WordPress though. I didn’t think of it that way, so I’ll start looking into it, but I was hoping for some other options that sounded closer to “plug-n-play”, “WYSIWYG”, and “drag-n-drop”, to throw out a few clichés.

Any other options out there I’m all ears.

While it’s true that WP was originally a blogging platform (I always regarded WP as being for bloggers, too!) over the years the devs have created a framework that can be used as a complete CMS solution.

The original engine was designed for post-like articles, but they added the ability to create static pages early in the game which opened up a whole new ball game functionality-wise. The addition of a robust plug-in system geared it up yet again to a myriad of possibilities. Indeed, many professional website developers base entire portfolios on sites they’ve designed using WP as the CMS.

There are many users here at this board that are fluent with WP to the point of being gurus (in particular, sdayman and rlparker are very quick at providing solutions), and the WP community at large is renowned for providing excellent tech support should it be required. The Codex is replete with instruction.

The back-end is drag 'n drop with regard to themes and plug-ins. The administration and editing learning curve is a bump rather than a steep incline. In the back-end, think of “Posts” as being the blogging bit and “Pages” being the CMS bit (at least that’s how I got my old head around it).

Some other popular (open source) products are Jooomla! and Drupal - and they’re really good CMS’s too. I mention WP because it’s faster than the others thanks to some excellent caching solutions available for it, which will give your visitors a better end-user experience, and the admin learning curve is somewhat (quite a bit) less of an incline for the guys you eventually hand the site over to.

If you can set aside a half hour or so, I’d suggest setting up some quick Advanced One-Click installs in a temporary sub-domain and give the back-ends a bit of a once over.

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Sorry I sold WP short.

I’ll see what I can do with it, though I’d still like to get input from anyone that has other tools they prefer for a situation like mine.

Thanks sXi for the advice

Although I not use it myself, I have recommened Xara Webdesigner ( to a few friends who where and are novice.
They all are very happy with it, also because it has a very large teaching area with movie files and templates

Try this