Every now and again you just need a basic site setup to have an internet presence. Normally this occurs for me when a friend or family member tells people I “do websites” and I get roped in to helping them out. So what options are there for a basic, modern website template.
The obvious answer is WordPress. It’s a great content management system which anyone can use. Once it’s setup the end user can create pages, upload photos and build out the site how they want it using an intuitive backend which is no more complicated than uploading pictures to Facebook.
This is great if the person or company the site is set up for has no coding knowledge. I think that every company should have a person dedicated to building an online presence over the long term. Even without technical knowledge wordpress allows you to create a site and keep it constantly updated. Adding content on a daily/weekly/monthly basis is really important for any website. Getting a website by a design company and then leaving it for two years before you need an update isn’t going to achieve anything.
Most hosting companies now offer one click wordpress install too. So you just register a domain, purchase their hosting package and install the app from the dashboard. It couldn’t be easier to setup.
The next consideration is what if you are building the site for yourself or someone with coding knowledge. WordPress can be a pain to do simple things and sometimes a more bespoke solution is required. Things like landing pages, idea tests (lean methodology) and corporate sites where you really want your own code to play with.
HTML5up.net is my new favorite website for finding templates. The ones I have worked with so far are modern, well coded, cross-browser compatible and include really useful resources (like fontawesome icons). It’s free to use as well.
Working with a template like this made me realise how bad my own code actually was and how far behind the times I’d got when it came to basic HTML/CSS design stuff. You can learn from using other peoples code as a starting point and building around it.
A note on reciprocity, I have no affiliation with html5up but because their stuff is so good and free I feel the need to tell everyone I know about it. Interesting concept.
Exceptional Content = Viral Growth
But I’ll leave that for another blog post.