Category Archives: Web Design

The Best Free Website Creators

Okay, so you have a Blog, a photostream, and maybe some crazy, only you can make products you want to sell. Perhaps you want to showcase yourself, your music, or your professional services. Maybe you want a free website! First, keep these points in mind: research the best free website creators that are right for you. Which host will provide the file space you need and the capacity you want? Who offers the best options when it comes to function and capability?
Choose a host that will let your creativity shine! You don’t want to create a website that everyone else already has.

Don’t settle for something you know you’ll outgrow. If you need a different feature than what the website host offers, keep looking.

All of these websites offer features that are out of this world, but they will charge you extra for them. Do research before signing up so you can make sure you’re getting what you expect.

Weebly.com

My personal favorite is Weebly (www.weebly.com). I have two websites through them! You get two free websites (you either have to own the domain name already or buy one through them) before you have to upgrade to a Pro account. It’s free! You can add Google Ad-sense in seconds and create an UNLIMITED number of pages! That’s right; you can have a HUNDRED pages if your heart desires. You can have unlimited Blogs, and it’s simple to add a photo gallery or stream from your Flickr account. If you would like to see an example of a Weebly website (this is where I plug in my little creation), go to my profile and click on my website. Try it out! This is my favorite website creator!

Freewebs.com

The next one is Freewebs.com. This is my next suggestion. They have over 300 templates, forums, and photo editing. Come to think of it, they actually offer way more than Weebly, but I have to pay my dues to my “first,” right? Anyways, they also have chat rooms, advanced HTML options (whew, I’m getting a little turned on, aren’t you?), and a member e-mail list (oh my gosh, where have you been?). Okay, try out Freewebs first, guys and girls. They totally rocked my world just now.

Doodlekit.com

Next on my list is Doodlekit.com. The cool thing about Doodle is that you can choose which language you want your website to be in and they also hook you up with a newsletter creator (something I desperately need. I have no idea why I went with anything else). They also help you out with SEO (search engine optimization) and bless you with IP addresses of each visitor and other fantastic statistics about your website. They also make room for a more advanced internet user with XHTML and HTML options. The coolest thing is that they allow you to create an alias e-mail address that will forward any e-mail to your real one. They are a real competitor with Freewebs in my opinion. Now for the bad news (sniff sniff). Most of these featurs will cost you extra. I know, I know! I got your hopes up…I’m sorry! They do offer a free service but also offer great “pay a little extra” features. Just make sure you do a little digging before signing up.

The greatest thing about these website creators is that they basically walk you through everything! They explain the details so even the most inexperienced internet virgin out there can manage their way into creating an awesome, personalized…and best of all FREE, website.

The Fun We’ve Had with Postcrossing

I don’t even remember how we ended up coming across it, but about two years ago, my family discovered Postcrossing. This fun website has turned into a project that our whole family can enjoy.
The concept behind Postcrossing is simple. You send a postcard to another user, with the address randomly selected by the Postcrossing computers, and include the card’s tracking number on the back of the card. Once the card arrives, the recipient gets online and enters the tracking number into the appropriate space on the Postcrossing website. Once the site has record of your postcard being received, your address is given to someone else, once again randomly selected by the computers, to have a card sent to you. The more you send, the more you will receive.

In the two years that my family and I have been Postcrossing, we have sent and received about 175 postcards each way. The postcards have come to me from all around the world. About 30 of the cards have come from within the United States. We’ve received more postcards from Finland and Germany than any other country. We’ve received cards from Australia, Japan, China, Spain… There have been so many countries that we’ve been blessed to receive cards from. As our postcards arrive, I (like many other Postcrossing members) place scanned images of each card both on the Postcrossing website and on my personal blog, giving others the opportunity to see the cards we have received.

Interestingly, we’ve received postcards from a few countries that I hadn’t even known existed before the postcards arrived in my mailbox. My kids and I have used these to our advantage, turning them into a geography lesson. Even with the countries that we do know, we often look up the countries on a map soon after the card arrives. With the newly discovered countries, we take a few moments to look into the history of the country as well as the geography.

In the long run, we plan to put the postcards into a large scrapbook, turning each page into a geography/history lesson complete with the postcards as pictures to accentuate the included information. Our collection keeps growing, and I know the project ahead of us will take some hard work but will also be rewarding once it is complete. We are already looking forward to seeing our finished project… though we’re not sure it will ever be truly complete.

Handy How-to Tips for Building a Christmas Website

With Christmas time coming up, what better time to share your favorites of the Christmas season and maybe sell a product or two via your own personal Christmas webpage? Here’s some helpful tips to get you on your way to making your own Christmas webpage.


Decide on Your Christmas Website Content

Christmas time offers the chance to share your favorite food, music, decorations, activities, gifts, events, prayers, poems, stories and more. Do a search on Christmas websites to determine the competition in the areas your Christmas website will cover. Then decide what you have new to offer or where you will specialize and why people will want to come to your website.

Build Your Search Engine Optimized Christmas Website Copy

Website copy is the explanation of what your website offers. It can include poems, wishes to friends, and soft core sales pitch about why your products have more to offer than anyone else. If you are sharing recipes, explain what recipes you will offer. If you provide a full set of offerings, be sure to offer links to additional pages and make sure all of your links have a forward and backward links.

Create a Personal Christmas Website Brand Look

Decide the colors and style your Christmas website will showcase. Thematic Christmas backgrounds, music and photographs will help set the tone for your offerings and help to establish the website brand.

Select Photos for Your Christmas Website

The photos you choose to use on your website can help set the website brand. Make sure to reduce the number of pixels in your photographs to ensure a quick load onto the page, don’t ask your customers to wait forever to have it load. Using a slide show link to Flicker can allow you to share more photos with less page load time.

Select Music for Your Christmas Website

Choose Christmas music from to play on your webpage. Music starting automatically when it loads can be slow. Pick another place to have music begin such as mousing over a menu item or when someone clicks on song of the day..

Choose Your Christmas Website Development Tool

If you’re new to website development, you may choose to create a blog from WordPress, Blogger, Squidoo or other site since most have the ability to offer the same content as a webpage. Then customize your blog with appropriate colors. An original background photograph can help set your brand look. Squidoo has the advantage of being free, will pay for advertisement hits, and offers a number of free tool enclosures that allows you to have much more content that changes often.

If you want to delve into webpage development, most of the companies that offer a domain allow you to set up your webpage for free using their in house development tools. This is one step more complicated than using a blog, but can offer different styles and layouts plus easier access to shopping cart tools.

Using one of the development suites can offer additional complexity in the number of linked pages and help you manage the overall project by ensuring that web page links are maintained and up to date. They can also ease copying the files associated with your webpage from your personal PC up to the webpage server.

Setting Up Your Christmas Website Domain Name

You can buy your own website domain name from places like Godaddy.com or Yahoo.com. Having a domain name provides your website an easy to remember name that people can search for and find. Once you have your domain name, www.ChristmasWebsiteXYZ.com, you follow the directions to establish the link. Many times you have to wait a day or so before it is live.

Submit Your Christmas Website to the Search Engines

Depending on the website tool, you are provided help to submit your website to the search engines at many levels. On Yahoo, they will submit your website to some of the top search engines like Yahoo and Google for no additional cost. On Godaddy.com, they sell the use of a tool called TrafficBlazer that helps guide you through setting up your keywords on your webpage and submitting it to the search engines.

Link to Other Christmas Websites

I started a Squidoo Lens when I was first learning, click here to view a work in progress. Please share links to your webpage if you comment, I’m happy to add new friends, and learn from others.