What software do you use for building a website? PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Tim Black   
Saturday, 04 January 2014 12:04

A potential client asked,

Do you ever set up websites and if so...which programs do you use?

I replied,

Yes, I do web development on the side.  The main thing I've done is set up websites for churches and other organizations, then maintain those websites as needed.

If all you need is a blog, I recommend using WordPress (http://wordpress.org).

If you need more features than a blog (e.g., image gallery, calendar), I recommend using the Joomla content management system (http://joomla.org), 3rd-party Joomla extensions (from http://extensions.joomla.org) to provide the extra features, and a RocketTheme layout template (see http://demo.rockettheme.com).  This combination using Joomla is how I've made most of my clients' websites.

If you need custom programming, I am able to do it using PHP & MySQL (in WordPress or Joomla if appropriate), Python & any popular relational database, or JavaScript & CouchDB.

You'll have to register a domain name for $10 or so a year (I've found Dreamhost.com provides the lowest price).  I provide free web hosting for my clients on my account at Webfaction (http://webfaction.com) because their tools and expert-level support save my time (so my clients' money).  If a project is large enough, to provide clients flexibility to change the plan in the future and certainty regarding the cost before the contract begins, I prefer to divide it into several smaller contracts, and charge one lump sum per contract.  In the past I've estimated projects at $30/hr for Christian organizations, and $40/hr for others, but am considering raising my rate, since 5 years ago my subcontractors averaged $70-80/hr.

I have more questions for you but will leave it at that for now ;-)

If you would like more answers, send me a list of what main pages of content, and what main features, you want in the website, and I will be glad to provide an estimate.