Very basic questions about building a website
Thread poster: Ines Burrell

Ines Burrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:47
Member (2004)
English to Latvian
+ ...
May 31, 2016

I have had a website for a few years now. I created it in a coffee infused haze, not knowing anything about websites at all, and having got over the trauma of dealing with it, I have since completely forgotten everything about this event. Which is why I cannot update any information there, as I have no idea what tools I used to create it in the first place. And besides, by now it is brutally outdated and urgently needs removing and replacing with something new.

In spite of being otherwise a bright individual with above the average IQ, I, sadly, lack any and all skills when it comes to website design. I understand there are various sites where I can create my website and in theory upload it to my own domain. However, since I do not understand the basic principles, I have a couple of very silly questions and I would really appreciate if somebody could set me straight.

So, let's say, I have chosen one website from the hundreds available, which state I can create my website for free and they would even throw in a free domain. I do not need a domain, but I assume I should be able to upload the end result to my own domain, right? Now, what happens, when I need to update any info on my website? By that time my free trial at the website making site would have expired. I would assume the website files would be deleted from this free account and would only exist as an uploaded version on my domain. Can I still edit my website, even if I do not have access to the actual files I used to upload it? Or do I have to upload a brand new site every time I need to make some changes?

Or maybe there is some really simple, incredibly cheap or free software for complete basket cases which I could use to create this brilliant website of mine and then continue using when I need to edit the content?

I would greatly appreciate any advice. Please use small words, though.

Ines


 

John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 23:47
Member (2008)
French to English
Proz.com hosting? May 31, 2016

You have posted under Proz.com hosting. Is this website hosted by Proz.com?

 

Ines Burrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:47
Member (2004)
English to Latvian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Yes May 31, 2016

John Fossey wrote:

You have posted under Proz.com hosting. Is this website hosted by Proz.com?


It is indeed. My questins are not necessarily related to Proz.com hosting, however, I would like to know how to upload the end result to my Proz hosted domain.


 

Joakim Braun  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 05:47
German to Swedish
+ ...
Some comments May 31, 2016

Burrell wrote:

So, let's say, I have chosen one website from the hundreds available, which state I can create my website for free and they would even throw in a free domain. I do not need a domain, but I assume I should be able to upload the end result to my own domain, right?


That totally depends on the setup.

In serious web hosting, you get a directory on their server and a set of tools made available (PHP, MySQL etc.). What you install in your directory is your business. It could be hand-written HTML files, or a complete Drupal or Wordpress installation.

Burrell wrote:
Now, what happens, when I need to update any info on my website? By that time my free trial at the website making site would have expired. I would assume the website files would be deleted from this free account and would only exist as an uploaded version on my domain.


Your web hosting is independent from your domain name. If you have broadband you could even do the web hosting yourself at home from a spare computer (enter your IP number in the DNS and set up the port forwarding on your router accordingly). This is actually a very good solution.

Burrell wrote:
Can I still edit my website, even if I do not have access to the actual files I used to upload it?


Not unless you have access to the server directory, and can redownload the files.
(Well, you could also download one file at a time, scripts and CSS included.)

Burrell wrote:
Or do I have to upload a brand new site every time I need to make some changes?


No, you need to upload the changed files. For small websites, though, a complete reupload is simple and fast.


Burrell wrote:
Or maybe there is some really simple, incredibly cheap or free software for complete basket cases which I could use to create this brilliant website of mine


Depends. There are plenty of templates out there, but quality templates build on CMS systems like Wordpress. CMS systems are not for complete beginners - the code base is huge, the design structure intricate and you'll need hand-holding, or some time reading up on it. Once you've done that, you can do a lot of work very quickly with a good template.

I think you should hire a designer, who deals with the technical details, or set aside the time to learn the technology yourself (a simple matter for someone with "above the average IQ").

Also, you should find out how to do all Web development locally, by setting up a Web server on your day.-to-day computer. Its fast, convenient and you don't even need to be connected to the Internet while developing.


 

John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 23:47
Member (2008)
French to English
cPanel May 31, 2016

Burrell wrote:

John Fossey wrote:

You have posted under Proz.com hosting. Is this website hosted by Proz.com?


It is indeed. My questins are not necessarily related to Proz.com hosting, however, I would like to know how to upload the end result to my Proz hosted domain.


If you are hosted on Proz.com, the simple way to access your website back end is via cPanel at www.your-domain.com/cpanel

Once you log in the file manager will give you complete access to the website's files.

If you just want to make a minor change, you can use cPanel's file editor to make the changes. But you should know about html so you don't break it. It's really not complicated, but does require some learning.

[Edited at 2016-05-31 18:29 GMT]


 

John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 23:47
Member (2008)
French to English
Wordpress May 31, 2016

Burrell wrote:

Or maybe there is some really simple, incredibly cheap or free software for complete basket cases which I could use to create this brilliant website of mine and then continue using when I need to edit the content?



Yes, there is. It's a while since I have used Proz.com's hosting, but you should be able to install Wordpress (free) and set up your website with that. There are many templates available for free. Again, there is some learning needed, but it's not complicated, you just have to apply yourself and experiment.

[Edited at 2016-05-31 18:32 GMT]


 

Ines Burrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:47
Member (2004)
English to Latvian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Joakim and John May 31, 2016

I kind of thought it cannot be that easy. The brain unfortunately comes complete with a wide streak of laziness, but at least it has helped me to find some very interesting solutions for the overall goal - end result with the least possible amount of effort.

Right, proper web design it is for me then. Thanks!


 

John Holland  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:47
Member (2012)
French to English
Templates May 31, 2016

Joakim Braun wrote:

There are plenty of templates out there, but quality templates build on CMS systems like Wordpress.


If you want to set up a simple site, without a CMS like WordPress, check out the excellent templates at HTML5 UP:
http://html5up.net/
They are free to use, even commercially, as long as the template is credited on each page, or you can pay a reasonable fee to the designer's company, Pixelarity, for versions of the templates that also include support.

On the Pixelarity site, there are some links to introductory information about working with HTML and CSS, and information about text and image editing software, that may be helpful:
http://pixelarity.com/help

The templates are very well done. I used one for my own site, which I've redone recently:
https://jhollandtranslations.com/.


[Edited at 2016-06-01 13:37 GMT]


 

Ines Burrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:47
Member (2004)
English to Latvian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
That's more like it! Jun 1, 2016

John Holland wrote:

Joakim Braun wrote:

There are plenty of templates out there, but quality templates build on CMS systems like Wordpress.


If you want to set up a simple site, without a CMS like WordPress, check out the excellent templates at HTML5 UP:
http://html5up.net/
They are free to use, even commercially, as long as the template is credited on each page or you can pay a reasonable fee to the designer's company, Pixelarity, for versions of the templates that also include support.

On the Pixelarity site, there are some links to introductory information about working with HTML and CSS, and information about text and image editing software, that may be helpful:
http://pixelarity.com/help

The templates are very well done. I used one for my own site, which I've redone recently:
https://jhollandtranslations.com/.


Thanks John! I this looks a little bit less involved. Might be just what I was looking for.


 


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