Designing website with Muse,Wix,Weebly vs. straight HTML

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iowegian3
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Designing website with Muse,Wix,Weebly vs. straight HTML

Post by iowegian3 » Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:50 am

I may get charged with heading up a revamp for my friend's radio station website. It needs to be fast, not flashy, and simple in design.

Which approach would yield a website that will load quickly on smartphones, especially in a slow, rural cellular environment? I could design a site myself with one of the programs above for HTML dummies like myself, but I wonder if this would make for a slow-to-load site.

Don't want to waste time designing my own site to find out afterwards that it's too slow. Or would I be OK as long as I steer clear of flashy design and lots of photo content, i.e. a photo as "wallpaper"for the site.

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Dale H. Cook
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Re: Designing website with Muse,Wix,Weebly vs. straight HTML

Post by Dale H. Cook » Sun Jan 08, 2017 8:41 am

iowegian3 wrote:It needs to be fast, not flashy, and simple in design.
Building your own site in HTML would suit your needs the best if you have lots of time to devote to learning HTML. All of the web-site-building systems that I have seen for "HTML dummies" seem to include a fair amount of needless code. Here is a site that is written directly in HTML:

http://plymouthcolony.net/starcityeng/index.html

I have been writing my own pages for about twenty years, using a programmer's editor (Vedit) and a group of templates that I have developed. Since my pages are not intended for the general public their plain appearance is fine - they are intended simply to convey information.

Having a site display properly on smartphones and tablets is another matter, one which I am working on at the moment. In any case, unless you are willing to spend a lot of time studying and mastering HTML (something that would probably be easier if you have a decent amount of experience as a computer programmer) you may have no choice but to use something like Weebly and accept the possibly slow result.
iowegian3 wrote:Or would I be OK as long as I steer clear of flashy design and lots of photo content, i.e. a photo as "wallpaper"for the site.
Having a background image need no be a major slowdown, depending upon factors such as the size and complexity of the image, the graphics format in which it is stored, and whether it is tiled. Others here may have experience with Weebly, Wix, etc., and also writing code from scratch.
Dale H. Cook, Contract Engineer, Roanoke/Lynchburg, VA
http://plymouthcolony.net/starcityeng/index.html

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Bill DeFelice
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Re: Designing website with Muse,Wix,Weebly vs. straight HTML

Post by Bill DeFelice » Sun Jan 08, 2017 9:33 am

Designing the site is one thing, but maintaining it is a whole 'nother beast. You may want to explore content management systems like WordPress which can be custom tailored. I'm sure some of the hosting you mentioned either has WP or their own CMS that can do an equally good job. If properly configured a good CMS will even allow people with little knowledge like interns or even a station's secretary to add new content. I know a couple of non-comms use these sorts of providers though I can't find my list of them at the moment.
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ChuckG
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Re: Designing website with Muse,Wix,Weebly vs. straight HTML

Post by ChuckG » Sun Jan 08, 2017 8:41 pm

I agree with Bill. Using a CMS like Word Press is probably your bet bet. They display well on different devices and can be maintained by
non-technical people. Quite a few commercial stations do exactly that.

A lightweight, simple HTML site might load a little faster as there is no database involved, but most CMS' should be entirely acceptable provided you don't load them down with bandwidth-sucking content.
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iowegian3
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Re: Designing website with Muse,Wix,Weebly vs. straight HTML

Post by iowegian3 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:36 am

No, I'm certainly not interested in learning HTML myself. I have used Muse before, which makes a very attractive website but I'd still have to figure out how to integrate CMS into it, which my previous attempt didn't need. Seems like a waste of time.

Hiring someone to design a custom site in HTML will just leave things where they are now, a site that is hard to fix when things go wrong. Going with the consensus here, WordPress or something similar looks like the best bet. Thanks for the feedback

nfr
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Re: Designing website with Muse,Wix,Weebly vs. straight HTML

Post by nfr » Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:24 am

It really does not matter a lot what content management system (CMS) or writing the site in raw HTML, CSS, and Javascript. Hand coding will usually create a slightly faster site, but this is mostly due to knowledge of website design not the hand coding itself. If you want the site to be fast look into website optimization. For example, resize the image sizes using a photo editor and not using the browser to resize them on every download. If you have not designed a website before, look into a competent web designer that understands optimization. You really need a understanding of what is slow and fast to render in a browser to optimize a site. This usually only comes with experience unfortunately.

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