Friday, January 18, 2013

Look Mom No Coding

Creating Websites without Coding 

There are several sites on the market that enable anyone to create a web site, yes even users that have no idea what HTML is and think java script is a dialog over coffee.  Here's a Clipset on Meaki of some of the most popular vendors.  Recently I put one of these sites to work on a volunteer project.  The goal of the project was to update and expand the usefulness of McLean Youth Athletics Association web site. I am a on the Board of MYA which has the simple but important goal of enabling any youth that wants to play a sport in the McLean Community to be able to play that sport by providing the foundation and support for sports leagues to form and thrive.

The vendor I chose is named Moonfruit . Moonfruit is a UK-based web hosting company. They employ a website construction tool called SiteMaker, which is designed to make website development simple without sacrificing on design or functionality.

The tools is polished and has a rich feature set.  You can start with a wide range of clean, modern predesigned templates and use the drag and drop tools to build your site.

 There are some really nice social features in the tool set and if you know a little about embedding and HTML you can add HTML Snippets which opens up another world of possibilities.

A benefit of using a tool like this rather than hand coding it yourself or outsourcing the work is that the tool implements the latest best practices and technology when it publishes your website. You design your site the way you want it and the very qualified engineers at MoonFruit make sure it is published correctly for web, mobile and social targets. That's right, mobile and other form factors.  MoonFruit automatically creates a mobile optimized version of your site,   and can even push your site into Facebook with just a few clicks.

The MYA site isn't finished yet, there may be broken/incorrect links etc., we're still testing and the url is still at MoonFruit,  but it provides an example of what a tools like MoonFruit can help you do in a few hours of work.   Here is the old site and here is the new site built using MoonFruit.

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