The DIY Site

The DIY Site

There are many free template sites out there. A quick look at this link demonstrates the problem. Of the list generated we could recommend Andreas Viklund's site and that's all. The rest are a collage of attractive but non-semantic sites to the downright awful. There are just so many reasons why you don't want to use these templates.

If you are going to put your own site together yourself and don't know where to start there is a source of nicely done, attractive, semantic and accessible website templates at The Open Source Web Design site. The templates there can be made to validate with a bit of a clever search selection and thus not only be easy an easy way to find problems when you encounter them but also very accessible and very sexy for search engines. Did I say they were attractive? They are gorgeous, especially beside the old mingers from 1998 most of the other sites have!

Once you are familiar with how the underlying code works a nice place to visit to see what all this is really capable of is the CSS Zen Garden. It's my muse when I need inspiration or a kick start to my creativity.

Once you have your template and you've added your content to it you've got your basic brochure website ready to go. you need a web host but there are hundreds; thousands even and many offer nice lists of features that will make things a bit easier for you. Congratulations! You've gone from not being on the web to leaping ahead of 95% of websites out there in one fell swoop! Nice one!

But we can't end up giving all this know-how away without just a little sales pitch. At some point you may want your site to be easier to update. After you have 5 or 6 pages (Home, Contact, About, Privacy, Legal, Sales-pitch page, Product info page, etc.) you may find it's getting to be a hassle to keep things up-to-date and keep the content changing to give the search engines a reason to come back. With apologies to IBM, that's when you know you're ready for a content management system!