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Thread: Creative, but not Technically savvy!

  1. #1

    Default Creative, but not Technically savvy!

    I am starting a small business and trying to minimize loans and other high start-up cost. I realize that there will be some things I just can not do and will need to hire help.

    I digress...

    I need a website with drop down menus, a forum, ability to upload pic/video and ability to post responses from members. The website needs to have limited function for causal viewers and full access to members only.

    Can I get all these functions from a Wordpress or Squarespace web builder or is this more of a professional custom order?

  2. #2
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    Welcome to the forum. I know you can do everything you want with WordPress. I'm not sure about Squarespace. With WordPress the drop down menus are simple. No code required. I assume Squarespace will make this easy too. To get a forum in WordPress you need to add a plugin and there are a few forum plugins to choose form. I'm not sure if Squarespace has the ability to add a forum. Uploading pics and videos is easy on WordPress and I assume it's the same on Squarespace. WordPress lets you create posts/pages that are visible to everyone and some only visible to registered members with privileges you set up. If you want to charge people for access to the hidden content you'll need a membership plugin most likely. I'm not sure if Squarespace can do this, though if I had to guess I'd say no.

    To get things working exactly how you want in WordPress you likely will need some plugins. You can probably get free ones for most of what you need, though some you might need to pay for. Figure you'll spend at least $100 on something and possibly more depending on what you want and which plugins you like best.

    Hope that helps.
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  3. #3

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    Thank you vangogh.

    That was very helpful and at least gets me started on which builder to use or look into first.

    I assume WordPress can be hosted by most web host and I can use my own domain name. I have been looking into arvixe to host as they offer what I need. I have also considered asking the web design dept from where I graduated or my local university if they needed a semester project or had anyone who could build the website for an affordable fee.

    My wife has suggested that this old dog take some courses or that she could, as in time I'll need to upgrade the site and/or need to be able to handle technical issues.

    What do you or anyone else think about the web builder software that's out there?

    Thank you all in advance.

  4. #4

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    Wordpress will definitely allow you to do all of that.

    The way I learned to use it was simply Google. When I needed a certain functionality, I just Googled "Wordpress membership plugin" or "Installing a forum in Wordpress" or something similar, and usually I found what I needed in a matter of minutes. There are plugins for almost anything, and there are tutorials for almost anything you want to do.

    I suggest finding a hosting company that let's you do a quick wordpress install. There's a "5-minute" Wordpress isntallation tutorial out there, but I read through it and highly doubt most people can do it in 5 minutes. The installation through your hosting company will be the quickest and simplest.

    Then, you will need a theme. This is where you'll have to do some searching and find a theme that already supports at least most of the capabilities you're looking for. I also suggest a paid theme for $30-$60. They come with much better support and much more flexibility when it comes to customization. They also tend to look much better that free themes.

    To find themes, check out Theme Forest or Google "Premium Wordpress themes".

    That should get you started.

    Have fun!
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  5. #5

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    If you do use WordPress, just be sure to keep up-to-date on the security patches. WordPress is a very popular open-source web application, which has led to many people trying to manipulate or hack web sites for their own gain. For example, some spammers may try posting numerous links in your comment section, or hackers may try exploiting an aspect of your administration section. As long as you stay up to date on the security patches, your web site should be fine.

    Good luck!

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    Using wordpress or squarespace is absolutely fine, I don't have any argument but the most important point which I would like to suggest is that..don't use any site builder or fully designed template.
    Make your website with your own design. Design custom template as per your requirement and make sure it loads easily and all on-page SEO factors are covered during design or development.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3iinfocom View Post
    Using wordpress or squarespace is absolutely fine, I don't have any argument but the most important point which I would like to suggest is that..don't use any site builder or fully designed template.
    Make your website with your own design. Design custom template as per your requirement and make sure it loads easily and all on-page SEO factors are covered during design or development.
    WordPress is built on a template architecture. Whether you design it or someone else does it's still a template. For someone with limited funds customizing an already created template will not only save them hundreds if not thousands of dollars, it will also help them get something up relatively quickly while they are actually learning something about running their own website.

    I'm not discounting the importance of design, but creating something completely original from the ground up is not the most important thing because visitors have no idea. They only notice when it's designed bad. And "original" design has no measure on whether or not you will have success online.
    You can scour the web from Small Businesses to Fortune 500 companies and you will not find a lot off drastic differences to how websites are structured anymore. Whatever you can find that you think is original, I'll show you a template that can be made into it or the template it started as.


    What separates the men from the boys is branding and graphics, images, and copy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Startmeup View Post
    I need a website with drop down menus, a forum, ability to upload pic/video and ability to post responses from members. The website needs to have limited function for causal viewers and full access to members only.

    Can I get all these functions from a Wordpress or Squarespace web builder or is this more of a professional custom order?
    Yes, you can do all of this with WordPress. You cannot do it with Squarespace. WordPress is not a website builder like Squarespace or Wix. It's a full featured CMS that you have complete control over. You will have to know or learn some basic technical skills to use it, and some basic HTML and CSS if you want to do any styling of your own. And yes you will probably need professional help to put it together for you.

    WordPress is not easy out of the box. But out of all your options that give you completely control to build your own website without any restrictions on functionality, it's the easiest to learn and use.

    The functionality you are describing is available in a WordPress extension called Buddypress.

    I have to ask, what kind of community are you trying to build?

    The simplest answer to what you've described is a V-Bulletin forum with all of the publishing add ons. It makes more sense than BuddyPress and technically and security wise it will be much easier to run.

    The complicated answer would be WordPress with BuddyPress and the forum extension. In all my years of suggesting people take the simple and best option to build their community, most don't listen and take the complicated option because they are positive that their members are going to want to PM each other, customize their profiles with image galleries, have their own blogs, upload videos ( instead of posting You Tube videos) and so on. And in every instance they created a quagmire that was hard to run and that no one was interested in.

    I'm not trying to be a naysayer. Building a community is hard, but can be worth it. Building a membership site is dead. Dead as a door nail. Especially a paid membership site. The only exception is if you're some type of professional, industry or community organization. Those can work well, but it's really dependent on the person running it, more than how many features it offers. People don't join things because of features anymore. They join because they are going to get something out of it. If it's a rock solid offering and you know how you market it, you can put it on a paper bag and get thousands of members. But unless you're a widely recognized industry professional, no one is going to pay (or even sign up) just to read your blog posts.


    JMO of course.
    Last edited by Harold Mansfield; 02-28-2015 at 10:38 AM.

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