Using Weebly for Architekwiki
When the idea for Architekwiki first came around, I was already familiar with Weebly. I had built a new website for Wolnitzek Architects to showcase our Planning expertise. Check it out.
If you have any experience with building or editing websites, you will be surprised by Weebly because everything is WYSIWYG. All of your time is spent on the content and none of it is spent on website management (also known as 'bull###t'). The only impediment to you starting your own website today is coming up with a concept and a layout. You can even 'wing it' and change it on the fly later.
Here's what it takes (and why I love the simplicity).
Each of these nine points relates to a screenshot below. The images can be expanded to view them easier, just click on them.
- Sign up for an account. Follow one of my links or do a search, fill in the blanks and you are ready to go.
- Add a Site to your account. Pick the main characteristic you want - site, blog or e-commerce.
- Pick a Theme from among the hundreds available. Although this is a major decision, you can change it easily.
- Themes can be customized quite easily without getting into HTML or CSS. (See more about themes below.)
- Create your domain name. If you don't mind a URL like http://YourSite.weebly.com, you can blow through this step in seconds. If you change your mind later, Weebly will take care of redirecting old users to your new domain name.
- Starting to build your site looks like this. You will spend much more time creating images and text than in arranging those elements in a page of your site. You can see what it looks like without constantly saving drafts and 'previewing' them.
- Add titles, text, images. All of these activities are drag and drop. The screenshot below shows the drag and drop elements that are simply dragged into your page where you want them placed. (The faint star on some elements designate the need for a Pro account that costs just
- Add a page and select a page layout style (changeable any time). Adding pages is a snap. And you can make them visible in your menu or only reachable by links elsewhere on your site or perhaps an email that you have sent.
- Click publish. Whenever you are ready to go live, just push the button. Each time you update your site or post a blog article you can post to Twitter and Facebook simultaneously.
For Corbu, I use WordPress to build that site. WordPress is widely popular and has more features, but Weebly lets me change things in seconds when WordPress takes an hour (if I can figure out how to do it).
Oh yeah, it's free until you want to add a your own domain name without the 'Weebly' in the URL or need some of the premium elements, like a search box, or embedded video or audio.
This video below can demonstrate Weebly for you better than I can. This YouTube video is not a premium feature.
I have found that picking a theme has its pitfalls. Your first impression of the theme may be really positive. It is only later that your focus changes and you notice some of the details that you may not be so crazy about. So you select a new theme, which is easy. You may need to modify a few things because of the new theme, but that is also easy to do.
Some stuff you can't change about a theme:
- Placement of the Site Name
- The menu location and looks
- The background (to some extent)
- Any flourishes, like rounded corners, type of divider
There are lots of things you can do with your own website: online portfolio, vacation documentary, journal for your thoughts, a blog. If you are shy about all that sharing stuff, you can control who can see your website - the public or just those you give the URL to. Not even search engines can find you if you want to be that private. Optimizing your site for search engines to find you is a never-ending task because of the constant changes that Google, in particular, rolls out.
I urge you to try out Weebly, you know you want to. Build a quick site just to see what it's like.