I was looking for a simple solution to put up a website in an earlier post. I have found a very simple and cheap solution. Although I am not fully satisfied with the way it looks, it works fine and is an easy temporary solution. When I decide to switch, I will not have to change domain or email address. This is what I did: I registered adomain (for 11 EUR a year), and with the registration I received a free ‘parking service’. In the ‘parking’management page I gave instructuions to forward any traffic to a free WordPress blog, while linking the email to a gmail. In the blog I used ‘pages’ instead of posts, so the navigation is almost like a normal site.
No hosting, no uploading. And full management for non-techies. A lot cheaper than letting a web developer install a CMS site!
This could be a good system for ad-hoc groups that want to maintain a web presence, or for temporary or test sites. A site can be seen and tested on-line, edited and adjusted until everyone is happy about it, and then it can be ‘transcribed’ into a more professional looking design.
Up till now I am facilitating communication to and within the networks I guide in more or less the same way. I am provisionally mashing WordPress blogs with google groups, like here. But I find it hard to get everything right: e.g. I did not yet maange to crosslink feeds or to include an ’email subsription’ window in the sidebar. Also, now that I am moving to paid projects I would like a more upmarket feel of the space.
The problem is I know too little about technology to even articulate my needs. Basically, my idea is to establish a hub/portal of communities and networks and teams; some may be large, others small, some temporary, others will live longer. Some will need a lot of technical options like multiple authors, CMS’s, blogs, profiling pages, wikis, databases, forums, newsletters, tagging, maybe even e-commerce and multiple audiences, others should be simple, simpler even than a yahoo group. It should grow with me, my tech-abilities and my work, and of course with the communities. There should be a main homepage, and a newspage for each community. Each community should be able to act independent of the others; preferably with a neat url of its own homepage. On the other hand, one person can be member of multiple communities and in that case should be able to have single log-in. Some communities need to be promoted to potential members: it would be nice to be able to integrate websites that are professionally made.
I am not a geek.. but still want full management not only over content but also architecture. I am willing to learn but cannot invest huge amounts of time at this moment. I think I would like the ease of distant hosting (it somehow seems not very enterprise 2.0 not to, or..?)