It must be drop dead easy to build a website these days. How so? Everyone is doing it. Multiple sources put the number of websites at over 600-million. How can you stick your toe into the website building arena?
For Mac users, it’s easy, fast, inexpensive and the options are many.
Let me run down the list. WordPress.com. Tumblr.com. Those two sites alone account for over 100-million websites. They’re mostly free, simple to setup, have plenty of bells and whistles, and get you on the world wide web in minutes.
If you’d prefer more control over your site or create sites for others on your Mac, here’s a two-step process that is difficult to beat.
How? Add Karelia’s Sandvox to your Mac. It’s an app that lets you design and upload websites, fully customizable, loaded with bells and whistles, and do it in hours instead of days.
Start by selecting an appropriate theme from the library. Then add pages and content. Text, graphics, video, photos– all are added via drag and drop. Add as many pages as your site needs. Sandvox keeps track of the navigation menus.
The Sandvox user interface is friendly, inviting, and familiar (looks a bit like Apple’s old iWeb). Tools are self explanatory, yet options are many.
Sandvox is up to date and can generate HTML5 websites which makes the designs friendly for modern browsers on Mac, Windows, iPhone, iPad and other mobile devices.
It creates photo galleries with pop up effects and slideshows. It’s also friendly for search engines, and it’s actually easy to change your site from one theme to another. Unlike WordPress or Tumblr sites, Sandvox doesn’t require a built-in database for full functionality.
That also means you need to find a place to host your finished site on the world wide web. Hosts are a dime a dozen but let’s assume you want a low price with plenty of bandwidth and storage. For that I’ll recommend Amazon’s highly touted and relatively inexpensive Simple Storage Service (S3). 5GB of storage is free, and if you exceed that amount, you only pay for what you use.
Caveats? A few.
You’ll need a good sFTP app to upload your website’s files to Amazon, but Sandvox can upload to other hosts using the built-in functions. And, if you want your own private domain name, you’ll need to point the domain to your Amazon S3 site. In the end, you’ll have a personalized, customized website with bells and whistles, and plenty of overhead to handle photos, videos, and visitors.