By J. D. BIERSDORFER
Published: July 7, 2010
Q. Is there any inexpensive Web design software that works on Mac and Windows and would be easy enough to learn for people maintaining a simple nonprofit site?
A. Although most Web design programs tend to come in either Windows or Mac OS X versions, software for both systems is available. For people who don’t want to learn HTML and other code languages, there are programs to create pages in a visual wysiwyg (what you see is what you get) environment.
These programs are usually easier for beginners, but Webmonkey has free tutorials on technical basics at webmonkey.com/tutorials.
KompoZer (kompozer.net) is one open-source wysiwyg program that works on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux systems and lets users edit Web pages without having to write much code. The Mozilla SeaMonkey suite (seamonkey-project.org) also has tools for editing Web pages on several operating systems. There is not much personal technical support with either program, however, although there is some basic documentation on each site.
Depending on the nonprofit organization and its purpose, it may also qualify for membership in TechSoup (techsoup.org), a group that takes hardware and software donated by companies and distributes it to libraries and nonprofit institutions. Instructions for joining TechSoup are on its site.
Creating a site is one step, but it will need a server to host it. The Web Hosting Geeks site has reviews of companies at webhostinggeeks.com.
Yahoo has inexpensive hosting, and it also offers tools and templates for creating pages atsmallbusiness.yahoo.com. Homestead (homestead.com) lets people create a Web site in a browser and will then host the site for a small fee. Google Sites is a similar option for simple sites, but free, at sites.google.com.
TIP OF THE WEEK Is Google Calendar or Gmail not loading — and you’re not sure if it’s you or Google having the problem? Take a quick trip to Google’s Apps Status Dashboard at google.com/appsstatus to see if there are any reported problems with many of the company’s services, including Google Talk, Google Docs and Google Groups.
Status reports on Yahoo Mail and Windows Live Mail are available at the Down Right Now site (downrightnow.com), which also keeps tabs on the operating status of Facebook, Twitter and Ning. Blog-hosting sites, including TypePad, LiveJournal and Blogger, are also monitored. And if you suspect a regular Web site is down for the count, type in its address at downforeveryoneorjustme.com to see if it’s the site or you with the connection problem.
J. D. BIERSDORFER
via Web Design for Beginners – Question – NYTimes.com.