Which software, editor or system is best for creating a minisite?
I was asked a question about the best software, webpage editor or “way to go about” creating a minisite.
I am currently concentrating on WordPress, but I have used Joomla and XSitePro2 as well. Other editors such as dreamweaver or the free editors such as NVU and komposer are also options I have tried. The differences for use seem to depend on the primary objectives of the user. These may be ease of use, cost and time investment, type of site, seo, hosting, etc…
is open source (free) content management system software
Joomla is good for e-commerce sites selling multiple products. Using the virtuemart addon you have the functionality to sell digital (or physical) products send purchaser to paypal (or other payment processors) and securely deliver the digital download.
Against this, it’s a steep learning curve at first with much trolling of forums to fix issues that do arise. It’s not simple to seo but achievable and sites can be a little heavy to load. For a minisite it has too much time investment needed to be useful for this purpose.
XSitepro2 – a commercial (pay for this) website editor designed for extra functionality
XSitePro is fantastic html website editing software with lots of functionality options that are easy to add to your sites. It’s a one time payment for the software, that is well worth it. If it’s simply to create a minisite and then promote it, it’s really good.
Adding further content is easy enough and you set up ftp in the software and it overwrites what’s new automatically adjusting all menus.
It has some glitches but what doesn’t? (…and they are minor). Against it, is that some experts say that Google favours WordPress over html sites and it is psychologically easier to make a post in WordPress than to open XSitePro and create a new page and ftp it.
The fastest, cheapest way to create a minisite
The fastest and simplest system is to take an example of a resellers ministe and completely replace images and paragraphs of text using notepad. If you don’t understand basic html this is not always possible as some minisites that are provided with resale products can be complex. But if you find one minisite that is simple, use this as your template and just replace images and text in it for other products.
Use NVU or komposer to edit html using their WYSIWYG interface to add html elements. The most difficult part of this is the private thankyou page which almost all editors want to include in navigation. Simplest to just use one template for the thankyou but replace header and footer elements and of course specific text and images.
Open source blog and CMS software with extended functionality via numerous free plugins.
WordPress is both great and so time consuming it’s frustrating. The key to using WordPress for a minisite is to make a plan and templates for new installs. Get an excel sheet together and list the essential plugins you need for a minisite and then put the plugins, stripped of extra folders, into a dedicated “use these plugins’ folder for easy initial install via ftp. Keep page templates in the same folder.
Some people may argue that updating WordPress is annoying. This is valid because for security you need to keep it up to date, it’s not fun to have a blog hacked. Old versions can be and you could unknowingly be spreading a virus.
Use the wp-automatic-update plugin, rather than the link in WordPress. This plugin leads you through the steps correctly so no errors occur, and creates a backup before in case they do. Most problems occur because people don’t deactivate plugins before updating. (Been there – done that- spent hours fixing it) Also don’t update immediately, give it a week or two – by then all those who may encounter errors have posted on the forums and had the issue resolved so you can read and apply if it happens to you!
Seo for WordPress
WordPress is easy to seo with the wp-all-in-one-seo plugin. Search engines like WordPress, its easy to update, has automation tools and extensive other plugin functionality.
Some experts say a static html site is more favoured by search engines for serious sites, or that the default Kubrik theme is better received by customers because it appears to be more amateur and therefore more trustworthy than a marketing or sales site.
Against WordPress, for a minisite, it’s easy to spend hours on non productive tweaking. So pick an easy to customize free theme and stay focused. If you can learn how to use page templates, do so and use the same one, with different images and text. Being organized with everything all in one folder will help you set up a new blog quickly.
Last option is the ability of WordPress as a CMS to be similar to a html site using pages. This is where page templates come in. Some experts say that this is the best option but like Joomla it’s a big learning curve. To do this the right way takes a lot of delving into WordPress code and some little known plugins and a lot of time.
Tags: Content management system
, Open source