I'm still enjoying my break on a tropical island somewhere nice and warm, so don't mind me. After all, I can't be sipping suds and watching the
tide roll in while replying here.
Still... Our OP is Asgard, eh? That's worth coming back from break for a minute.
Okay OP.. So you want to build a website and make it a good one. At the same time, you don't want to wind up like the joke punchlines in the web
design commercials for those who DIY it and end up months later, buried in books and pulling their hair out.
Well.. I have two paths you can take and look like you know what you're doing. long before you feel that way with any confidence.
#1. Site in a Can ..or.. CMS....or specifically, Joomla 3
I've run and/or been involved with building several sites on the Joomla structure. It's advantages are that you can start out building a quality,
interactive web site without any serious troubles. It's modular, like Wordpress and others ...with extensions. It's different though, in that User
Access Control. Administration and general framework/infrastructure IS the package.....and not a side effect of it, to make your gadgets run.
Joomla can be a 5 page business card site or....One of MTV's major online properties runs on a version of it. Other sites one may never suspect
...run Joomla. (I made this CMS the topic of a term project/presentation in my Networking 101 course awhile back, for how I picked up the trivia) It
can be that 5 page simple thing, or it can be a monument to time spent, coding learned and great online things created. They aren't mutually exlusive
and you can start small while seamlessly working up to something much larger.
Joomla is a software package. Not a site builder. It requires installation and leaves quite a footprint for all it's doing to run the site with near
idiot proof levels of automation, as desired. That means it has server overhead. I.E. LAG... and in layman's terms. It's slow.
It's not Dial
up slow, of course. After all, Joomla is one of the most successful free (open source) software packages out there right now for high interactive
design in it's class. Expect a 1-1.5 second speed penalty for the load/creation of pages on the fly, as Joomla does.
Joomla is also NOT portable the way other solutions are. If you need the MAJOR infrastructure and raw power Joomla brings to the table, none of the
downsides will outweigh that need. I still use it myself on some things. If you do not need the power though? It can be more a pain than any help for
a site where it's total overkill.
#2. It's a Site Maker without coding...and it WORKS! WYSIWYG Web Builder 8
Now this suggestion I bring from years of trying different things to never find what I really wanted or needed in making a custom site quickly, with
power and interactivity I have 110% control over the placement and function of.
First, WB-8 is NOT Muse, a Front Page spin off or some cheesy local version of the site making software that so many hosts have now. All the site
design packages I've ever tried before this one were failures on some level. Either I needed to use enough coding anyway to make the time saving
nature of the WYSIWYG features a moot point (Dreamweaver comes to mind here) or it's SO easy, any idiot could do it at the first sitting ...and you
have a Front Page website that is SO distinct by it's sheer cheesy appearance, you'll attract more mice than visitors.
WB-8 is similar to Joomla in one way. It's as simple or as extremely complex as you want to make it or learn to use it. I can have a multi-page, live
feed and interactive site up and going inside a couple hours and looking very solid for the effort. That's without using any of what I've really
spent time to learn in making the software sing.
It's 100% drag/drop with the same coordinate based absolute positioning (during the design phase) as any Adobe design software. it also has the
locking feature while STILL leaving the object editable on the page. (Designers should appreciate that little quirk)
MOST importantly for most of the stuff I do? It does all this AND it's portable. You make it 100% local on your machine then upload. That makes
restoring the site to a new sever as quick as DNS propagation updating on the change of IP. Actually moving the SITE between servers is upload time.
...unlike Joomla and others.
Anyway.. Hope that helps in advice from having used both options extensively. Good luck on your site!