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Website needed for family or friends?

Posted on by Clive Walker in Web Design Textpattern

I wrote this post a while back. The content can still be relevant but the information I've linked to may not be available.

A diet of freebie websites doesn't pay the bills

I sometimes get asked to create websites for family and friends. This can be a difficult area for any web developer/designer because, whilst you would often like to help, it's sometimes not practical because of other work commitments. At the same time, these projects are often unpaid and a diet of freebie websites may be great for a portfolio page - but it doesn't pay the bills!

In these situations, I normally try and see what I can do with the minimum of time, expense and fuss. For example, recently, my sister wanted to create a website that would highlight the difficulties faced by families with children who suffer from Tourette Syndrome and ADHD. It's a great project that could help provide support for other families - and act as a personal website for posting news, links and family items.

Work is pressing and I need to set this up quickly and easily. My sister should be able to add content whenever she wants. The website should also allow other families to comment. The website content needs to be organised from the start.

Published with Textpattern The solution in this case was to use Textpattern as the content management system because it's easy-to-use, flexible, extendable - and I'm familiar with it. The website will have regular content posted but it not really a blog. Textpattern should be able to cope because it's an adaptable system.

At the same time, the default Textpattern style is a rather plain white and there would also be quite a lot of work involved in organising the system for use. For these reasons, we decided to use the White and Wild theme for Textpattern by wilshire|one. This template provides a lot of the organisation that we want. It does not do everything we need 'out-of-the-box' - but it does most of it.

The White and Wild theme is very simple to install

So, off we go. From buying the domain name to writing the first article, everything was installed and working within a few hours (two or three). The White and Wild theme is very simple to install. Many thanks and kudos to wilshire|one. Since then, some more articles have been written, we added some new website sections, and we changed some of the organisational features to better fit with what we want.

You can see the website here, Samuel's World. Remember, this is only the start and it is a work in progress. However, the whole website was quick and easy to set-up, and provides a host of features that will enable it to be extended as more content is added.

I think that's a good result.

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  • 31 Oct 2006 18:45:20

    When I read this posts’ title in my bookmarks I was thinking WP/MT/TP. It’s great to have a powerful content managed website up and running in a just a few hours. Better still, it actually produces a better web solution than some web people charge good money for.

    All the best for the sites’ future.

  • 02 Nov 2006 17:39:06

    I’d like to do a few more Textpattern websites but it’s a case of finding the right projects. This one seemed perfect for it.

    So far, my sister has found the updating relatively easy and is learning her way round the Txp admin with little help from me. Great!

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