Make web­sites eas­ily

Get off to a run­ning start with your web­site by us­ing RapidWeaver 7

Mac Format - - CONTENTS - Gary Mar­shall

Learn how to get started with RapidWeaver

Un­til a few years ago, you needed a web­site if you wanted to post blogs, share pic­tures of your dogs, or pro­mote a club

or busi­ness. To­day, so­cial net­works such as Face­book and In­sta­gram han­dle most of the blogs and dogs, but web­sites re­main cru­cial for clubs, cam­paign­ers and busi­nesses alike.

Sites are like any other kind of pro­mo­tional ma­te­rial: to do a re­ally good job you need to have de­sign tal­ent or the money to hire that tal­ent. How­ever, if you aren’t a Pho­to­shop whizz and don’t have stacks of cash to spend, there’s an­other good op­tion: tem­plates.

Tem­plates help you to make a pro­fes­sional web­site with­out spend­ing a for­tune. You don’t need to un­der­stand the HTML code they gen­er­ate or how ev­ery­thing hangs to­gether; it’s just a mat­ter of de­cid­ing which tem­plate you want to use and tweak­ing it so that it suits your par­tic­u­lar re­quire­ments.

In the walk­through op­po­site we’ll build a web­site for a lo­cal com­mu­nity group, but you can ap­ply the same tips to any kind of site you want to build. But be­fore we get started, we need to ask you to do some­thing: get away from your Mac!

Imag­ine you want a garage. You wouldn’t just hire a builder, or­der a bunch of bricks and hope for the best. You’d work out ex­actly what you wanted, how much you were will­ing to spend and then make plans ac­cord­ingly. Web­sites work in much the same way: if you plan what you want to do first and only then start build­ing, you’re much more likely to end up with a happy re­sult.

Set your ob­jec­tive

The most im­por­tant thing you need to de­cide is what you want your web­site to do. Is it an in­for­ma­tion re­source, or are you en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to buy your prod­ucts or ser­vices? Is it a shopfront for your art, an on­line CV, or a guide to your lo­cal area?

Once you’ve iden­ti­fied the pur­pose of your site, you can then de­cide what pages it needs to have and what you want to put on those pages. It’s also a very good idea to have any me­dia – pho­to­graphs, au­dio clips, PDFs or any­thing else you plan to in­clude on it – or­gan­ised be­fore you start putting your web­site to­gether. That means your ap­proach will be “ready, aim, fire!”, not “ready, fire, aim!”

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