Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Website Development

We have a couple of clubs in the Area that want to have a separate website for the club and have asked me about software options. Additionally, there are individual members who are needing to create a personal website for their speaking business. So, if you are in either category this post should be helpful.

When I started creating web sites, back in 1996, all you needed was a text editor. Everyone was coding pages by hand and using tables to control the layout of their information. Those days are long gone and anyone wanting to create a snappy UI needs to know bootstrap, php, css and java. Today, you need to be able to create a responsive layout so that your information adapts to the device of your site visitors. Simply, you need a page that looks as great on a smart phone as it does on a 65" flat screen!

There are a some great development tools on the market. Depending on your budget and operating system, you could end up spending more than $500 or less than $70. Most of the people that I speak with want affordable, flexible and easy to use. While there are FREE programs available, the mainstay of web development continues to be Adobe Dreamweaver. Adobe software are created for those serious about creating cutting edge interfaces and allows for controlling EVERY detail of the design and interact-ability.

Having made the switch from PC (Windows) to MAC (IOS X) more 5 years ago, I am convinced that a used MAC still outperforms a new PC. Every MAC I own was purchased used for less than 25% of the original retail price tag. So, if you want a great computer in 2015 just buy a used iMAC or MAC Mini for under $300. You will be glad you did. If you are dependent on your Windows software, just purchase and run CrossOver.

So, if you are looking for an amazing software program to run on your used MAC and create a slick, clean and responsive website ... you need to check out BLOCS. Imagine that even an experienced web designer will spend just 1/100th of the time creating engaging and interactive websites using this tool. The current version (1.5.3) demonstrates improvements based upon customer feedback. The first release was late 2014, so it's relatively unknown. Don't let the version fool you. As a seasoned web developer and Instructional Designer, this program literally knocks my socks off! All of this for the amazing price of $69 for 2 licenses. If you are a business, you can get 10 licenses for $299 ... a bargain compared to just one license of Adobe Dreamweaver ($239).

Now, you can flex your website design muscle without breaking the bank! Check out this short video that demonstrates the power of BLOCS ... runtime is under 2 minutes.