Scenario 1: You’re an avid gardener/quilter/cake decorator/craftsperson and want to share what you’ve done with others. A website is a great way to do this.
Scenario 2: You’re planning a family reunion and want to relay lots of information to lots of people. Instead of sending a printed invitation or an email, you could create a website for invitees to visit and get the latest info. Then after, they can share their thoughts and favorite moments for others to see.
“But I don’t have a website and they’re so hard to create and maintain”, you say.
Not anymore! Weebly is a website and builder using a web-based interface that allows a beginner to design a five-page professional looking website in a few hours. There is no software to purchase and the website can be created and edited as long as an Internet connection is available – nothing is stored on an individual’s computer. Previously, a user needed to know a website programming language, such as HTML, and be knowledgeable about formatting webpages (since they don’t operate exactly as a word processing application). Weebly uses the Drag & Drop technique – choose the option by clicking on it, dragging it to the webpage and dropping it (let go of the mouse button) when it is in place – to add elements to the page. Users familiar with this from another application know the ease of using this method. Some of those elements available with the free version include
[Basic] Title, Text, Images, Map, Contact form
[Structural] Divider, Spacer, Button
[Media] adding a document or file, attaching a Flash item or inserting a YouTube video
[More] Block quote, adding a Poll, Survey, RSVP form, Forums, Social Media icons
For most users, these elements offered are sufficient for what they want to do. However, Starter, Pro and Business versions are available, for a monthly fee, to add audio, video, use e-commerce and obtain site statistics. New features are added frequently throughout the year so be sure to check them out to see if one of them may work on your site. If you can connect to the Internet, a website is easily within reach.
Professional templates are available and it is easy to edit pages. There are videos to watch and tutorials to read to help you create your site. As elements are added to the page, other toolbars or option boxes appear. Another nice feature is that Weebly does not put any ads on webpages (however, there is a default footer with the free version) as is often the case with other “free” web sites.
Go to www.weebly.com and watch the video; use the dots on the right side of the screen to learn a little more about how the site works. Click to see demos or Learn More about the different aspects of Weebly. When ready, sign up for an account.
Once the account is created, the Weebly Editor opens to the beginning of your website. Depending on the website design selected, it contains HOME, ABOUT and CONTACT pages. There may also be a prompt for a Headline to get started. Be creative – try things and see how they work.
Once you are satisfied with what you created, publish the site. Then let others know your Weebly web address and watch what happens.