For the past six months I have been working with the communications team at St. Timothy’s on selecting and building a new website. We considered paying a designer to build us a new site, or building one ourselves with WordPress or Weebly. Ultimately, we choose to build one with Weebly because it has:
- Mobile-Friendly Templates (a.k.a. Responsive Web Design)
- Easy to Use Web Page Editor
- Free and Low-Cost Templates
- Flexible Layout of Front Page
In addition, my friend and mentor, Meredith Gould, highly recommended Weebly and had great examples of websites she has built with it. You can check out her work with The Slate Project here. After Meredith recommended Weebly, I spent and afternoon putting together a free test website called betatim.weebly.com. In just one afternoon, I was able to put together a good looking site with all of the main information copied form our old site.
The Weebly editor is very easy to use. In the past few months, I have tried using the web editor that comes with GoDaddy websites, and some WordPress on this blog, but I found them to be fussy to use at times. I wanted a web editor that a large team of non-html experts could use. With the Weebly editor, you build the pages with blocks of content such as text, images, galleries, forms, and many more options. My pages are almost all built with 2 columns, although, 3 or more columns can be made. Here is a screenshot of the Weebly webpage editor with a preview of the mobile site.
When designing the site, I wanted to keep the navigation simple for newcomers, visitors, and long-time members, so I only made 6 main pages. I also did not use pull-down menus because those are difficult to navigate from mobile devices and I think they are confusing and overwhelming to first time visitors.
I choose the free”Enterprise” theme because it was a simple and flexible layout. I also upgraded to the Weebly Pro site for about $10 per month. This gave me the option to add a footer block section on the bottom of each page. It also allowed me to turn my test site (betatim.weebly.com) into saint-tims.org (we pay a separate host for that name).
In a few weeks, I will add on several staff and volunteers as administrators for the new website. Weebly Pro allows the main administrator to give limited access for editing pages to each of the administrators.
Here is picture of the new front page. You can also take a look at the new site here.