Sunday, May 29, 2016

Day 2418 - The Lovin' Life Linky - Building Websites

Is the ability to create your own "brand" getting easier?


Back in the old days if you wanted a website you had to do a course in Deamweaver or something similar and learn all about code and stuff.  Or spend thousands of dollars to have someone else do it for you.

Of course you can still go down that path, but if you're just after something simple and you're willing to spend the time poking around the template options, you can build your own website for free.

I have five websites.  I've got my blog of course, my Cheer Chick Charlie site, my Achieve Beyond site, my daughter's modelling site and a website that pulls it all together under my name.

This blog you are reading is an easy blogger site that I have fiddled with over the years to make it my own.  It's not the fanciest blog you'll ever see, but it serves its purpose for me.

My Achieve Beyond site was the first one I ever created and I did that via a Freesites template.  Again, it's not overly fancy nor very "fashion forward" as far as website fashion goes, but it brings in clients which is what it was designed to do.

 Cheer Chick Charlie cost me a lot of money to create.  The original build was a couple of thousand then its upgrade was another few thousand on top of that.  It is built with Wordpress and has plug-ins like a shopping cart, financial reports, affiliate system. subscriber lists and other widgets that make it more interactive and appealing to customers and more efficient from a business point of view.  I do most of the editing myself but when I need something clever done I outsource for around $70 an hour.

My Leanne Shea Langdown site is also a Wordpress site and was created for me at a discount by a colleague who wanted to help me pull all my "hats" together onto one site. It cost around $1500 at the time. To be honest I've never done much with it and as a result it is now very outdated.  

After using WIX for my daughter's site I wondered if perhaps I could create myself a new Leanne website at no cost.  

The result is what you can see above and below.  A combination of easy to use WIX templates and Canva's free graphic design software means that I can get a semi-professional look for the cost of domain hosting.  


Of course there are limitations with this type of approach and you can definitely see the difference between an expertly created website like Charlie and my other sites. But if it's a simple capture page you need with just enough bells and whistles to create interest, then ready made templates could well be the way to go.

I've had a ball this week playing around with my new website.  It's not ready to go live yet but I think I'm getting there.  

Between that, finally sending my book to the printers for the first mock-up, getting my free eBook novelette ready for advertising and getting our boy's new improved dyslexia glasses, I can safely say I'm Lovin' the stuff I've achieved this week.  A great accomplishment given my bout of procrastination previously. 

Have you ever used a website template?

What free graphics packages do you use to create content?

What are you Lovin' about Life right now?

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It's time for the Lovin' Life Linky.

If you're a blogger then feel free to link up a post that reflects what you're lovin' about life.  It could be a moment, a picture, a conversation, some food, a product, a dress, a hobby, an event, a place, a memory or a person - it's all about reminding ourselves what's good in our world. 

All bloggers are welcome! Fashion, food, beauty, business, personal, parenting ... whatever ...

If you're not a blogger then feel free to use the #lovinlifelinky hashtag to tag instagram photos or tweets about the things that are making you smile.  You can also click on some of the Lovin' Life links below and see what else is in the blogosphere.  You might be able to add a few sites to your reading list! So much to love ...















25 comments :

  1. This is good timing for me. I keep thinking about getting a little more professional in appearance (but then I get bored and distracted by something else!) Will be back to link shortly. Will check out WIX soon....ish

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    1. It's actually a lot of fun to play around with ... a bit of a time waster actually ... It's captured my attention and I can't seem to "put it down". I'm loving the results too. I think it's good for a website that you build and then forget about. I'm not sure how it would be for something with continual content changes like a blog. There is a blog component to it (Tahlia uses it for her modelling blog) but it's not quite the same as say blogger or Wordpress for bloggy things.

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    2. I love my Wordpress site. To begin with I had no idea but slowly over time I get better and better at each little part. The only problem is I want to change everything ALL the TIME!!

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  2. Looks like something being fun is the secret to being engaged with it. This is why I like Index Card a Day..my vid about it is part of my post! Are you thinking about joining in?? Denyse x

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    1. I love the idea! I am tempted. Time wise it may be tricky. Can I cheat and do an e Version?

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  3. I'm a WordPress user and find it pretty simple. I use a template for the design - an inexpensive paid one. I used a more expensive one at one point but my host had apparently held the licence so it was hard for me to update.

    Love that it's so easy to do nowadays.

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    1. I can use Word Press although I find it harder to manage than other ones. I have never designed one via their templates or from scratch though. I just edit what's already been created for me.

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  4. Wow five websites! I'm overwhelmed enough just running one lol. Love your drive and motivation! This week I'm lovin' my deep red nail shade, perfect for Winter! :)

    Di from Max The Unicorn

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  5. I've tried them all in terms of websites. I'm really enjoying self hosted wordpress when you can use the free themes and add plugins so easily today. You no longer need to write an entire page of coding for every little change.

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    1. I know right! We're putting web designers out of business, but it makes it so much easier for us to get into business at least cost

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  6. I remember the days of Dreamweaver - so glad I now just use WordPress! I must admit I enjoy tinkering with website / theme design a little too much and will often have to force myself to stop and write a new blog post!

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    1. I remember being in awe of people who talked about Dreamweaver. I thought it was so impressive that people could create websites. That was 20 odd years ago.

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  7. PS- How on earth do you manage to juggle so many things! You are incredible. xo

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    1. Haha. I used to be an Executive Assistant in a former life to a very busy high level Government official. I learned the art of coordination, project management and time management! I'm not always that great at it ... but I can kind of BS my way through.

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  8. wow your website looks amazing so professional. I've only ever used blogger templates and don't play with them too much :)

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    1. Thanks Michelle. Happy blogoversary! We've "known" each other for 6 years now. WOOT!

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  9. I've tried Dreamweaver, various site builders, etc. and I now just do it all on Wordpress.The pre-fab site builders are great if you just want to get something out quick but the limited flexibility was not for me.

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    1. If you are clever at doing your own websites, it's definitely the best choice for sure. I'm not so clever at it! LOL.

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  10. I am just a Blogger type of guy. It is something easy for me being an old man. And I just do my blog for fun, don't care about making any money.

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    1. Yeah, I'm a bit the same Patrick when it comes to my blog. Although lately the appeal of earning some cash after 7 years of blogging daily is growing.

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  11. Have only just started using Link Parties and Blog Hops (I'm not sure what rock my blog head has been under the last few years!) Fouond your s when searchng Australian Linkups - looking forward to the next Sunday Linky so I can get involved :)
    PS . Love your blog! (being in the same age group and trying desperately to be graceful about it lol)

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    1. hehe really can't type corrrectly in this cold snap that has hit Sydney! Will teach me to edit a bit better!

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    2. I look forward to having you Shelly! Typos and all :) LOL

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I love hearing your thoughts! Keep them rolling in :)

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