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December 18, 2007

YikeSite is the perfect lighweight CMS

I'm creating a web site for my mother-in-law as a Christmas gift this year (who luckily doesn't read my blog…). She runs a childcare business in her home during the day and teaches dancing lessons to the community a couple of nights per week. She's told me a couple of times that she would really like a web site to advertise her services. So I finally decided to create one for her this Christmas.

I wanted it to be as quick and easy as possible to create and ideally it would use a simple content management system so that she could edit the site as necessary. Lately, a whole bunch of easy to use online web site creators have been emerging. I decided that this was the perfect opportunity to use one of these new tools to create her web site. I looked at Weebly, YikeSite, DoodleKit, Synthasite, Jimdo, Google Pages, and SiteKreator. They all pretty much follow the same general idea: sign up for an account, use their online tools to create and edit pages, choose a theme or design for your site, and then it gets hosted on a subdomain of their site.

In the end, I chose to use YikeSite because I found it to be the most flexible and easy to use. Their free plan offers an unlimited number of pages and 5 MB of storage for graphics and documents, etc. Although they don't currently have as large of a selection of themes as the other sites do, they do have an awesome templating system. It's way more flexible than any of the other sites (at least among the free accounts) and basically allows you to create your own theme very easily, as long as you know basic HTML and CSS. In addition, their page creation and maintenance tools are quite possibly the easiest to use of the bunch.

Using their templating system, or "theme API" as they call it, I was able to easily create a customized theme for the site. Creating pages and editing content is so easy that I have confidence that my mother-in-law, who is not very computer savvy, will have no trouble maintaining her site. I was very impressed with the flexibility that YikeSite offers, especially given the fact that I'm only using their free plan.

For anyone who knows basic HTML and CSS and has to create a simple web site for someone, I would recommend taking a look at YikeSite. Although I'm still tweaking a few things, if you're curious to see how it turned out, you can take a peek at Hannele LaFrance's web site.

Posted at 7:39 AM in Web Development