How I built this site

My web designer son built my art site, and our artisans' guild site used to be done in Front Page by a member. Just when I was wishing there was something easy (like, if there's Facebook, there MUST be a way for non-htmlers to make a site), a friend's artist daughter visited and told me about Yola.com. I whipped up the artisans' guild site pretty much the next day. It took awhile to move the domain over to Yola from out old host, but now I can update the monthly events and member pages in seconds.

So, then when a friend suggested I make a website for my eating 'system', I quickly threw up my recipes and just kept tweaking and adding after that. I only pay $20 a year for a proper domain that doesn't begin with Yola. I looked around a bit yesterday and according to my quick survey, Yola is the best deal for a free website. Some limit you to one site, some limit the number of pages or storage space (Yola's storage space is HUGE and no page limit). Some only have a few free design templates. Yola has a lot (and is now selling some 'premium' designs), but I put in my own banner anyway. I think glitzy templates look too templatey (but that's a graphic designer talking, and a parsimonious one at that).

 

I read a column written by Yola's CEO yesterday, about their corporate strategy. Neat guy, Vinny Lingham. Yola has an affiliate program I could join but it isn't for telling people about Yola's qualities and getting them to make a free site. It's for selling them Yola's paid services. So, I won't be signing up for that.

Just in case you have any thoughts about making money from building a site based on something you know well, unless it's celebrity gossip or you use underhanded tricks, fugeddaboudit. Now that Google has figured out how to tailor ads to the viewer instead of to the content of the page, there's absolutely no money in junking up my site with Google Ads. Late in 2010, right around the time I started seeing the same ad for Adobe Illustrator on every web page I visited, my trickle of pennies from the ads on this site dried up.

However, I highly recommend sharing whatever you know and feel passionate about, it's not hard. Especially if it's too niche for your local area. You can use Google Analytics (also free, and there's a tutorial for it built right into Yola) to see how many people are reading which pages and for how long, which helps you know what people are interested in. You can embed YouTube videos easily (tutorial, too).  My little survey is by Survey Monkey (also free). It's a golden age on the internet.

Lynn

 
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