Want to build a website but don't know where to begin? Yikesite.com offers easy solutions for web site creation and hosting that can be set up in seconds, and basic sites are free.
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Why a Yikesite?
Web presence is an essential business tool in today's market. Potential customers want information before they commit to anything, including a meal from a restaurant. Business owners who don't know where to get started are at a distinct disadvantage to their more web savvy competitors. With the economy sinking and the market becoming increasingly competitive, businesses need to utliize every possible tool at their disposal to attract new business and retain existing customers, making owning a web site as important today as owning a telephone. Many businesses use their web sites strictly to convey information, and most don't have much of a budget. Yikesite.com offers a perfect solution to meet those business needs.
What Yikesite.com offers is free tools that anyone can use to build a web site, even someone with zero web experience. Your grandmother could create and maintain a Yikesite. There are some usage limitations, but if what you're looking for is a static informational site on a small or non-existent budget, this is an excellent choice.
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Setting up your Yikesite
Building a new website from scratch on Yikesite.com is nearly as simple as sending an email. After filling out some very basic information to create a free account, you are directed to your new site in seconds. The site name you chose during setup is featured against a blue graphic header and typical pages are included in the starting setup: home, about us, products, services and contact us, plus four secondary links from the home page: news, events, jobs, sitemap. You'll be able to add and delete pages, change the order and change the pages names at any time. The url will be http://YOURSITENAME.yikesite.com/. Custom URLs can be directed to paid Yikesites.
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The first thing you'll want to do on your brand new web site is edit pages. At the bottom of each page, there are two buttons, Admin and Edit. Select edit for the current page and a familiar WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor will open. It will look and act a great deal like a simplified document editing window, making page editing quick and easy. In the main window, you can do most basic tasks, like center or bold your text, and add bulleted lists, links and pictures. The advanced tab has a few more options like font choices and tables. Changing the page name requires opening the administration tab, but is just as easy.
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Look and Feel
This is where the simplified concept of the site breaks down, and one of the site limitations. There is no choice of interface, and updating graphics can be a challenge for a beginner. The default interface is a generic tone-on-tone diagonal stripe. From a professional, or even personal standpoint, most web site owners will want a custom header. The good news is that it's easy to update the graphics, the bad news it that it takes at least a basic familiarity with graphics, HTML and CSS to custom build a web site. There is a great API tutorial explaining in simple terms how it all works, but a genuine novice may have to settle for the default interface or hire a web designer.
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For those who have some basic web code knowledge, the design source code can be accessed and updated by tabs, similar to editing pages. Available for editing are CSS, HTML and image library. Changing the interface is a matter of uploading a new image file and making appropriate display changes in the CSS code if necessary.
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Yikesite.com has some limitations, but overall, it's a great free and low-cost web site and hosting solution to showcase services or offer information. It would be an excellent choice for a local business such as a hair salon, dry cleaner or lawn service with a limited budget, for spreading information about a local event, for advertising freelance services, or for a personal news site. It's a snap to set up and edit, and the instructions are easy to find and easy to follow.