If I had to create and manage a website I would use Joomla which is a free open source CMS (content management system) which can be installed on our hosting accounts with 1-2 clicks. In fact our main site www.interactiveonline.com was built using Joomla. Joomla is basically an advanced site builder and is the way to go now-a-days when it comes to developing a website.
We can still host websites that were created using Microsoft FrontPage & Publisher but I can tell you that site is going to be very basic and will not support the functionality a joomla site will give you. What’s nice about joomla is it is extension based which means if I need an online calendar, forum, shopping cart, customer survey, newsletter or more I just find a Joomla Extension that has the particular function I am looking for and install it. Also you’d be able to make changes to your site online using a browser. With FrontPage & Publisher any changes you made you’d have to have Publisher and the source files on your local computer to make the changes… and then re-upload the changed pages. With Joomla everything resides on server end.
As for Joomla extensions, here’s an example. I needed to have videos available for our Green Energy site so I used the Seyret Video Extension for Joomla. There are dozens of other video extensions but I found that this one worked the best for that particular site.
Or for SEF (Search Engine Friendly URLs) we used the paid version of Artio JoomSEF (about $50). This gives our site friendly URLs that the search engines can easily decide what your page is about. Here’s an example of a search engine friendly URL of a post on our blog https://interactiveonline.com/joomla/what-is-joomla-hosting. We’re now on the top 1-3 pages of Google for some decent keywords, one of which is Joomla Hosting.
For our community forum we use the Kunena forum extension.
There is a strong community behind Joomla and there are thousands of extensions available.
Now this leads us into Joomla Templates. Joomla is also template based which means to change the look and feel of the site you can just install a new Joomla Template. Here is a list of Joomla Templates sites (most are paid membership sites $75-$100/year). The Free Joomla Template called Optimus is probably the best free template out there right now.
There is a steep learning curve with Joomla. I’ve seen many newbie’s become very frustrated with it since it does take time and dedicatation to learn how to use and develop with it. If you are interested in developing with Joomla I would suggest getting a book or checkout Free Joomla Video Tutorials. If you do purchase a book (tons on Amazon) you need to get one for Joomla 1.5 not 1.0