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How to build a Sailing website

4178 Views 14 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  LandLocked66c
I finally got a domain and would like to build up a website around the boat, pictures and future travel plans. The last time I built a website I did it with manually built web pages but see that there are a lot of powerful packages out there (I just downloaded a Dreamweaver trial) and would like to know if there are any free templates for sailing/boat/yacht related out there that anyone could recommend. I would like to start small and slowly but certainly not from scratch :)
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Try they have a few freebies but many really cheap pnes that are very user freindly.

(edit by TDW.....this message had been deleted in error. Sorry for the **** up. The offending moderator has been summarily keelhauled.)
look in to using wordpress or joomla. a wordpress blog like style is fairly easy to put together and make look good.
If your going to go with Dreamweaver, check out Dreamweaver Templates | Reviewed Web Site Template and Design Resources . One of the companies "might" have something sailing specific and if not at least it would be a good starting point for something you end up customizing yourself.

Good luck,

Don't have an "Off Topic" section.
While I applaud your idea of creating a website for your boat, travel, plans etc. I wonder why you would not consider using an already existing blog space like: SailBlogs | Sailing Blog Hosting & Social Network
Apparently it is free, you can post text and pics. It already has a lot of bells and whistles built into it.
You would not have to touch a line of code and could spend your time writing and taking photos instead. There is a fellow here named Chris (SV Pelican Fate, part deux | The Big Trip ) who blogged his way down to the Bahamas and back up to NY with his family.
Having said that, I have built a website for my boat using Dreamweaver and while it is not that difficult it does take a bit of time and patience and you have to pay something for the domain name and host server.
Odalisque - Home Page

Good luck however you proceed.
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WordPress is pretty easy to install and is often offered as a hosting provider "one-click" installation. If you plan on updating the site regularly, the use of a blogging engine, like WordPress, gives you a lot of flexibility in posting to it—including being able to post via e-mail.

There are a lot of CSS-based templates that could easily be modified into Dreamweaver templates, but IMHO, unless you're planning on doing far more than posting about your travels and such, DW is overkill and totally unnecessary.
Thanks for all the replies. I don't know if I want to go the blog route, although I have looked at some of the pages on SailBlogs | Sailing Blog Hosting & Social Network and can see how easy it is to post quickly. I did go out and get both a domain and hosting for the site, so all I need to do is fill it with content.
MZr7 - I downloaded one of those Dreamweaver template pages yesterday and am using that as a start, but I had hoped that I could find a set of coherent pages somewhere to use as a template; those nice looking ones all carry a price tag, but I suppose that $70 isn't too much to pay for something worthwhile.
Valiente - No off-topic section planned :)

I am going to check into the other products, having just realized that if I go the Dreamweaver route I am going to have purchase the product in about 3 weeks once the trial version runs out.
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Hopefully you are not looking for a free design program. If so you'll end up with ads that you might not want on your web pages.

All design programs have a learning curve, some harder than others. Take a look at Web Studio I've used it for years and they have a great forum board. They do have a trial version which is the same as the full version.

I have no connection to them other than using the program for many years as a professional designer.
Zanshin - We use blogger for our blog. It allows us post via the web, or to post via e-mails (including pictures), which is great from places where the Internet is iffy. We can also include pre-made "widgets" which allow us to put the information from our SPOT tracker up easily. We bought a domain - - and use it at the blogging site. We also use FeedBurner ( to allow people to subscribe to our blog via e-mail. There is a lot of additional functionality - RSS feeds, comments, etc. that's all built in. I'm a techie and could easily install my own blogging software (I installed wordpress on one of my personal servers to play with), but I figured that I wanted a highly stable and powerful system, and a platform that someone else managed, for our blogsite while cruising. By the way - no knowledge of HTML or website development is required, but you can modify the templates (like I added a third column to mine) if you do know what you're doing.
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Labatt - thanks for those references, I will look into blogging and the FeedBurner (which now seems to belong to Google!). I starting putting together a rudimentary website last week, adding pages after work. The site is SV Zanshin homepage if you feel like taking a peek. I hope to get it finished, or at least presentable, in the next week. I've seen a lot of features available, the one I am working on now is to use Google maps in the site to allow photos to be shown by location on the map; but it is more work than I thought.
Zanshin.. Check out Picasa (free from google).. it is easy to tag, caption and geotag the photos offline and then upload them once you get to port. We used it during our 5.5 year trip and it made all the difference. Picasa also allows you to geotag albums which makes it really easy to map them all.

I developed a set of free utilities called BlurbBits. Our maps use it as well as our blog. I HIGHLY recommend using Picasa or flickr to share your photos online.. it gives you a central spot to store your photos along with captions, and is easy to map.

thanks for the links and reference. I downloaded Google's API description and programmed around in PHP a bit to get my interactive map loaded; I created a MySQL database and geocoded my pictures so that all I need to do now in order to add pictures to my map is add entries to the database, which is a piece of cake. See Caribbean Google map with Pictures for what I did. Since I have my own domain I can keep my pictures there instead of on an external system such as picasa or the like.
For a photo album on your domain I like to use the freeware JAlbum. It works on Mac, Windows, and Linux OS's. It writes the code for you and allows you to manage your album from your hard drive or your NAS drive. I am using it for my newborn daughter's pictures. This way I don't hve to email the hundreds of pics we have out to the family. There are many functions built in to the different skins. Great to have for pics, but you will need to add a blog to the site for text updates.
Laguna Bay Condos Pattaya
Pretty sweet site Zanshin! Looks great, mine would be much worse! I like wordpress because I hate coding...
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