It is about two weeks now since I set up my web sites, and after a few early hitches I have to say I'm happy with them, but I'm always interested in feedback. I started looking into what was involved in setting up a new web site during November/December. I got some tips from a few friends, but after having looked into it for a month or so I took the plunge. I wanted two URLs one for a blog and the other just for Galleries for my images.
For the blog site (this one) I settled on Wordpress (http://wordpress.org/) as the tool to use and I must say it was very simple to set up. First of all I wanted to set it up locally on my PC so I needed a web server to run on my PC and told about WAMP by a friend (see here: http://www.wampserver.com/en/). This meant I could play around with Wordpress and finalise my design on my PC without involving a hosting site. Wordpress requires databases to hold all the blog and other information but their is minimal set up involved and you don't need to know anything really about how it operates, it all happens in the background. Maybe if it breaks down on me I'll feel different about that. There are literally hundreds of different designs (called themes) available that have been developed by developers all over the world. I settled on one called Atahualpa as I felt it gave me a great level of customisation as to how my site looks. It's just a matter of changing the configuration otions to get the look and feel you want. The instructions around the options setting make it very easy to understand what effects the changes will have. But the great thing is that if you come across a completely different design/theme you like you can download and install that instead but all your content remains the same and takes on the appearance of the new theme. But you don't need to know any html, mysql or java code to do any of this, though I'm sure it would help to customise your site even more. So once I was happy with my design I then went to my hosting site and they already offered Wordpress as a blog package which was very easy to set up.
For my gallery web site (LensFlare) I bought a package Serif WebPlus X2 to set up the main pages and at the moment I use Adobe Lightroom to set up the photo galleries. Although I could use Bridge in Photoshop CS4 to do the same thing, but I feel you have more control with Lightroom. Finally I needed someone to host the web site that would give me two domain names and I settled on Blacknight after hearing good things about them and I must say I have found them very helpful for the few teething problems I had.
So I have a few more fixes to do to the gallery site, when I work out how to do them.
Happy New Year.