What Is A SiteSmythe?


Image of a Blacksmith at work         In the olden days long before the Internet, most towns or villages had a blacksmith.  These folks would work with raw iron and other metals and make things such as horse shoes, nails, hinges, brackets and such. Taking raw materials or recycling older items in the melting pot they would put different pieces together to make a useful new item or repair one that was damaged or worn out.  The old english form of the name was blacksmythe - and we had specialized artists in other fields - coppersmythes and such also.
  

    Today on the Internet, few people work with the idea that the websites should not just be one size fits all - or like a jukebox where you push a button and a site appears.  While these "canned" sites are often fine for most needs, they do not usually allow much variation or growth.  A business or creative website that can't adjust, grow and change with your growth and needs is not as likely to help you to its full potential. If it does not allow you to grow your online presence easily, it may limit or cripple your business from day one.

     You may think you are doing as good as you can, but do you really know that for sure? A canned "click here to have an instant website" type of site that can't grow may be less expense to start with - but replacing it may cost you more when you do update beyond its boxed format. Measuring the success of your site is difficult, so you may not know if a better or more flexible site would make more success or not.  An Internet presence is still one of the least expensive ways to advertise what you do, and can be tailored to allow those who view your site to find what they need and reduce the time you may spend explaining your service or product, saving you (and them) time and money each time.

    Today we see a real need for someone like the old blacksmythe to build them a website that is flexible, effective and can easily change and grow. A SiteSmythe who can really put a unique and practical site together for folks with certain needs and a dislike of ME-TOO websites.

    At the risk of sounding old-fashioned we here at SiteSmythe like to find a compromise between building a site entirely by hand and the canned one size fits all.  For many sites this takes the shape of a CMS type website - a CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM site. Joomla is the name of such a type of site software for a CMS site and is well known and being open source - it is free.  The way the various parts of a Joomla site appear to the folks who look it it is controlled by the Joomla TEMPLATE.  There are thousands of templates available with some likely to suit your needs and be a good starting point. Allowing for improving and adding new features are prime on our list when we select a template. If your site will need and benefit from frequent posts, edits and changes we use one that lets you easily sign in and edit your content as often as you like, keeping your site updated and hopefully your clients/customers informed. Also key to site success these days is the template allowing for fully responsive changes to the browser used to view it - changing to fit smart phones, tablets and all sizes of computer screens.

    We generally use the Joomla CMS as its very well supported, and has a huge group of developers working with it. It is what is called open source software - and is also free.  The features of Joomla, the many thousands of modules and components that are available for it, many of them also at no cost, when coupled with the proper layout template give us a virtually unlimited number of ways to lay out a site that can easily grow and adapt while being view-able on more devices. Using a different template can change the look of the whole site often in just a few clicks.  

    " Planning ahead to have such a versatile site "engine" can take a bit more money in the beginning but can make growth and changes so much easier that it often saves you money many times over in the future."

  We have posted some examples of the shape5 vertex templates features here for you to see - and have links to all things joomla and other template ideas.  If you want a low cost but unique site that can grow with your needs and better fit your ideas, please give us a shout.   

  If you prefer something less powerful to start with - we can recommend some solutions there as well - and will help you pick those which might make it easier for you to graduate up to a SiteSmythe site when ready with a minimum of effort and cost.  Our sister group "CommonSenseSites" often works with us to help with those types of simple webpages, or less complex static sites.

Last updated Sept 24, 2017

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