I have been experimenting more with WordPress, an open-source online system for building websites. This site is built with it and I recently developed a page for one of my teachers who has a line of t-shirts and hats (Theta Threads) and I just finished the first draft of llamabottle.com, a site for Chrissy to sell her photos. (Don't worry Steve, I have only been coding in the early morning and late at night when I am no good for writing).
So far WordPress has been a dream. All the code is written in php which means that all the sites can have dynamic menus and all the web 2.0 (that means user-interactive) features you could want. Since it is open-source it is free to use, if you already have your own web space, and it is 100% customizable. No more constraints from the 5 blogger themes available, there are 100s of user generated themes that look very professional. For someone stylistically challenged like myself this could be the biggest advantage of all.
The other advantage of WordPress being open-source is that users are constantly writing new code (plugins) that enhance its already robust functionality. On Chrissy's website I installed a picture manager called NextGEN that creates all the layouts and slideshows and it manages all the pictures for me. This was written by some guy in Germany (I think) who took four other picture managers and combined all their features into one awesome plugin. (Again, he could only do this because every things is open-source). Because of his pluging I don't need to go to some outside page like flicker to manage and display my photos, I can host and control everything myself.
Since WordPress is blogging software it has a great back door for adding content. I can generate sites for people and setup all their links and they can add all the content themselves. No more managing pages for people who don't know code! Woo hoo.
The next stage in my WordPress development is to add a store. We'll see how that goes. In the mean time check out Chrissy's page and post some comments about her lovely work. (Did I mention all her photos were edited using UFRaw and Gimp, two rad Open-source photo editors?)