I’m lazy. It’s a good property in a geek. So I try to avoid repetitive work. But in my line of work you end up launching lots of sites, most of which don’t have to win design awards. They just have to be super-easy to use.
Here are a few tools that, whether you’re just starting out as an internet marketer or you’re a veteran, can help you launch great sites fast:
BluePrint CSS: Never Code CSS From Scratch Again
BluePrint CSS is a CSS framework. That’s a fancy way of saying it’s a pre-built CSS template. If you’re creating a magazine-style site or just about any other multi-column layout, it’ll cut hours out of your prototyping.
If you don’t know what any of that means, but you have a web team, just tell them to try it out. They’ll like it. Plus you’ll gain a lot of geek cred for even knowing what it is.
Again, point your web dev team at jQuery. They’ll thank you for it.
If you’re working in WordPress, then the Thesis theme can let you roll out a great-looking site or blog, fast. Thesis includes an entire foundation for a WordPress-driven web site. You can use the control panel to select column layouts, edit basic style information and get the basics in place. Then get fancier if you want to.
There are quite a few beautiful Thesis sites out there. Sky’s the limit. But even a basic Thesis-driven site looks great and is easy to use.
Thesis costs money – $177 at the priciest. Before you shake your head, though, think about what your time is worth. If you can save yourself, oh, a day or two of setup and coding, that’s worth $177, right? You can earn that much in a few hours, I’ll bet. Don’t be all modest…
Google Spreadsheets And Forms
If you need to collect some data fast, Google’s Spreadsheet application supports forms. No messing around with databases or pesky HTML.
You can even embed the form in your own web page.
They ain’t pretty, but they work, fast.
I’m Lazy. And Proud Of It
Yeah, I’m lazy. And proud of it. I’ll keep looking for shortcuts and share ’em when I find ’em.