YolaWhen people have asked us what they should use to design a website, we used to point them to WordPress, which is what we and many others use. But that was then; this is now. Hello, Yola!

We changed because WordPress isn’t a no-brainer. Joy found it necessary to take an online tutorial at lynda.com and a really smart friend paid for the same tutorial and then bought the “WordPress for Dummies” book. If you just want a blog, which is typically a series of postings to the web, we suggest Google’s “Blogger” at Blogger.com, which is very easy to figure out. But if you want a real web site, Yola is the way to go.

With Yola, you can easily add an online store, maps, a search function, a photo gallery, video and more, just by dragging the icon for these items into your editing window. In fact, everything you do involves dragging an icon to wherever you want it. When you start, choose one of Yola’s templates, all of which looked nice to us. If you later change your mind, just click “change style” to get a new look. You can also click “change layout” to add more columns or change the look of that template. This is by far the easiest site builder we’ve ever seen.

The site building tools are all free, and so is the web-hosting, if you don’t mind having “yolasite” in your web address. When you start, you have the option of using a domain name you already own, or using a “yolasite,” or starting a brand new domain name for $20 a year.

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