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It may come as a surprise to some of the older OZZU members that I haven't done any real coding or graphics work in years. Now that I'm retired I've found that I have a passion for food and cooking. I've recently purchased a domain name for a website based on that passion, but I've been out of the loop for so long I'm somewhat at a loss where to begin.

This morning I discovered that I can add IIS as a feature to my home edition to Windows 11 (tutorial coming in a future post), and I am moderately OK with ASP and ASPX, but previously I used to work with PHP and it's associated recourses. I just don't know what's available currently to achieve my objectives.

Here are my goals:

  1. Create a website with recipe content.
  2. Review locally owned and operated restaurants (Initially in Western PA)
  3. Provide cooking tips.
  4. Provide food safety info.
  5. Be primarily ad free. I'm happily retired and don't need a ton of extra income and hate recipe sites that I visit where ads are predominant.

Any advice would be much appreciated, suggestions should be detailed and include screenshots of the editor you recommend and why you would recommend it.

ATNO still lives!

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    I'm curious, what turned out? What's the site? — Bogey
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    It's still a work in progress. I currently have it hosted with Unmelted, and am using Wordpress to build it. There's really not much there at the moment but if you want a peek it's https://www.retiredhomecook.com — Mark Bowker
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IMHO, I wouldn't use a drag n drop website creator. I just don't like them. I am a PHP guy myself, and pretty much code everything vanilla, with no frameworks. I've tried Symfony and Laravel, and I can see them being useful in team settings where multiple people are working on the codebase, but I'm a solo kinda feller, so I stick with the bare metal.

Here's my setup...

MX Linux as my operating system.
PHP 8.1 installed along with MySQL and Apache.
Atom for my code editor.
GitLab for version control.
(I'm guessing you can see an open-source theme going here).

I host most of my production sites on Linode.

Here's a screencap of one of the projects I'm working on in Atom.
screenshot of PHP project in Atom

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    I haven’t used Atom myself, but more than one developer I have worked with have used it and said many great things about it. If I recall Atom has many great plugins that can be utilized as well to help meet any needs you have as a developer. — Brian Wozeniak
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    Thanks for the great feedback Natas! Atom definitely has my interest. Looks like a really good editor. — Mark Bowker
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If content is your primary goal (and not programming some sort of CMS from scratch as a project), then I think what you really want is a static site generator such as Jekyll or Hugo, with an ad-free deployment solution such as GitHub Pages or Amazon S3. Then you can use whatever editor you want to write your content in Markdown or similar and publish content with a simple git push.

The general idea with SSG's is that you trade the need for a backend service and database for a simple set of tools that just take your markdown content and apply a template to it, spitting out HTML. Then you just serve that from somewhere and call it a day.

On the topic of editors, I use VSCode, but Atom and Sublime Text are also very popular. All of them have a fairly rich plugin ecosystem for adding language and other toolchain-specific functionality.

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If you want an easy-to-use website builder with pre-designed templates, then Wix and Squarespace are good options. They offer a wide range of templates that are specifically designed for food and culinary businesses. On the other hand, if you want more control over your website's design and functionality, then WordPress might be a better choice. WordPress has a vast library of themes and plugins that can help you create a fully customized website.

Moreover, it's essential to consider the features that are necessary for a food-themed website. For example, an online store, reservation system, and menu design. Therefore, ensure that the website editor you choose has these features or has the option to integrate them.

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