How can I make a site that looks similar to MakeUseOf in another topic area?

Joe Videtto May 7, 2012
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Hi all,

First off – thanks so much for this great site – at least 50% of my online Internet time is spent on it!!! I’ve learned more about using my computer productively from this site than any other, ever.

I would love to start a site that models what MakeUseOf has done, but in an entirely different Topic Area. I don’t want to spend excessive time designing the interface.

Can you recommend a free or low-cost Content Management System (I think that’s the category of software that powers the MakeUseOf site ?) that would offer the professional looking interface and great organization of the MakeUseOf site without too much customization required?

Thanks in advance,
Joe

  1. zeeshan khan
    May 13, 2012 at 3:20 am

    webs.com is for making websites and it even has a forum for your website! It's free! (Unless you wan to get your own url)

  2. GamerJunkdotNet
    May 12, 2012 at 5:23 am

    For the Q&A portion you could always go with the AskIt theme from Elegant Themes. http://www.elegantthemes.com/gallery/askit/

  3. muotechguy
    May 8, 2012 at 7:52 am

    Wow, what fantastic high praise - thanks Joe. As the developer for MakeUseOf, I really ought to answer this.

    MakeUseOf runs entirely on self-hosted WordPress (you can download from http://www.wordpress.org ). It's free, and it IS the best CMS out there, bar none. Anyone who tells you differently must not be trusted!

    Unfortunately, there's an awful lot of custom coding that's gone into MakeUseOf too - this answers section for instance is entirely written from scratch. There are q&a themes out there that work well, but the difficult lies in integrating them all together with a similar look and feel. There are hundreds of fantastic free themes to handle just the main blog area though, and WordPress will let you organize your posts however you like. Personally, I think the organization of this site still leaves a lot to be desired, but this is to do with legacy compatibility. Starting from scratch now, I think you could do better.

    Anyway, I would start with a basic blog up and running. Be sure to download my own guide to WordPress too, which goes over a lot of information relevant to any site:

    http://www.makeuseof.com/pages/set-up-your-blog-with-wordpress-the-ultimate-guide

    For high quality, reliable themes, try:

    http://wp.smashingmagazine.com/tag/themes/

    http://wpshower.com/

    http://www.site5.com/wordpress-themes/

    • Joe Videtto
      May 11, 2012 at 11:07 am

      Thanks muotechtechguy - and your point about the Answers section.

      If I accepted that the blog section will look different from the Answers section (I don't want to do lots of custom coding !!! ) what software would you recommend for the Answers section ?

      • muotechguy
        May 11, 2012 at 2:02 pm

        I believe this one we were happy with before, but had to switch due to integration issues with a separate site: http://templatic.com/app-themes/answers/

        • Joe Videtto
          May 12, 2012 at 12:07 pm

          Thanks again - I'm going to try it out.

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