In the past, I have assisted both companies with maintenance of their machines and office networks (sometimes for pay, sometimes not)
Website building is something I have no experience in, except one rudimentary professional news site constructed only with .htm and Notepad back in the mid '90's. I have long since lost any notes I may have had about the use of .htm, which probably wouldn't be of much use now anyway.
This will mostly be a "labor of love". The companies are asking for my assistance because I am their "home-town favorite" and because they have no budget to pay a real Website Developer. I am certain that they could do better with a professional developer.
About the companies...
One has no Website.
The other has had a Website for many years but now wishes to change hosting.
The one with no Website is a Landscape Contractor who is only now emerging as a successful company which can benefit from having sample pictures of their previous work, for new customers to browse as reference.
Here is an example from one of their competitors Sierra Landscape
The home-town company would love to have their site look as professional and appealing as this linked site, but as yet does not have any gorgeous pictures of finished work to match what is displayed in the Sierra link.
The one with an existing website, manufactures durable restroom accessories of toilet tissue, towel, and soap dispenser products and can be seen here: www.vandalstop.com
This site is presently hosted by Network Solutions.
Network Solutions was an early hosting company and maybe even the first site registrar even before ICANN.
Nevertheless, the services that this company has subscribed to are very expensive and no longer serve the companies needs if they ever did.
Network Solutions has a built-in (for a fee) page development and editing tool - ImageCafe - which I suppose is their online proprietary counterpart of utilities like DreamWeaver. I've used ImageCafe several times to update pages, correct typos, etc.
One interesting/annoying feature of ImageCafe as I am coming to understand it, is that the user can "upload" images, graphics and text, but once Uploaded, the files cannot be retrieved by download. This condition would recommend that the Website owner should keep a copy of all images, graphics and text for any off-line work and or future editing. Unfortunately, this company "has not" kept the images, graphics and text. So now that they wish to move to a less expensive host, they are at least somewhat held hostage by not being able to retrieve their content.
It has been recommended that I use a "website-copier" call httrack.
I have read all the legal issues posted about using such a copier on a self-owned Website and it appears that the company would be within their legal rights to copy their own Website for publication elsewhere.
It seems that "website copying" is used for portable off-line viewing, for academic purposes, for owner construction activities and probably for less honorable activities that may even relate to plagiarism.
What are your thoughts about what I could do to help this second company to retrieve their Website for relocation? (stainless steel)
What tools will be useful to me in constructing a fresh website for the first company (landscape)
Note: As a "labor of love" I am not prepared to purchase expensive website construction tools (the only one I think of is Dreamweaver) and I have not heard good things about using Frontline from MS. I do have an early addition of Dreamweaver (late '90's, but never became familiar with it.)
Note: I have seen some "Content Driven" (I think that is the term) hosting options, where the host has a format used by any/all of its hosted sites. The results are actually quite presentable, though somewhat formulaic.
Some of you may groan and recommend that I get a pro to do the work.
I'm not likely to do that, and at this point wish to struggle through doing it myself.
Though gambling would be frowned on by WTT, I imagine some would want to place bets on just how long I'll last with this project.
Your recommendations to this newbie will be appreciated.