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Recently I've been dabbling a little bit with the free content management system Joomla, whilst it seems fairly straight forward to edit websites created with Joomla, starting off from scratch without finding the time to follow their tutorials is a little beyond me.
One of the things you are going to need from the beginning is a template, unless you know what you are doing, then it's unlikely you'll be making your own, that's where a website like Artisteer steps in. Artisteer has different variations on a template, you can choose from a range of colours and themes and their 30 day free trial can be downloaded from http://www.artisteer.com, there's versions for both Windows and Mac users.
Artisteer does not just specialise in Joomla but also creates skins for Wordpress, Blogger and Drupal, the editor is really user-friendly, a lot more straight forward than competitors and its also very easy and quick to install. I don't really have any experience with Drupal but the problem with Wordpress, Blogger and Joomla is that there's an array of free templates that are good enough and in some cases better than what Artisteer have to offer, in the case of Joomla, it's only 1000s of variants on the same template.
I'd definitely say that the 30 day free trial is worth making use of (you get to keep the template forever, although an Artisteer watermark/logo will remain on it unless you pay the $49.99), I would not fork out any dough on this product, simply because there are too many free alternatives. If you really like the different variations on the same template and plan to use the same template over and over again on different websites, then you might think about buying it out right to remove the logo but personally the template is not flexible enough and is not the kind of layout I'm looking for.
I should add that in order to use the free trial, you do not need to give any payment details so there's no chance whatsoever of being unknowingly charged.