In my mythical “free time”, I get lots of requests from friends and family to help them build “a quick website”. In my time, I’ve learned that these requests end up being neither simple nor quick, but I love helping people anyway. I’ve been using Orchard as a base for these websites. If you’ve never used Orchard before it’s an MVC based Content Management System. I’ve found that the code is easy enough to understand that I can quickly come in and bend it to meet the exact needs. However, for projects that don’t need custom development, Orchard has a gallery of user-installable modules and themes that allows people to quickly add new functionality via the browser.
Microsoft has done a great job promoting Orchard by including it as a template for Azure Web Sites. In minutes, you can have a database-backed Orchard instance running on Azure with absolutely no code. Oh yeah, Orchard is 100% open-source. There’s no cost to download or install Orchard. My Orchard links on delicious will walk you through some basic customization of your new site. Check it out.