The best online Website Creation Tools

3. August 2009 04:16 by Sasha in   //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments

Lately, there has been a boom in online website creation tools.
These sites allow you to create your won sites that can be really easy to set up and very (very!!) cheap.
The best ones I have seen are

http://www.wix.com – For building cool looking Flash-based sites

http://www.squarespace.com/ – Very comprehensive HTML based sites

http://www.wordpress.com – Old faithful but limited functionality although there is an iPhone app.

http://www.mrsite.com – Haven’t used it but the portfolio looks pretty good.

http://www.tumblr.com – pretty cool if all you are after is a basic Blogand also has an iPhone app.

http://www.goodbarry.com - Just added this last one long after writing this blog but it looks like it may be the best. Will give update soon.

WIX.com

Starting Price: Free unless you want to use your own domain name

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The Good

  • The interface to WIX is incredible!! So easy and so much fun to use.
  • Tons of cool functionality

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The Bad

  • It’s all Flash. No matter what anyone says, I am yet to see how Flash sites can compete against HTML sites for SEO friendliness
  • Your design options are limited to the templates provided. Granted there is a lot of scope for customisation.

Verdict

If SEO is not your main concern then this is a great option.
So easy to use my Grandma could build a great looking site in minutes. 

Squarespace.com

Starting Price: $8 per month

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The Good

  • Beautiful interface. These guys really take their design seriously.
  • Very flexible layout and CSS customisation options.

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The Bad

  • Limited functionality.
  • Although it is well designed will still require a decent amount of learning to create a site.

Verdict

If you are money poor but time rich then you can create a very decent site.
As long as you don’t need any specific functionality (or ever will) then definitely worth trying the free 2 week trial.
If I was creating a brochure site on the cheap then Squarespace would be my pick.

Wordpress

Starting Price: Free unless you want to use your own domain name

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Although technically Wordpress is blog software, the fact that they allow you to add non blog pages to your site means that a lot of people are using Wordpress for their main site.

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The Good

  • It’s fast, easy to use and cheap and works very well if you just want a good Blog.
  • It’s very widely used so there are a lot of third party add-ons and a large community.
  • Very SEO friendly
  • If you just want a blog you can download the Wordpress software and add it to your site.
  • All open source so if you have a PHP developer handy, you can really do what ever you like with it.

The Bad

  • To utilise third party add ons or create your own themes/skins, you will need to either host the site yourself or find a hosting provider. Wordpress won’t host customised sites.
  • If you want a decent public facing site you will have to choose this option as the Wordpress hosted sites give you minimum functionality. This is fair enough as it is not really designed to be a full CMS.

Verdict

Great for Blogs but wouldn’t cut it as as a stand-alone CMS.

Final Conclusion

I haven’t tried Mrsite.com but it looks good. Also www.tumblr.com is worth a look for those wanting a cool blog site.
The online tools for creating websites are getting better and better. Squarespace.com is certainly a very mature, effective and highly usable piece of software.
If all your organisation requires is a good looking brochure site then with a great web designer you should be able to achieve your requirements very cheaply.
If you need any custom functionality such as integration with internal systems, Shopping Carts etc then you will always need a proper CMS system such as kentico or Sitecore

Should you eat your own dog food or have a gourmet dinner?Should you eat your own dog food or have a gourmet dinner?

25. April 2008 02:26 by Sasha in   //  Tags: , , , ,   //   Comments
Most IT guys working with Microsoft technologies would know the phrase eating your own dog food. For those have never heard the term, to say that a company "eats its own dog food" means that it uses the products that it makes/sells.

My question is what if you don't want to eat dog food? Or what if someone else makes better tasting dog food? Should you only eat one brand of dog food out of loyalty?

At WebCoda we work with Microsoft Technologies so up until recently I ate Microsoft flavor everything. Lately though I find myself straying and it's at once both exciting and unnerving.

Where did I go wrong, how has it come to this you ask?
Well let me take you back about a year when I decided I would try working with Firefox as my main browser instead of Internet Explorer. It all seemed so innocent at the time.

My IE was playing up and was taking way too long to start loading new web pages.
Before I knew it, I was installing plugins. Oh at first it was just little ones like the color picker and the measuring tool. But before I knew it I had installed the web dev toolbar and Firebug. I knew at this point I was a goner. I could never go back to boring old IE that was still taking 3 weeks to load up a simple web page and had as much decent functionality as an Ipod - Very little. (Hey I could have said as a Mac).

The next step in my demise came when we switched our mail over to Google Apps. Maybe it was the 25 gig of mail storage or maybe it was all the extra apps such as calendar, documents and mobile access. Or maybe it was the moonlight. I can't say but suddenly I found myself using Thunderbird instead of Outlook (gasp!!). The integration with IMAP and Google calendar was too much to resist.

I am now having regular arguments with my business partner over whether we should store company info and documents in Sharepoint or whether we use Google sites or one of the many other such sites out there.
The reason is this. Why should we host our own sites which need regular backing up, only have internal access and need to be upgraded manually when we can let someone like Google handle all these things? Everytime I log into one of the google sites there seems to be a new feature they have added like a little gift that you were not expecting.

Don't get me wrong. I am a big fan of Microsoft products - The operating Systems (Except Vista), Media Center is awesome and of course the programming tools and languages rock.

Maybe it's just that I don't like the taste of dog food.

Things that every web developer should do in their life time (Or atleast in their lunch time)

24. April 2008 02:21 by Sasha in   //  Tags: , , ,   //   Comments
As a web developer for Webcoda I have been creating websites for others for over 10 years. Sometimes just like the proverbial shoemaker, we web developers just don't have the time to maintain our own websites. Even worse, we can be too busy coding to look into sites that most Net users every day.

So for my first ever Blog I have decided to discuss things that every web developer should do. (On the web, not in public)
I might even create my own certification if you pass all of them!

Not necessarily in order of importance..
  1. Buy something from Amazon. - Amazon is the king of shopping sites. From suggestions and reviews to the amazing check out process and order tracking.
  2. Set up a Facebook account. There has never been a more fun way to spend your work day and what better way to reunite with all the people you swore you would never speak to again? It's also an amazing display of web 2.0 and remember - what reality TV is to television, social networking is to the web. We all bitch about it, yet at the same time are strangely drawn to it.
  3. Sell something on Ebay. If you have nothing to sell, make something up. I hear anything that resembles Jesus sells well. Maybe sell your soul (You won't be needing it where you're going anyway [insert evil laugh here])
  4. Buy something on Ebay. If you have never experienced the sheer thrill of an online auction now is the time!! Bid for that cheap Ipod knock off that some guy in Korea has made from sawdust and potato skins. You never know it will probably work better then the real thing.
  5. Upload a video to Youtube.
  6. Explore Google Earth.
  7. Write a Blog on Blogger.
  8. Create social book marks with Digg or Del.icio.us.
  9. Use P2P software to download music and movies. It's only illegal if you get caught!
  10. Do your banking over the net.
  11. Use Paypal 
  12. Twitter on Twitter
If you get really adventurous you could combine a few.
E.G. Create a Digg bookmark to a Blog about a video that you posted on Youtube where you sell something on Ebay that you bought on Amazon.

There are more but if you manage these points you can officially call yourself a web developer.

Webcoda, Web Development & Design, Sydney

Webcoda, Web Developers & Designers Sydney is a Sydney based Web Development company comprising a team of consultants who are experts in all aspects of Microsoft web technology from ASP.Net development to Kentico CMS & SharePoint.

Webcoda has a long history of producing outstanding results for clients large and small. We have helped companies grow from humble beginnings to multi-million dollar enterprises through technology.

We love what we do and this blog is our way of sharing info that we find interesting with the world at large. Please feel free to comment or drop us a line on +612 9370 3636

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