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If you’ve been working online as long as I have, you probably remember the WYSIWYG craze of the late ’90s. Everyone and their mother had a program that attempted to make building a webpage easier. The most popular (and also the worst) was Microsoft Frontpage.
Today I am seeing more “cloud” services that aim to make building websites easier. Most of these tools are web-based and are very easy-to-use. About 18 months ago we covered the launch of SnapPages (which at SXSW launched a new developer service).
Launching at SXSW, Lifeyo is a new website builder that co-founder Betsy calls the, “people’s website builder”. They have lots of themes, easy to use blog tool, ability to add multiple pages, etc. I like how you edit the pages in place and the drag-and-drop elements which requires no code knowledge. You can edit the code directly if you prefer as well. Betsy uses Lifeyo to manage her RazorBlonde blog.
The service is free (including hosting) and they will be offering paid upgrades in the future including the ability to create a custom domain.
With all of these new website builder tools on the market, it’s amazing how many small businesses still have websites that look like they were built in 1995.
Here’s Betsy explaining how Lifeyo works and how they are different than the other website builders on the market. This is my first video uploaded as HD so be sure to select the HD option when viewing. Make sure to watch the part from the two-minute mark as she shows how the editor works – it’s pretty slick.
Continue reading “SXSW Video Demo: Lifeyo – Simple Website Builder” »
Back in 1997, I was approached by a recruiting firm in NYC to create a "test" for HTML. They were placing tons of HTML coders but many times the clients would call the recruiter because the coder was using a WYSIWYG tool when the coder said they were a hand-coding expert.
Yesterday on the Fox show, "The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet", expert Lesley Spencer Pyle explained how people at home could make money using the Internet. One of the ways Pyle noted was that you could become a Web designer and create brochure sites for businesses for at least $500 a piece. Pyle noted, "you would think you need some great skills to do that (web design), but there are tools to do it for you".
She named SnapPages as her tool of choice. We covered SnapPages (including a video interview with the founder) back in September. SnapPages seems like a well developed tool that might be good for creating your own website. The real issue here is that design is just one portion of creating an effective online presence. I hear stories from small businesses all the time who have left the online space because they felt that it wasn’t worth the investment. It’s these type of "fly by night" designers (or developers, marketers, etc.) that will slowly erode the industry as a whole and make it harder for talented professionals to get work.
Here’s the clip of Pyle explaining how to become a Web designer in 2 minutes or less:
(no comments about the video quality!)
SnapPages is one of the companies in the demopit at Techcrunch50. SnapPages is a website creation tool that actually seems like it has some innovation over the other million website creation tools on the market. The service is hosted but they can do custom domain redirects.
Here’s founder Steve Testone with a product demo: