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Looking for a new website building platform
Posted by: lost in space
Date: September 21, 2022 10:03PM
Once again I turn to the collective wisdom of the MRF.

I've had pretty much the same web site for my small business for 6 or 7 years, using Rapidweaver. With my aging brain and diminishing patience, I'm ready for something very simple, maybe Wix or others like it. I only need a photo gallery, a few About pages, prices, and a contact page. No online ordering, but maybe a blog. I've looked at Wordpress, but I couldn't *get* it and am ready for something simpler, unless WP has gotten simpler since I last looked at it a couple years ago. Any ideas?

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Re: Looking for a new website building platform
Posted by: Ken Sp.
Date: September 21, 2022 11:11PM
WIX is pretty easy, but there are limitations.
Haven't used, but hear great things about SquareSpace.
I miss Claris HomePage and iWeb!
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Re: Looking for a new website building platform
Posted by: clay
Date: September 22, 2022 07:50AM
I have a philosophical problem with platforms like Wix, Squarespace, etc. Obviously, lots of folks find them to be a good fit, but I don't like being locked into a proprietary platform (software + hosting) when there are other good options that don't have the same type of lock-in. I guess some would argue that even Wordpress has lock-in, but I would argue that unless you're hosting at (which I don't recommend unless you do one of their higher end plans), you're only locked into the Wordpress software, and you can freely change web hosts whenever you want. With Squarespace/WIX, not only are you locked to their software, but you are locked to their hosting platform. If they raise pricing, you either pay the increase, or start from 0 with another platform. With Wordpress, you're only paying for hosting, and there are hundreds of options to choose from.

I like the wordpress software. With the right theme, a good page builder, and a couple plugins (and good hosting), I think it's a hard combo to beat.

I'm happy to provide specific recommendations if you're interested. Feel free to PM if you want.

I guess if you're curious about Squarespace/WIX, you can signup for a free trial and see if you like what they offer without paying anything.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/22/2022 07:52AM by clay.
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Re: Looking for a new website building platform
Posted by: Markintosh
Date: September 22, 2022 10:21AM
I'm going to back what Clay says. Here's a few thoughts:

• Wix and Squarespace are fine until you want to tweak something that they don't let you tweak. Then you're stuck, and moving to another platform at that point is not easy.

• Wix and Squarespace are relatively expensive compared to simple hosting with Wordpress.

• The above generally do not include an email solution. That forces you to either figure out the DNS strategy and backend tinkering required to route your email through another provider. That's another additional cost. Or you give up and use instead of Tacky.

Wordpress thoughts:

• There's always plenty of hosts that provide simple web and email hosting at a low cost. Wordpress is a free installation and most hosts have easy tools for making installation easy. I happen to like Hostgator and have been with them for about 15 years. Others will have their favorites.

• You probably don't need a page builder on top of Wordpress, as it generally slows things down and really increases the learning curve. Many also have subscription fees. The Gutenberg blocks built into Wordpress are probably fine for a simple site.

• Currently I like the Kadence theme as a starting point as it's easy to get a decent site going and fairly easy to transmogrify. []

I'm really trying to get out of the business, but Clay and maybe some others might offer reasonable pricing for setting you up.

“Live your life, love your life, don’t regret…live, learn and move forward positively.” – CR Johnson
Loving life in Lake Tahoe, CA

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/22/2022 10:23AM by Markintosh.
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Re: Looking for a new website building platform
Posted by: lost in space
Date: September 22, 2022 11:01AM
Thanks for the great feedback. I've had my current site hosted on hostpc for about ten years, recommended by MRF, and hadn't thought about Squarespace and Wix hosting requirements. That for me is a dealbreaker. I've just gotten tired of all the add-ons I've had to purchase and update with RW, and I think the right WP theme might make things simpler. With the advent of social media, I think a web site, while important, doesn't have the impact it once did, so I'm a little less fussy about the look and feel. Thanks again. I might be taking you up on your offers.

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Re: Looking for a new website building platform
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: September 24, 2022 12:19AM
I'm a little less fussy about the look and feel.

As just a guy who knows nothing about creating and hosting a site, I put some stock into how a site looks, when considering purchasing.

I'm aware that a super slick site doesn't mean a good shopping experience.

But I have found no small correlation with a poor site leading to a less than expected experience.

And personally, I hate sites with a lot of animation.

Then seems slick and impressive, but they almost always impeded simple navigation, and that annoys me big time.

So whatever you choose, try to keep it clean and smart looking.

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