Monday, September 5, 2022

The First Web Site Building Tool that Works

Web site creation got legit easy, and I only just heard about it (thanks to friend-of-slog Paul Trapani for the tip). Google Sites is the 300 billionth attempt to make web site creation simple. And it's the first one that actually works.

It snuck up on me. We've had so many junky tools for this for so long that no one believes a good one is possible. What's more, companies like Squarespace have been hyping so loudly for so long that anyone claiming easy web site building comes off sounding like a Squarespace ad. And Squarespace sucks.

I learned HTML in 1997 (thanks, Lynn LeMay), but, alas, everything I build still looks like 1997. I didn't keep up. I've puttered around with "modern" easy site creation tools over the years, but all were excruciatingly awful and spat out super ugly HTML - gobs of crappy, buggy code for every decision. I never managed to build anything with any of them.

My stopgap solution - which I used, for example, on my homepage and on the page for my app, Eat Everywhere - was to get a non web designer to design a look and a flow, and then hire hardcore devs to replicate the design in HTML/CSS.

But with Google Sites, I was able to build a professional-looking and modern site in two hours flat. And, yes, I realize this sounds like a Squarespace ad.

The tools make sense, the whole thing "just works," and while I did need to dive into the manual (and, for a few issues, into previous user discussion), the answers were always findable. It can't do absolutely everything, but what it can do it does well and results look good without needing to make a zillion fine-tuned design decisions.

Our long national nightmare is over.


Marc Parmet said...

Where’s the site you created?

Jim Leff said...

Not something I want to make public - though nothing embarrassing, either!

It’s nothing clever or dazzling. Strictly functional. But neat, modern, and it’s hard to believe I did it in two hours.

Anonymous coward said...

Good for two hours work. Thanks for sharing.

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