I follow many technology people on the web. Most are survivors of “The Screen Savers” from the old Tech TV. Many have gone on to work for big name companies and some ended up starting new internet networks, such as Revision 3 and TWiT.tv. These new site got advertisers to support their new networks and Squarespace (http://www.squarespace.com/) was one of the sponsers. I had a squarespace account for about 12 months and never put up a site. I tried, but I must have had a mental block because for an easy “drop and drag” / no coding required site, I never could figure it out. I think I got an account for about $8 / month. At the time they were a brand new service and I got an offer code from TWiT. Unfortunately it was a waste of my time and money. I know they advertise big time on many of the tech sites I visit and sponsor many of the videos I watch. I really don’t have anything bad to say, but I didn't get it.
While reading my late and great Google Reader feeds (I have moved on to Feedly.com - Highly recommended) one day I saw an article on Weebly (www.weebly.com). Strange name - "weeblies wobble, but they don’t fall down" (I know it's really weebles). They give you two free sites with certain limitations. I played with it for a week or two and decided to joined. It may not be robust enough for some, but it was easy enough for me to use. I needed to have a presences on the web and this site would allow me to do have one. I signed up for a Pro account, which gives me 10 websites. I only need one, but given the availability of ten sites I am sure I can figure out something to do with the rest of them. I paid $71.80 for 24 months or $3 / month for all 10 potential sites. I need the Pro account so I could use my own domain name, www.barch.com, otherwise it would have been www.barch.weebly.com.
I gave one site to my son, www.arphotecture.com (architecture + photography). I came up with that name because I have used arcadtect (architect + CAD) for a long time. I have the domain names www.arcadtect.com and www.arcadtecture.com, the latter I use for this blog site, which is also a weebly site. Weebly has a template for blogging sites. I use one for the duplex that we now rent, but lived in for 14 years. www.929shadylawnroad.com. I don’t do much bid work, but within the last 12 months I was taking the bids on a project for one of the developers I work for and it got to be a pain the butt answer the phone for all the subcontractors who wanted the bid list of GCs. So I set a site up with the bid list. I then left a voicemail message that included “if you are calling for a bid list for the project please go to www.bidlist.weebly.com. The subs would call once and then they stopped calling a second, third, fourth, and fifth time desperate to get the names of the GCs prior to the bid deadline. I thought it was a pretty good specific use of a web site. I could do multiple bid lists on the site because you can password protect the access to each web page.
I recently have met with some potential new clients and realized that I have been in business for over 25 years and my site didn't represent nearly enough of my projects. There are no award winners in there, but It is nice to let people know what you have done. So as I write this I am trying to make a major push to add more projects. It can be a pain the behind having to go back through all the pictures I have and to find decent pictures to post. Sometimes it gets a bit overwhelming and I need to take a step away. I realize if I am going to make a push to get new clients that filling the webpage with projects is a priority.
Weebly lets me do everything I need to do for my site. Like all sites they have pre-built, but modifiable templates. If you can code you can add it to your site. They have a fairly large selections of templates and one of the nice things is you can create a site with one template and then choose another to see what your site would look like in that template. It automatically transfers the information. You do not have to start over if you change a template. Weebly handles text, photos, and videos without any problems. It has a pre-built contact form. It can handle ecommerce if you want to sells something (books and such). You can add scrollable forms, so you could put a template of your contract on there for just viewing or downloading. I obviously really like the site.
The only other web site service I have seen some good press on is
www.Wix.com . I really don’t know much about it but I did find an article that compared Wix and Weebly (http://www.websitebuilderexpert.com/wix-vs-weebly-which-website-builder-is-better/)
If you need to set up a website and you want something that is easy and will give you a professional looking site, but you don’t want to spend a lot of money. One other thing is Weebly will give you statistics of the number of page views and the number of uniques views which is something we are all interested in. It nice to know if someone has looked at your site. I personally recommend Weebly.