Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Weebly Hosting

I've tried several hosts now. So far, Weebly gets my prize for ease of use and quality of tools available. Now, if you've read any of my posts, you'll know that 'ease of use' is a biggie with me. Don't make me learn algebra, folks. I'm just sick of it. HTML basics are bearable, but anything beyond that... algebra! Now, Weebly has let me build two full-featured sites and put my own domain on them... FREE! So far, I'm sold. I do want another site, a Favicon, and a couple of other things I can't do without premium ~ so I'm all set to buy into their plan. It's pretty reasonable. They seem to have the hobbyist and small-business person in mind. I was able to use my own photos and graphics, which meant I could wipe out those generic templates (which, by the way, weren't so bad ~ not nearly as icky-slick as most). I was sorely tempted to use one of their template images. Yes, even as Graphics-Control-Freakish as I am, I liked that photo of the path leading into an autumn park. Nice! Now, the techies among you might not like Weebly. Neither will the HTML purists. (I tried to be one. I just failed miserably. Besides, W3C kept raising the bar, dangling that carrot, dropping that anvil on my head... ummm, well, you get the picture.) Granted, I have relaxed some of my rigid requirements for web pages. I want my own layouts, but... finally, I've accepted that perfect layouts are not requisite. They're iffy anyhow, since people will use different devices. Weebly has some nice, tight layouts to offer. I can't be sure they'll dish up right on every device; but then, neither does my old site. Weebly's WYSIWYG editor is so much better than the others I've tried. It's built around drag-and-drop widgets that fit nicely into place. It's a little sticky to use ~ but whose isn't? I had fewer problems than with any other. Their DNS tutorials actually make sense. Weebly's GoDaddy-specific tutorial did make better sense before GoDaddy went to such great lengths to hide their DNS Zone Editor; but if you ever do find GoDaddy's Zone Editor, it looks exactly like the screen shots that Weebly provides.

I did say that I might try GoDaddy as a host. I just can't bring myself to do it. Their hosting plan is more expensive than Weebly's, and the 'free' tools they have for site building are extremely limited. My biggest fear? What if I 'buy in,' and find that their paid site editor is as limited as their stinky free editor? I can see why GoDaddy wouldn't want to give you a fully functional site for free (though Weebly pretty much does give you that). GoDaddy's afraid they wouldn't sell any hosting plans. My advice to GD: you'll catch more flies with honey, folks. If you can't provide a real, fully functional free site, at least provide a site builder that lets me build one for testing. Well, maybe they did. Maybe that slick business card with no place to even put an 'Enter' button is all their editor is capable of. I shudder to think...