And then there’s the people in the middle. You want to know a bit and be able to have custom control of your content, but don’t want to have to worry about
padding:2px 4px 6px 8px;. Uploading photos should be as easy as it is to post on Facebook and bolding a sentence should be simple, just like using Microsoft Word or Pages.
Virb & Squarespace
That’s where sites like Virb and Squarespace come in. They allow you to start with a beautifully designed theme/template and customize it to your hearts content, without having to know a lick of HTML/CSS code. And yet they are advanced enough that there’s not really a limit to what kind of website you can create.
Virb is the new kid on the block – so new that it’s still labeled as being in beta. Squarespace has been around for awhile and has a large marketing presence on the web – particularly in the area of podcasters. Just about every premium podcast has had Squarespace as a sponsor (Revision3, Twit.tv, & 5by5).
Virb just launched under a beta program with pricing at $10/month for everything. Squarespace has a few different pricing plans starting at $8/month going all the way up to $50/month for large community/group sites.
Squarespace has been around for awhile so they have quite a few examples while Virb, having just launched, is still hunting for their examples – this one popped up on their Twitter feed.
If you are looking to try your hand at building your own website, you can’t really go wrong with either company. You might get a few more growing pains with Virb but you’ll save some money and gain a bunch of features by being an early user of their platform. Squarespace, on the other hand, has been at this for awhile so there’s an established platform with lots of users and features – including, from what I’ve read, a great iPhone/iPod touch app for managing your sites. Both will allow you to use their domain (i.e. whatever.squarespace.com) or use your own custom domain.
Since both companies charge you month to month – there’s no long term contracts or hassles to signing up or cancelling if you don’t need the service anymore.
Whichever way you decide to go, it’s a great time to be a content creator online with so many great options and tools available to you. The hard part is deciding which tool to use. Get in touch with me if you’d like some help deciding which software to use for your website!