Websites That Make Websites
It's a rather familiar scene on the web, they are all over the place, and while they can be helpful and even down right simple to use please consider the following pro's and con's regarding the use of websites and other web services to build your website.
Lets talk first about what this technology is. Websites that make websites are basically all run by people, try not to forget that. A service found on the web is more than likely a business and someone somewhere related is trying to turn a buck. You may say "Well that is fair, I would if I could" and I couldn't agree more but before you sign up for that "Free Website" somewhere, consider asking yourself the following questions:
- What is this website for?
- Will it be a business or designed to do business?
- Must the information contained be secure?
- What happens if the service provider can or chooses to no longer do business?
- How limited will a service like this be?
The questions got you thinking a little didn't they? See, web design is by no means simple. It is not actually hard, but to say that is is deep is a grave understatement. It is really best to not limit yourself, especially right out of the gate. Of course as a web developer my self of nearly 15 year, If someone were to say to me "Hey, I want a website." I would probably try to sell them on my services, how ever if they say that money is tight or that they want to do it them selves, I would not direct them to an online "create a site" service unless the website was going to be very temporary.
Sure, its easy to go to a website that promises simple and quick point and click solutions to building a website but what is not upfront is that you are going to have to use their technology to do so. You will have to follow their guidelines and trust me when I say that as soon as you want something that requires any degree of complexity, you are going to pay for it.
Lets say you build your website on one of these cookie cutter systems and your website becomes successful and grows. Things about things like allowed bandwidth, disk space, data management, privacy, and expandability. It's an old saying that goes "One in the hand is worth two in the bush", well let your "one in the hand" be a solid foundation for your website. One that you understand and one that you control.
From a hosting stand point, I'd bet a pile a gold your gonna be on a cloud or shared server environment. If you don't know what I mean, check out our section on Web Hosting, these are the lowest on the totem pole of desired choices as their are certain unavoidable concerns to this type of hosting and it is always limiting.
Now you have to consider the success of the business running this website from a website service. What if they fail, go out of business, raise their rates out of your reach or simply become unstable? Can you move from them quickly and reset up your site somewhere else? What about your domain name, do they own it or have it locked down so you cant move it without their cooperation or assistance?
In the end I would say this, If your website is going to be nothing special, nothing permanent and nothing you plan to build up all that much than sure, give it a shot. But if you get the "bug" for making websites, you're gonna want more, and your going to want to do it right. Learn all you can and act accordingly. Don't simply sign on because of that big FREE sign in the window.