Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Review of WebStarts Design Tools

While I really do not consider myself a web designer, somehow over the years I have created dozens of sites. Sometimes it is for someone I know or for a client that really needs a good website in order to display a video I am producing. Occasionally I have taken jobs on-purpose when I needed the income. I have worked in a number of different programs, from ones that simply facilitated HTML programming to others that were supposedly WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get). Lately, I have done most designs in Photoshop and then chopped the design up into pieces. This is a horrible idea, by the way, if you want to improve your rating on search engines. Whatever the case, I have never really enjoyed designing for the web because it was always a drudgery.

When it came time to do a site for our film recently, I figured I would look to see what new tools were available--especially for creating something quickly and very cheaply. I was pleasantly surprised to come across WebStarts.com, which claimed to be simple drag and drop functionality. After working with it for the last several weeks, I can say that I am sold! This tool is fantastic. Although I have been tweaking a little here and there, the actual design of the site as it looks right now took me less than two days. I based off of a template (but changed the look completely) and without any instruction was able to figure out how to do just about everything in the program. Adding widgets or other HTML or Java code-based gadgets is unbelievably simple, and requires no programming knowledge whatsoever. With the exception of one little glitch that I was able to resolve quickly with the very helpful U.S.-based support team, it has worked flawlessly. I recommend you check out WebStarts and all of the many built-in functions and SEO-friendly features it offers. A basic 5-page site is absolutely free, if you don't mind the added text link to WebStarts at the bottom of the page, and full functionality is super cheap.