Ok, Making Spaces is not a site I have built but I am proud to have helped get it up and out there. It went live today and I'm so proud for the creator and owner Karen Knox.
We talked and decided that using a service like Wordpress or similar was the best way forward. Why should you pay for a designer or developer if services exist that provide professional-looking themes with all the tools to create your own site?
Karen did her own research and plumped for a service called Wix. I have to be honest, I have always been sceptical of sites that build sites - maybe it's the TV advertising - but I have been pleasantly surprised by Karen's experiences with Wix. Not that she found the whole process easy but within a week of slog and dare I say it, planning, she had the majority of the site complete including content, imagery and a enquiry form. All of this with a demanding toddler in tow too.
I now know two people (an architect friend and Karen) who have used Wix and are happy with the experience and that makes me very happy. Obviously because I'm a nice person but also because Wix is targeted at people who don't want, need or have the time to learn how to build a site or have the finance to get someone else do it for them. I have dealt with many small business owners who have a website but are unhappy with it but because the person who built it and hosted it for them is no longer interested in helping or supporting it. At this point the business owner is stuck with a site they can't improve but is still paying for (and often over the odds).
Wix seems to have this covered. Sure, it could never be as flexible as Wordpress or Umbraco but I don't think it's fair to draw a comparison. Services like Wix and Squarespace offer a completely different service.
I mean, it has its own DNS management console. WTF? That surprised me. But then why not? It's a totally hosted service. On the down side Wix does recommend that you point your domain at its own nameservers which can be a little daunting for business owners as it means they then have to manage their own records. It also makes the prospect of moving away from Wix a little daunting too. You can point your domain at a Wix IP but they do not recommend this:
The primary reason we recommend connecting your domain to Wix using Wix name servers is that the Wix IP address might change in order to prevent your site from going down. This happens from time to time when natural disasters, server problem and other problems occur.
This does sound a little melodramatic doesn't it? In fact I think it's more likely that they use cloud hosting (much like Azure/Amazon EC2) where they can't guarantee a dedicated IP for any length of time which is a shame.
But all in all, I'm delighted it exists and business startups like Karen can have a site they can be proud of and maintain themselves through a service like this.
Published: 16 February 2015