My Free Website Builder
My free Website Builder is not a new product. At one time it sold for $197.00 (US). I would imagine it has reached market saturation at this point and is therefore being given away all over the internet. It can be found offered either as a direct “free” product, a bonus for upgrading another product purchase or as a bonus for upgrading on a membership site. Since you are required to hand-over your name and email address (personal assets), it really isn’t free at all. One might say it is “at no financial cost”, but not “free”. It can also be gotten directly from the internet just by doing a google search for the product by name. There also you will have to provide your “assets” before being able to download.
That being said, I have just finished downloading, installing and using the product on our test PC’s. After using it, I can see why it probably sold so well in its time. It is easy to use and will produce a relatively fine-looking webpage. While it is no match for the Macromedia product, it would hold its own against the likes of Microsoft’s Front Page. In fact, having used Front Page for a few years, it is probably easier to use and understand. The included user manual is mostly accurate and understandable. It would be a great product for someone just starting out on webpage design.
It is a HTML (hypertext language) editor. This simply means it is a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) product. Make your computer screen look the way you want your page to appear and the program will write the code for you. There is no real need to know the HTML language. That is, unless you want to do some of the really fancy things found on web pages today. But, for a simple static (no movement) page, it will do a pretty good job.
1. It is “free”! This is one of the major advantages of this software. No investment as one starts the journey into web design.
2. It will work on both the Windows and the Mac platform.
3. There are over 100 built-in website templates available to use with this product. This will allow a novice web designer a head-start in design and save many a lot of time and trouble. They will just need to select one template, make some minor changes and their website will be created.
4. Another great feature is the built-in web publishing facility (which works with one click). This means you can publish your page(s) directly to your hosting account without the need for other FTP software.
1. The software caters and is more useful to the novice; people who are only “basic” website designers or people who have never made a website before.
2. It has none of the advanced features of the professional website building products.
While My Free Website Builder is much too basic for the professional designer, it remains a very good software product for people new to website design who want to have a “go” at creating their own web pages. It will allow those people to get a basic understanding of how to build a web page and turn pages into websites. Once this idea is understood, one will have a better knowledge of what software they may want or need in the future if they want some of the more advanced features available in paid-for products.
One of my female staff (who is a computer operator with no other computer experience) was able to create a webpage, using the user manual, only asking one (1) question before completing it. The page actually looked quite well for a first attempt. That being the case, I would have to highly recommend the product and feel it would be useful to the novice or slightly advanced in creating a webpage and website. Those with more experience will probably find the product a bit lacking as they would no-doubt want more of the “bells and whistles” available in paid-for products.
By comparison, Amazon lists an “old – Used – Acceptable” version of Microsoft Front Page at $129.99 (US). Amazon also lists an “Old – Used” version of Macromedia Dreamweaver at $187.85. That being the case, My Free Website Builder is a bargain for the person new to website design and even to those slightly advanced in the subject. It has the right price as stated in its name – “Free”!
It should be remembered, however, web design is more than just a product. One must start with a concept of what the purpose of the pages are intended to convey and piece together a working diagram of a finished product before setting out to use the software to create it. This last statement would be the greatest assistance to all would-be web designers who believe a website begins when one sits down at the computer to make it!
Don’t forget to leave your comments…they are welcome!
Until next week: