MyWebsite is an online tool by 1and1.com that allows design novices to create a functional site without the help of a designer. Instead of a design charge, there is a monthly fee (starts at $9.99) that allows you to create and maintain your site by yourself.
How MyWebsite Works:
You get to choose your industry, which gives you a set of appropriate templates and stock images. From there you simply choose the one you like, enter in your data (logo, photos, even meta data) and publish. The formatting is well done - once your data is entered, you can easily switch between templates to see which one houses your data the best - and you won’t need to re-enter each time.
MyWebsite will be best for someone without much design experience. If you are used to designing in Dreamweaver or WordPress you might find it limiting. These limitations are a benefit to first time designers as they can create their site quickly and simply.
Benefits and Drawbacks of MyWebsite
- No HTML knowledge required
- Set of provided templates will get your site up and running fast
- Changes are super easy and free
- No need to purchase software or pay a designer
- Significant limitations because its template based
- Limitations in design because everything is automatic. There isn’t an option for coding override
- Ongoing monthly cost
Why choose MyWebsite over a designer? There are two main reasons:
- It is very inexpensive. Despite having a monthly cost ($9.99) this would take years to add up to what a designer would charge for an initial design.
- You want to be in control. If you are the type of person who knows what you want and want to do it yourself, then this is a good option. It appears than anyone can build a functioning and decent looking site with this application.
Why hire a designer instead of using MyWebsite tool?
- You couldn’t be bothered to design your site, however straight forward it might be.
- You have complex requirements and/or the templates don’t fit.
- You have big plans for your site and will require complex ecommerce and blogging - which are two areas that MyWebsite doesn’t excel in. The MyWebsite product does handle some basic ecommerce function.
Some of the other features that MyWebsite offers:
- Download Documents
- Flash movies / YouTube Integration
- Google Maps Integration
- Guestbook / Contact Form
- Social Widgets (Facebook & Twitter)
- RSS Feed
- UNLIMITED Space
- Password Protected
- Widget / HTML Elements
Overall, I feel that MyWebsite is a good option for getting started - especially for people who want a basic site without studying html books or hiring an expensive designer. It is very low cost and low tech, but without sacrificing your branding. MyWebsite allows you to use your own domain and integrate with your social networks.