by Anura Guruge
Well, the above image makes it pretty obvious as to what Website I am building. Yes, it is time.
I wanted a Website cum Blog that was easy to maintain & update WHILE at the same time giving me the flexibility of having tightly formatted Web pages — even if such views had to be limited, ALAS, to ‘Desktop Mode’.
Despite my near two decade experience with WordPress, it was not going to ‘cut it’. WordPress takes work — a lot of work.
As you may have seen, I played around, albeit it briefly, with ‘IONOS’ & ‘DreamHost‘. Nope. Did not meet my expectations. I then went to Weebly given that I use Weebly for both ‘guruge.com‘ & ‘wownh.com‘. But, this time around I was NOT impressed. My other two Websites (at Weebly) are ‘static’ & rarely updated. That was NOT going to be the case with this new Website. It had to be dynamic & easy to update & change. After a week of mounting frustration I asked for my money back. They did refund it quickly — though through a contact in the Weebly COMMUNITY rather than via their Support. It took their support over a week to get back to I. Weebly’s support has gone to … I am not sure where, BUT it is not online!
Then, after another round of research, I decided to check out HostGator’s ‘new’ Website Builder. Their pricing was definitely very competitive & they had a 45-day refund policy. Plus, they were TRYING to cater for bloggers.
I started with them about 5-days ago. It was easy enough to get started. There were some bits that were confusing, i.e., the blog being handled within 2-pages; a main-page that carried summaries & the blog proper. Their documentation & knowledge base — ler’s say — is EVOLVING. Thankfully, they do have decent 24/7 CHAT support — from India. I have used them thrice, & each time they helped me out. So, that was good. They also have phone support, but it is not 24/7. I have yet to try it. There is also a PREMIUM support option that you can buy. I have not explored that as yet.
It is definitely easier & MORE FUN to use than Weebly! Of that, there can be no doubt or debate. More flexible. ‘Snap to Grid’ based designing BUT you can get (most times) the vertical/horizontal spacing you desire (at least on ‘Desktop Mode’) without having to settle to the CLUNKY/UGLY spacing that Weebly insists on.
Gator also offers a whole bunch of features I have never seen before like ANIMATION & GLOW. Wow. It is more akin to PowerPoint than anything else I have seen.
That said, it has some INEXPLICABLE shortcoming. One that blows my mind. You can’t add CAPTIONS to images! Yes, you read that right. You have to add the caption as a separate text box. Yikes. That is really distracting. I also still haven’t found a way to save/store a color palette. So, I am constantly having to BANG in RGB codes in hex. Yikes.
I have offered to WORK with them to IMPROVE the offering but they rebuffed me.
Get the feeling that those designing the software have zero experience creating & running a production Website/blog. Shame. This could be the BEST Website builder out there. I have never used Wix, but I think that Gator could beat it IF they just get feedback from some experienced users.
Well, I am still working on the Website. When it is up, I will, of course, be blasting it all over the place.
I will also try to keep you posted on my progress with Gator Website builder.
by Anura Guruge