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Website Builders

My son mentioned to me he wants a website. I’m all about that! I would love to offer him a place to call his own. But I don’t want to half-ass it. Growing up we had sites like GeoCities, Tripod, and others that allowed us complete freedom over the sites we made. And we had great tools to get us there. Where did all these tools go?

Aο»Ώs I said, I didn’t want to skimp on him and get him something that extremely formulaic. Sure, I could fire up a WordPress bucket and give him the capability to build with that, but WordPress has become so bloated and so full of fluff it’s not that easy anymore to get things looking like you want them to. There are great HTML templates out there to start from to give him something amazing to work with, but he’s just starting out and understanding HTML, CSS, JS syntax in order to get the design he wants is a large uphill battle.

The perfect solution is to have a tool to WYSIWYG the design and still have access to the underlying HTML to tweak and hack so you learn what that is as you go. Maybe that’s not the best way to do it, but it’s how I learned and getting through that with ADHD seems like a good solution to start with. I cut my teeth with Macromedia’s Dreamweaver prior to the purchase by Adobe when you could buy licensed software without a subscription. It worked wonderful and had all the tools to understand the code behind the site so that when I moved on to other things and my copy no longer ran on my machine, I was able to do everything I wanted by hand with a standard text editor.

I’ve done so much searching, and there’s nothing really comparable out there anymore…not without subscribing to a monthly fee to give the site it’s most basic functions. WebFlow, Wix, Weebly all require a subscription to get away from their domain name (which again, I think should be complete basic functionality). Hell, even my Microsoft (Office) 365 subscription doesn’t come with anything comparable to Google Sites…which I found really odd (so FrontPage is 100% off the table these days?). There’s an open-source product called Silex, which is good, but still needs a bit of work before it’s fully usable. So where did they all go?

My guess is that these tools are not around much anymore because we’ve become completely platformed over the past decade or more. Most people feel their “home” location is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. They don’t even think about having their own site unless they are a developer or super-popular where they can pay someone to build it for them.

So, what do I do then? We’ll see. Still researching but might just have to buy him a site and we’ll work through the details of the HTML/CSS/JS together. I mean, $20/yr is pennies compared to every other subscription out there. Oh well…

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