Nowadays, it’s quite easy to launch a full-featured site without having to do much with code, thanks to the many advanced content management systems that you can use. You can launch a site in seconds on a hosted CMS or blog platform like WordPress.com or Tumblr, or you could make your own self-hosted site with the CMS of your choice with not much more trouble.
My first site, Techinch, started life a WordPress.com blog, but once it started getting some traction I moved it to a self-hosted WordPress install. 2 hosts and 3 major theme redesigns later, I’m now moving it to Kirby, an incredibly nice self-hosted plain-text powered CMS. Along the way, I’ve tried out more hosted and self-hosted blog platforms than I can even remember.
Moving a site to a new CMS can be a tedious process at best, but if you love trying out new web apps, you’ve surely gotten the itch to try out other CMSes. That’s why I was wondering if you’ve ever moved your site to a new CMS. Perhaps you’ve moved from one hosted platform like Tumblr to your own self-hosted WordPress, or perhaps you’ve taken a bigger leap and built your own CMS. We’d love to hear how you’ve moved your site around over the years in the comments below!
Facebook may be the world’s most popular social network, but it’s sure not universally loved. You can go anywhere and see people using it on everything from ancient XP desktops in IE6 to iPhones and Android smartphones, and odds are you’re a member of it right now. But then, it’s also likely not the app you’d think of first when you think of beautifully designed apps you love to use. We use Facebook because everyone else does, and after all, it takes a village to make a social network actually social.
Every time something changes on Facebook, you hear people complaining that this is the last straw and that they’re planning to leave Facebook for good. Then, weeks later, you get an email that the person you heard complaining just tagged you in a picture. On Facebook. My fiancé and I have joked many times about leaving Facebook, even though we started dating though it. And of course, we’re still on it.
Facebook’s taken over casual emails, and has wisked away the chat market from IM and Yahoo! Messenger, but even at that, it’s hardly the only game in town. We all could cancel Facebook if we really wanted to.
That’s the question: do we really want to?
Have you canceled your Facebook account, or do you still enjoy using the world’s largest social network? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
Wunderlist might be one of the best examples of a viral app, ever. Little over 3 months after launching, the 6Wunderkinder team had released native apps for most platforms as well as a beautiful web app, and over 1 million people had started using Wunderlist to keep track of their to-dos and more. Before we started using Basecamp, many of our editors here at AppStorm used shared Wunderlists to keep track of what writers were working on. It was simple, but still worked great.
Wunderlist was only supposed to be a taste of the awesomeness of Wunderkit, the more advanced app from the 6Wunderkinder team that was released in beta earlier this year. It let you keep track of teams, see what others were working on in a social network-type interface, write notes, and of course keep up with task lists. Even in beta, it was widely praised, even here at AppStorm, and many on our team started using it individually.
This past week, the 6Wunderkinder team decided to shift their focus back to their original success, Wunderlist, and shut down Wunderkit. It was a surprising move, but then, Wunderlist still seemed to be the more popular and focused product of the two. Still, though, it made us wonder how many people had started relying on Wunderkit. Are you actively using it, and did this announcement affect your workflow?
Email is the oldest form of communication on the internet, and the one that’ll likely stick around forever (or for a very long time to come). It’s great for sending quick messages that can be read at anytime later, unlike chat that needs both people online at the same time. It may not be the very best collaboration system, but it’s one of the few ways you can guarantee you can communicate from any device or browser, anywhere.
Nowadays, though, it seems like we’re getting more automated emails than real emails from people. Marketing emails and tips on using apps we’ve registered get overwhelming enough, but if you’re a heavy user of Facebook, Twitter, Basecamp, and countless dozens of other web apps, you likely get more emails from apps than from people or marketers. Sure, you can sort through your preferences and trim down the emails you get, but that can be time consuming. You could even use apps to clean up your email subscriptions, but that can be a lot of trouble, too.
Then, some people prefer to manage their web apps through email, so they can reply to comments and see new info without touching their browser. Where do you stand? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
Paying for content online continues to be a contentious issue. Online publications need to make money to keep servers running and writers fed, but readers are so used to getting news online for free, it’s hard to fund journalism online. From the New York Times to sites like AppStorm, we all have to find ways to make money while still providing value for our readers.
Back in the day, many of us would have purchased a paper subscription, and then would have had to deal with getting rid of hundreds of pounds of paper each year. Then, along came the internet, and we swapped a paper subscription for a net connection and free news sites. Publishers were more than happy to oblige, making money from ads online and print subscriptions.
The ad equation worked out fine for some online-only publications, but for larger organizations, there was no way to, say, pay to send journalists to Afghanistan on ads alone. The past year has seen more sites start to work behind a paywall, making it necessary to buy a subscription to read articles. Most, including the New York Times, give you a certain number of free articles, but then you’ll have to pay to keep reading.
That’s why we’re wondering: have you ever paid for a news site? Have you bought an online newspaper subscription, or perhaps paid for an indie tech blog membership?
For years, decades even, Microsoft Office has been the mainstay of the business world. Everyone from college students to CEOs had to use Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and more to create and edit essential files for their daily lives. Office helped cement the Windows PC’s place in the computing world, made it tough to use Linux for normal business and education work, and made Apple desperate to make sure Office for Mac would continue to be developed in the late ’90′s.
There’s so many alternates to Microsoft Office nowadays, though, and so many devices it can’t run on, that it’s hardly the giant in the room it used to be. Sure, it’s still an essential part of many people’s computing lives, but many of us have learned we can get by without it. Google Docs and even Microsoft’s own web apps made collaborating in the cloud simpler, something that’s far more important today than sharing printable files. Then, Android and iOS tablets can’t even run Office, giving many of us reasons to question our dependence on Microsoft.
Have office web apps helped you cut your dependence on Microsoft Office, or do you still install the Office suite as soon as you get a new computer? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
It seems strange today to use a computer without an internet connection. In the days of dial-up, it was almost unheard of to have an always-on internet connection, but today, with WiFi, cellular internet, and faster-than-ever wired connections, we spend hardly a minute of our day unplugged from the internet. Even most modern operating systems assume you’ll have an internet connection, and it’s nearly impossible to install even many native apps without an internet connection.
That makes us wonder if you could live without web apps. Could you go a day without Gmail, Google Docs, Basecamp, CloudApp, Evernote, or any of the other dozens of web apps we rely on every day? What if you let yourself use the internet to read and find info, and perhaps download and activate native apps, but didn’t let yourself use any web apps? Would that work? Paul Miller might be living without the internet entirely, but I’m not sure most of us could.
Last Tuesday, Microsoft surprised the world by launching a new web app: Outlook.com. The software giant is easily one of the biggest players in the world of email, with their consumer Hotmail.com service and their enterprise-focused Outlook and Exchange Server. Even still, they’re not perceived as a leader in the space, with Gmail firmly retaining that distinction. With Outlook.com, Microsoft’s hoping to turn that around.
Our own Joe Casabona already took a look at the new Outlook.com and found it to be a nice, clean email app, with a number of Hotmail features mixed with Microsoft’s new Metro design goodness. Frustratingly, though, it still has many of Hotmail’s limitations, including only having POP3 sync for clients that don’t support Mobile ActiveSync.
Many of us got started with email using Hotmail, and plenty of people around the world still use it. That’s why we’re wondering if you’ve tried the new Outlook.com. Would you consider using it, and would you switch from Gmail to it? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
If you’ve ever developed websites at all, chances are you’ve used your browser’s View Source option. It’s a great way to look at what’s going on behind the scenes, and if you know what you’re looking for, you can often use it to see what frameworks and CMS powers the site. Sometimes, you’ll even find a special easter egg, ASCII art, or message hidden in the source.
In most browsers now, you can use the Inspect Element view to find out even more about the site you’re on, easily seeing what fonts are used on the page, or the individual images used to make the site look the way it does. For the curious among us, it’s a great way to see how others put their sites together.
I personal look at other sites’ source all the time, which made me wonder how many others compulsively check site source. Do you ever view the source of sites you visit? Or do you never think about what’s going on behind the scenes in your browser?
Google Docs actually is quite a nice office suite, and can be quite useful for putting together the documents and spreadsheets you might have otherwise made in Microsoft Office. The integration of Google Drive has made it a bit more confusing to navigate, but the individual apps themselves remain some of the nicest examples of high-quality web apps.
While the apps work great for individual use, they really shine for collaboration. I was initially skeptical that I’d ever need to live-edit a document, but have found dozens of reasons to do so in the past years. From writing group reports together in college to keeping up with our AppStorm article schedule, or from translating a song to planning details of events, I’ve come to rely on being able to co-edit documents with others online.
That’s why I was wondering if our readers use Google Docs to edit documents with others, or just to create their own documents. How do you use Google Docs? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
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