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Weebly

I love taking pictures. I also like sharing the images I take, showing them off to the world in style, and offering others the opportunity to own the artworks I create. It doesn’t sound like a particularly challenging feature list to satisfy, but my experience says differently, particularly when it comes to affordable solutions. Over the years, I have tried literally dozens of hosted site builders, content management systems and design-conscious networks in the hope of finding the desired blend, with only limited success.

There have been a few close misses. I’m impressed with many elements of Behance‘s ProSite system, particularly on the design side of things, while at the other end of the spectrum, Weebly is affordable, customizable and easy-to-use, with some decent ecommerce options. Unfortunately, the former service’s $11/month price tag, and the latter’s inability to deliver dynamic galleries and photologs makes neither platform truly viable.

My most recent tour of the available services ended with the creation of a Tumblr blog — but I still think there must be a better option. Maybe that option will be Portfoliobox. This one-year-old Stockholm-based outfit has already amassed 62,000 users, which is hardly surprising given the generous feature-set offered even for free account holders. But does it deliver on its promises?

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Given that you’re reading an article on AppStorm, I think it’s safe to assume that you’re a savvy, astute kind of reader. So, I won’t need to tell you that the first rule of the internet is that you must have a website. Nor will I need to explain that code, in the case of most basic websites, is nowadays completely unnecessary. And I definitely don’t need to inform you that the selection of services now available to help with building an online presence is enormous.

You might be interested to hear about Webflow, though. Whereas most of the site builders already on the market are aimed purely at non-coders, this new kid on the web design block seems to be letting the technical folks get some respite from keyboard-based design.

Is this kind of hybrid the way forward? Or will it just annoy web designers wedded to the manual way of doing things?

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Design, of course, is a hugely important part of a website. As a population, online visitors are extremely fickle, and the smallest mistake in usability will have them clicking elsewhere.

What about after the design phase, though? Yes, design is obviously important, but just as important is the admin area of your site. Choose the wrong system, and you’re stuck with a frustrating, time-consuming mess to deal with every time you want to make even the most minor of alterations to your site.

Barley is a new, hosted CMS which is trying to cut out that kind of pain from post-design website management. At $18 per month, Barley sounds pricey in comparison with other simple-to-use hosted website editors like Weebly and Moonfruit. The suggestion made by Plain, Barley‘s developer, however, is that its creation (still in private beta) is a whole new level of simple, featuring a purely inline, click-and-edit methodology, when it comes to content manipulation.

But is less hassle worth a greater investment? Time to edit a website or two…

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Think of getting yourself a website – how would you go about it? Some might suggest employing a web designer, but a growing range of folks would be confident about creating their own website, thanks to the proliferation of WYSIWYG, do-it-yourself services like Weebly, Moonfruit, or Basekit.

The DIY route doesn’t always provide the best results, though – professional designers, whatever their preferred medium, still tend to produce the best-looking and most creative end products. It is strange, then, that there is a distinct lack of WYSIWYG services aimed specifically at the professionals.

Perhaps Webydo can start to change that. Webydo features Photoshop-style layout creation, drag-and-drop controls, and an enticing freemium pricing model. But can Webydo really be the breakthrough product for designers wishing to unleash their creativity on the web?

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