Monday, June 28, 2004 | THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH | BUSINESS - CONNECT , 02F
DESIGNING WEB SITE EASY WITH SPINSITE
By Craig Crossman
Knight Ridder Newspapers
After you create your Web site, SpinSite offers two performance packages:
* The Express package includes three months of hosting your Web site, an Instant Setup that lets you go online in a few minutes, two e-mail accounts, 25 megabytes of document and image storage space and five Web pages for $49.
* The Platinum package ups the storage to 50 MB, five e-mail accounts, 50 Web pages and adds several other features for $99.
Until recently, you had but two choices if you wanted a Web site. You could hire a company or individual to develop one for you, or you could do it yourself. The former could literally cost you hundreds, even thousands, of dollars. The latter could literally cost hundreds, even thousands, of hours of learning how to program in HTML.
One product that helps you develop a Web site is in itself a Web site. SpinSite is a service you access using an ordinary Web browser. After logging on to your account's development page, you begin to create and design each Web page, deciding where to place graphics and text.
The company calls SpinSite a Web page designer and not a series of Web site templates. The system lets you choose from a large selection of themes to get you on the way. But you can modify, add and delete just about anything you want.
You can literally paint the screen as you add columns, rows, text, images and links. Threaded newsgroups and special Web pages such as a frequently-asked-questions location and discussion-forum pages are literally a few clicks away from creation. Many other important elements can be created, such as requiring users to log in before being able to post a public message.
Because you don't need any development software, you can change or edit your Web site from any computer with Internet access and a browser.
A more-recent addition to SpinSite is the ability to create an online store with inventory management that is integrated with PayPal's shopping cart. Currently, SpinSite does not offer a means to accept credit cards.
I'm not saying that SpinSite is right for everyone. But it does offer another alternative to creating and hosting a Web site. Having a server-based setup such as the one offered by SpinSite offers a number of advantages over the more-traditional methods of Web site creation and collaboration.
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