When I take a look at website creation and how far we have come, I get excited for what is still on the horizon. One, they are getting much easier to create, and two, companies are starting to add more features for us to use. A big part of what I love about making a website or a blog is to be able to start from scratch and go through the process of mapping out what the site should be like, what features we want, and adding cool things that will help it stand out. But, there are other times, when I just want to throw up a simple site that maybe has pictures I took of an event or a trip that we went on. I just love how I can do both and how easy this process has become.
As we progress in our technology, one thing I am starting to see is website creation on the iPhone. This only make sense, as with more mobile technology getting introduced it is only natural to want to tap into this space. For example, there’s Webr; their whole premise is that you can create a fairly complete website using your iPhone. The thought of being able to do this from a small mobile device is intriguing, but will it satisfy the masses? Well let’s find out after the break.
Creating Your Site
After you sign up with Webr, you can immediately get started crafting your website or blog, which they make really easy for you to do. When it comes to creating content on your site, you have three different choices to choose from: adding an image, text or make a blog page. What’s nice is that if you are familar with Markdown, you could implement it into your text and blog pages. This was a good feature to have because there really aren’t any tools to edit text other than this method.
Once you get done adding the content you want, you can now choose a theme for your site. There are twelve different ones to choose from, and a lot of them are somewhat similar. There are some that the formatting and layout of your site would be the same, just the color is different. There is a good variety of themes to choose from, and most of them are pretty decent themes to use.
After you decide on the theme of your website, it is now to delve into what Webr calls the Advanced Settings. Here you can do some really cool things to help enhance your site. A couple of the features that stand out here are metadata and analytics. This is where you can put in keywords and other things to help increase your SEO rankings, and you can also hook up your site with Google Analytics. You can also create social media links for your site so that people can visit you there. All of the major players — Facebook, Twitter, Google +, YouTube and Vimeo — were options for you to add as well.
Now that you have finished your site and put on the final touches, you can publish it for the world to see. You are given your own personal URL, and then you can share it with your friends. One feature worth noting here is that after you have published your site, Webr has a very simple stats feature that you can use to see how many people have visited your site, kind of like a simplified version of Google Analytics. After this, if you want to add more content later, it is very easy to do this and then republish the site.
Not There Yet
As I played around with Webr, there were a few things that stood out. First, the app as a whole was a lot of fun to use and I felt that it was very easy for me to create a website in minutes. Stepping through the whole process from start to finish was very intuitive and I was impressed with some of the extra features they had. That said, I still think Webr has room to improve. I would love to see more text editing tools for those who don’t know how to use Markdown or don’t want to. It would also be nice to see the addition of more themes or even the possiblity of being able to create your own to use. They do mention that they are working on some Pro features which they plan to charge for, so it will be interesting to see what those are.
The tricky part with creating a website on a mobile device is that you are somewhat limited. As I think about Webr and its development, at some point you have to realize that you are making an app for a very small screen, which means that some features will just not make it. As a person who is using the app, you too have to realize this; that something like Webr will not replace Tumblr or WordPress and they probably never will. But, what website creation apps like this are good for is if you are simply looking to make a quick-and-easy site without having to go through the hassle of doing it on your computer. I see this as a great way to easily create photo sites for a recent trip or for quick thoughts that you want to share with others.
I really like the concept of Webr and I really believe that they have some good things on the horizon. They make it dead simple to create your own site on your iPhone, and have some good features to go along with it. It definiteily won’t be for everyone, but I can see a market for an app like this, and I am interested to see if it takes off.