If you’ve any interest in the Internet at all, which you have as you’re reading this online, then at one time or another you’ll have thought about setting up and running your own website. Maybe for commerce or maybe just for fun, either way it’s not as easy getting it right but this software claims to be a one-stop solution. For the asking price of £35 (inc. VAT) you get everything you need to design, setup and run your own site. It even comes with an URL of your choice, which can be either a .com, a .co.uk or even .net, so the choices are almost endless.
A website is so much more than just an address, so the package comes with support for up to 20 email addresses, as well as 150GB of web-space and a 2GB bandwidth. If you’ve come over all Web 2.0, you can even design a blog to run off your main site for more interaction. Those with a commercial side can add an online store, which works seamlessly with PayPal for collecting money. All in all, it’s a well thought through package that is offered.
The price of the package covers 1 year’s worth of hosting, after that it’s a mere £2.50, so you can’t grumble at the pricing structure. But what do you actually get for your money? Setting up your account is easy enough, as you simply have to click on the activation page, type in the unique code that comes with the package, select your domain name and you’re ready to go. If you already own a domain, you can even elect to use that.
With the hosting issue covered, perhaps the hardest challenge is actually designing the layout and navigation of your site. If you’ve ever set up a blog then you’ll know that creating a page from scratch isn’t the only option and doesn’t deter from most people’s overall aims. So it is with Mr Site, as to makes things easier there are a host of pre-designed formats you can choose from.
If you want to go the unique approach, you can do so using the Power Tools, which even support more established design packages, such as Dreamweaver and FrontPage. These can be uploaded to your site as Mr Site supports FTP uploads natively.
Before you get carried away, it’s not as easy as it sounds and can still take many hours to design and reasonably easy layout. Things aren’t always helped, as the package isn’t the most intuitive. The main problem is the lack of lateral thinking on the designers’ part, as they’ve failed to group the most obvious tools together. For instance, the edit text and image editing tools aren’t linked, so you need to keep opening windows to switch between them.
Mr Site isn’t quite the effortless tool it purports to be but once you overcome its foibles, it offers a strong resource for novice website builders. Considering we had little experience of web hosting or site designing, we had a workable site in a matter of hours, which is some mean feat.