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Ask HN: When your friends ask "can you build me a website?"
13 points by dazbradbury 1695 days ago | hide | past | web | 10 comments | favorite
Hey HN,

It always happens, someone has an idea, and they want to create a website quickly and cheaply. So they turn to their techy friends, and ask you to do it!

Now, the majority of such sites are just a logo and some content, which they will produce themselves. Hence, my question is, rather than building and hosting a static site for them, where do you send them so they can do it themselves? Obviously there a huge number of options out there, but the ones I've come across all seem very crude.

I'm imagining something like Tumblr in terms of ease of use and customisable design, but without the blogging focus.

Would love to know!

I'm surprised no one has mentioned YC-backed Weebly, which solves this exact problem:


http://www.squarespace.com/ and http://www.virb.com/ are going to have the best looking pre-defined templates. If this person is wanting something for a portfolio, http://www.cargocollective.com/ has some good stuff.

http://salon.io/ from a ShowHN yesterday is also in this realm. The landing page says it's for images/portfolios but their inline editor lets you do pretty much whatever.

The competition is fierce, check out Smore.com and Onepagerapp.com. Also WordPress.com can be used for more specialized sites now, see WordPress.com/restaurants for example.

But if you can do better than that (or find a niche that is not being served), go for it!

My startup, Plebu.com, is a website builder with less features. You can customize the design, add text pages, galleries, and a contact page. That's it. The sites you build are mobile friendly. Please let me know what you think.

If they're looking for a more content heavy site rather than just a "face" for their B&M business, I'd point them to Wordpress, ideally hosting their own, but Wordpress.com offers hosted sites. The interface is easy to figure out and there's a ton of themes and plugins out there, as well as tutorials.

But good luck getting them out of there if they ever need it. It's such a bitch (just finished moving my friends cooking blog off there to a dedicated host). Also, even if you pay for their best plans they don't allow you to put ads on your site or install your own plugins. It's kind of a mess.

Agree with the others that this could be a great idea for a startup!

At the moment I just recommend setting up a WordPress site, it's pretty straight forward and can look good if themed properly etc.

There you have it, an excellent idea for a startup! Nothing drastically "disruptive" but a viable business nonetheless :)

Regarding the service, I have yet to find one like this myself.

Check out squarespace, they probably fit the bill.


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