Finished work on Tom Graffagnino site

07 Mar 2010

Tom Graffagnino’s website needed these features:

  1. Gallery
  2. Blog
  3. Attractive and custom layout
  4. Easy to update

A few products came to mind: Blogger, Wordpress, Gallery, NextGen Gallery, and Squarespace. I did not have any development experience with these products. I also didn’t want to spend too much time learning something new.

I wish I could just grab a copy of Consumer Reports and read a review about this software. Sadly, the software world has nothing as thorough as Consumer Reports. (review sites just aren’t the same)

The next best thing is to spend time creating sites in each one, reading documentation, and reviews. But who has time for that?

I had to go with my gut. My gut told me that customizing Blogger, Wordpress, Gallery, or NextGen would have been a pain. I figured that they have a weird custom programming language that I’d need to learn. All that HTML, CSS, and Javascript wouldn’t be useful because I’d need to do it with weird custom tags. I guessed that I was going to spend time digging through forums, searching google, and banging my on the desk.

Granted, I don’t actually know this to be a fact. Like I said, I went with my gut.

So why didn’t I think Squarespace would be the same? It’s not free. You have to spend money to use it. And frankly, money motivates the heck out of people. Money will get people to make a great product. Free usually just gets a good product.

Last night, I decided to create a Squarespace account. I went with the free trial account. I figured it would be a good use of time to try and make a site. After just 3 hours I knew this was going to be the one. On hour 4, I decided to upgrade to a Pro account and buy a domain. Hour 5 was spent this morning tweaking the site and uploading more pictures.

That’s really amazing. In 5 hours I created the entire site with all the features I wanted. No compromises.

I cannot believe that I could have created a completely custom website in the same time with any other product with my current level of knowledge and experience.

I wholeheartedly endorse Squarespace (and no, they aren’t paying me to say this :)