Recently, Scott Suiter from Google stood at Times Square in New York and asked passers-by about their definition of a web browser, as part of the Google Chrome thing and all that. If you were into betting, then this might be a question that you could have a lot of fun with.
However, the answer is not really what’s important today (Suiter, by the way, claims only 8% of people could answer the question accurately). What’s important today is that Czech start-up Webnode (site) got all huffy over the question and has been telling people that the answer doesn’t matter.
Doesn’t matter that is, if you use their simple Web CMS/website builder, because Webnode is that simple you don’t have to even know what a browser is to use it. Ahem!
Simple Web CMS Trends
Putting all this aside, Webnode is just one of a growing band of web companies that have grabbed the opportunities provided by the current downturn to promote themselves as quick, fast and cheap solutions to the problem of website development at relatively little cost.
Anyone following us here will be aware of the amount of these simple Web CMS products that are floating about at the moment.
And again, as has been pointed out before, while none of these solutions are going to find their way into a 20-country multinational website with localization requirements, they might just very well find themselves in the start-up company down your street that can’t afford even a mid-sized content management system.
And Webnode is one such simple CMS. Launched in January 2008, Webnode is an interactive real-time drag-and-drop website builder. It allows visitors to create, design, develop and run websites and web applications from start to finish. Free to use, Webnode aims to monetize through paid-for extra storage space, extra bandwidth options and e-mail accounts.
And whatever it is they do, they must be doing something right. Last year at the LeWeb’08 Paris conference, they won the start-up competition fighting against dozens of other companies from 18 different countries.
So what do you get with Webnode? Its principal function is that of a web builder although you might be forgiven for describing it as a page builder than a fully-fledged web building solution.
It also brings a range of Web 2.0 technologies that enable users to administer can edit pages, create and add articles to blogs, or develop product catalogs.
Three Main Tools
There is a whole range of tools that comes with Webnode, but the company is making a lot of three particular elements – apart from standard features that you would expect from any web building solution – including:
- Webnode Builder
- Webnode Statistics
- Webnode E-mail.
This is the basic tool that enables even the ‘dummy’ user build a website. It can be used for standard websites, blogs, for the creation of image galleries, or product catalogs, or even e-shops and works using simple drag-and-drop functions.
Webnode Builder Interface
In fact, if the literature is to be believed, users can also build polls and forums by dragging them from the webnode toolbar onto a chose webpage.
This tool should appeal to smaller business is the analytics tool that enables even inexperienced monitor their web traffic. Like most other analytics tools analysis that comes with webnode include page hits, unique visitors, data transferred, browser types, search engines, keywords and all the rest.
In fact, running through the features there appears to be little that distinguishes it from the likes of Webtrends for example -- although don’t tell them that.
This solution not only enables users create email accounts, but also enables users to manage them. Once a user has signed up to Webnode, they are given an account that includes folders, archiving and document protection.
It contains a contact manager, spam buster and system antvirus, while you can also use IMAP protocol to access your mailbox.
Webnode CMS: Cheap Solution?
While the basic services are free, there are fees once you start getting into heavier usage and bigger storage facilities.
Looking at the price list on their site, there doesn’t appear to be anything outrageous that might turn users to one of the other ‘simple’ web tools, but experience has shown that it is only ever after you have signed up that the hidden costs raise their ugly heads. Not that there is any reason at all to doubt Webnode.
If you are going down the ‘simple’ route this is one that would be well worth checking out – along with the others that is. Interesting times at the smaller end of the market.