GooglePages: Even my Grandma would want to edit the HTML
l say this since I’ve been deeply involved in Web-based tools for years — both desktop and hosted. From hand-coding HTML in 1996 to using PageMill, NetFusion, FrontPage, Dreamweaver, GoLive and other WYSIWYG tools, I ended up at arguably the leading edge, most robust content management/portal vendor (Vignette) during the dotcom heyday. I know high level tools and GooglePages isn’t one of them.
In addition, I’ve invested a tremendous amount of time on the small business side with my bride’s company and others. So I’ve learned a great deal about the toolsets available for individuals and small to midsize businesses…and this tool isn’t yet ready for anyone but the least skilled among us. It also creates incredibly pedestrian looking pages. It’s not useful since the non-savvy can’t even create navigation for the pages they create!
Why didn’t Google look at CityMax, Bigstep, or even Yahoo before releasing this product? CityMax in particular is also a brain-dead-simple page creation offering, but they have forums, ecommerce (including digital downloads), site creation (i.e., navigation to pages), and much, much more. I haven’t recommended CityMax, though, due to one fatal flaw: no staging and production which means the second you save a page it’s live.
That was the only feature of GooglePages I liked. Not only the ability to create pages and then publish them (staging and production tiers), but there was rollback capability (i.e., unpublish). Alas, that was the only thing I found useful.
Just like my initial and ongoing reaction to GoogleTalk (“…and they delivered this piece of _____ why?”), my reaction to GooglePages is the same. I wouldn’t even recommend this to my 11 year old son, since there are so many other simple, yet much more functional ways to build pages and sites. It is so crystal clear that left-brain engineers designed this tool and probably didn’t even have a cup of coffee with someone who understands web or graphic design. Just look at the templates if you don’t believe me.
I understand Google wants to be in the game (and probably has a multi-year roadmap for GooglePages), but they’ve embarrassed themselves again by releasing something so basic, so rudimentary, and lacking so much functionality that even my Grandma would want to edit the HTML.
About Steve Borsch
SiteGround is 'The One'
Connecting the Dots Podcast
Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.