Sometimes none of the social media tools offer what you want. You’re celebrating a recognition, such as a graduation or retirement. You want to tell that story and make it available to everyone whether or not they have an account on a particular service. And did I mention time is of the essence as the event is this week?
While I strongly recommend the expertise of a Web professional for business and organization websites, there are occasions when a “website lite” might fulfill the need.
“Website lite” is one of the free online services that walk you through step-by-step in selecting a design from a gallery of options, showing how to drop your content into pre-determined spaces on the page, and clicking to publish everything onto the Web.
Insert your own topic of interest in the scenario to follow. I want to create a single online place about my Uncle’s recognition for his military service as a Merchant Marine in World War II.
I could tweet about what’s happening during the ceremony at the World War II Memorial.
I could take photos and video and post them on Facebook, Flickr, YouTube or other social media.
I could even select one or two photos and email them to specific individuals.
But, none of those activities allow me to expand on what brought him here or even much detail on the recognition event.
I could blog about it to add information about his service. Family and friends could comment and enrich the story with their recollections and remarks. But, blogging is useful for the written word and a photo or two.
What I’m looking for is something that offers richer visual content. Maybe include a Google map of all the places he went during the war or an audio clip about his “torpedo wedding” to my Aunt.
What’s the best technology option to cover everything on my list? A Website.
A handful of free Website options include Google Sites, Yola, Weebly, and Wix. All receive good reviews by customers and in the industry. All offer a wide variety of designs to pick from and have clear instructional video on their sites.
There are some downsides to the convenience of these services. While the designs may be pleasing, they are not unique. Some have been used so many times that they impart a sense of deja vu. You want people to be drawn into your content rather than trying to remember just where they last saw that same design, stock photo or clip art.
Be sure to read the fine print in the online agreement before you accept. Better to know upfront if you are giving away the rights to your photos or other work or to know that your Website could disappear without notification if some question about it arises.
Then dive in! These “website lite” options are great when you want to share a special story.