Using the Right Tool
We often hear that we need to use the right tool for the job. In some cases, like building a website, there are so many tools that it may seem impossible to find the best one. The right tool is subject to change based on any number of factors when it comes to creating a website. What kind of website is it? Is it a web app that provides a service? Are you making a personal website to promote yourself? If so, what kind of content are you looking to promote? All of these questions are things that can change how well one tool fits over another.
When I began to take creating my personal website seriously, I started with trying to find the right tool to make it with. I had a vision in my mind and I wanted to carry it out as quickly as I could. I have made silly simple websites and blogs before using Ruby on Rails and Python with Django, but that would require me to refresh my knowledge of those technologies and I do not want to take the time to do that right now. So I started with Wordpress, trying to customize themes to fit the image in my head of what my website needed to look like. This was not going well. Customizing the themes through their interface did not provide enough control and editing them by hand was taking too long because my use of web languages is rusty. The time used trying to get the website to look right was taking away from the time I needed to focus on the real goals I had in mind.
Then, I found Squarespace. I started my free trial and began playing with the website builder. Within a few days, I had a website that looked exactly like what I had envisioned, all without having to remember how to use any of the web technologies that I had used some time ago. Squarespace takes care of the security updates you would have to do keep up with yourself using a framework like Ruby on Rails. With Squarespace, there was nothing to edit by hand, though there is still the option. Their interface allowed for more than enough customization to accomplish exactly what I was looking for, and at a similar price to what I was paying for only the hosting before. Squarespace allowed me to create a professional looking, mobile friendly website as quickly as possible, and that is exactly the tool that I was looking for.
One day I may decide to remake it from scratch for fun, but for now I have something that I am very happy with. For now, it is something I can stop worrying about and focus on other endeavors, like coming up with good content for my writing.
If you are interested in seeing the end results, check it out at maxzylstra.com!