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For small businesses who need a website, there is a myriad of options, not all of them equal.
Squarespace sells the dream in this new long-form commercial. The dream is that a website opens the door to commerce.
Wake up, now! Thanks. Now, that you’re wide awake, let’s look at the pitch that Wix.com makes to small business owners.
The dream factory keeps pumpin’. Pump out a logo. Pump out a website. Pump out an email newsletter and keep up the hustle. The well won’t run dry. Dry wells are for losers and you’re about to be a winner. One day soon.
Here’s a thought: Automated rhymes with constipated.
Templates Are Us
Digital ushed in a new wave of Do-It-Yourselfers. Today, there’s a website to help you build your website, record your album, publish your book, teach or take classes, plus thousands of other things that may be interesting to pursue.
When it comes to websites that help you build your website, small and simple is in fashion today.
Linktree had 3 million users last November, reached 5 million in May 2020, and is now approaching 8 million. The team saw 80,000 sign-ups over the past three months linked to Black Lives Matter.
Carrd now runs 1 million sites. According to Verge:
“There was this huge gap for people who didn’t need all that complexity [of sites like Squarespace], they just needed that first 80-90 percent of the use case, which is: ‘I just need a site with links to all my crap,’” says AJ, the founder and CEO of Carrd, who prefers to go only by his initials.
Protest Sites, They’re In The Carrds
The evolution of these sites illustrates a fundamental change in how Gen Z consumes news and uses social media, says Amelia Gibson, an assistant professor in the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
“A lot of traditional news is in a format that young people don’t spend time on, like TV,” Gibson says. “Social-media news is driven to them by their existing networks. It’s about who they know and what they value.”
Basu points out that Carrds were initially used as personal pages and homepages for small businesses touting things like homemade wares or tutoring.
Bio.fm with the Hit Job
Bio.fm touts itself as a competitor to Carrd.
Bio.fm is not subtle in its delivery.
Make Custom Work
I use tools and out-of-the-box solutions to help me tell stories. WordPress, Canva, Pexels, and other services help me weave my narrative blankets. I also use auto-zoom on my camera and filters when the images need a boost.
But not everything can or should be made by machine. Sometimes, the humans must tell the machines what to do. Sometimes, the humans must make the things by hand. In digital terms, this means hard-coding a site from scratch instead of hacking a WordPress/Squarespace/Wix/Carrd template.
Custom work takes more time to make and it costs more money to make. Custom work is also fresh, and therefore worthy of attention.