Airset; it's Free!

Building “fast and dirty” web publishing solutions has been exercising me of late. At the Paddock we invested in a lovely website; looks good, shows off who we are and what we have done, (www.paddockproductions.org.uk). It is professionally produced and maintained by a great local web designer, external to our company. I guess this is a common set up for many small firms.

We do a lot of work with emphasis on community projects & one-off participatory events. When we embark on a new project or event, we have a real need to have an online presence that is a fast, direct and convenient tool for us to relay and share information with potential audience & project participants. Aside from the cost of paying our web-mistress to keep content updated, I’m continually frustrated with the inevitable time delay of sending copy and images to update our site.

The time lag really bothers me.

In the fast moving environment of theatre or events, an ability to update and publish changing content quickly is important.

I decided I wanted to create project "micro-sites". assessable from our main web presence, but acting as a hub for our immediate project needs. Once the project has finished all the "good stuff" we upload to the micro-site will get re-edited and re-formatted into our main site. The main site becomes our permanent glossy archive / “brochure”, with sign posts to our “dynamic” ( I hope!) project pages.

I could have just used iWeb on my mac, or RapidWeaver that I use for my personal site. Crucially however I want a solution that puts the application "in the cloud" so that my colleagues can also update and upload new information as and when the need arises at a time and place that suits them, usieng software not located on any one machine.

I considered, and have used in the past, google sites. I find them OK as far as they go, but I don't much like the pre-packaged templates. I read loads of press about CMS options ( that I don't really understand!), and found I don't have the patience, or the desire to learn a whole new package like Wordpress, joomla, tumblr etc.

I've been using Airset primarily as a calendar app to run my life for some time now. The recent redesign came at a time that I was mulling over my web based options, and I have spent the last few weeks seeing if I can make the Web Publish application that is part of this incredible online suite of tools fit my needs.

So far, so good. Thats not to say I haven't had problems and issues, but, praise where praise is due, the Aiset team have quickly been answering my questions and giving real customer support.....another deciding factor for me. Whilst I might grumble about "counter intuitive design" and too much clicking to achieve "simple" things, I think it outstanding that a non-techie person like me can actually do so much within Airset.....and all for free!

In summary, a combination of no cost, immediate editing, multiple editors, and superlative customer support have made Airset Web Publish a really good choice for me.

I hope this little bit of feedback helps others in coming to grips with the minefield of web publishing options.
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