As I and many visitors to this blog have noticed, some website creation platforms claim they are free but have a catch. On January 17th 2015 I discovered this with the website creation platform SimpleSite and had to tell everyone so that they didn’t get suckered into thinking SimpleSite was as free as it claimed. You can read my review here for more details, but the short version of events is that it was a one month free trial before requiring the user to purchase a premium account for additional access. I wasn’t impressed and decided to move on. Since then, I received an email from SimpleSite letting me know that they were making a basic version of the website free. I ignored it at first because I was still hurting from being misled the first time.
So what changed? Today I sorted through my list of comments that I needed to approve for Freelance Writing Whisperings and I saw that many visitors have left comments thanking me for letting them know updates on websites they are curious about. This is a source of pride for me, feeling like in my unique way I can help others. I decided that I owe it to all of you to keep you updated on new developments.
Given that I felt misled by the original SimpleSite, I was not ready to take the above email at its word. What I had to do was compare the explanation of the original SimpleSite to the explanation of the new SimpleSite.
The new SimpleSite is arranged in a heirarchy of features, where the free version gives you limited features while each additional paid level offers extra benefits. At first glance the paid levels seem expensive but if you are an active visual blogger or online marketer, I (and the SimpleSite creators) recommend purchasing a level that will let you post unlimited images. If you aren’t sure how many images you’ll use, start with the 300 free image website and see how it progresses from there. Helpful hint: If you want to stay with the free SimpleSite option, get a free blog from Blogger to archive posts that you can’t keep on SimpleSite but want to hold onto.
The ultimate question, of course, is “Is the new SimpleSite really free?” To clarify, this is referring to the “free” level that used to only be free as a month trial. My response is that I need to wait a full month before I can definitively answer this question, but right now my impression is that yes, the new SimpleSite’s lowest level is free. I advocate creating a SimpleSite website with caution because it’s probably free but since the old SimpleSite was so misleading I refuse to steer anyone in the wrong direction.