In a Nutshell: A common strategy for improving your financial health is creating new sources of income. For those who decide to make a website for a small business or side project, site-building platforms and their technical requirements can be intimidating. But DreamHost’s Remixer lets even first-time creators make professional sites without the need for any coding knowledge. To get started, users need only sign up; no initial investment is required to try the tool and get acquainted with its click-to-edit interface. Remixer creates sites composed of static pages, which enhances site security, and its interface is geared toward ease of use rather than a variety of specialized features. These characteristics make Remixer a simple way to establish a professional web presence without major time or monetary investments.
So you’ve got a small business or a side project, and you’ve decided it’s time to build a website. You need to establish your presence on the web, extend your visibility, and reach new clients.
Just as importantly, you need to put on a professional appearance — and nothing says professional like your own slick, cutting-edge website.
But when it comes to selecting a platform for site-building, the options can be overwhelming, and so can the questions. Will the interface let me make exactly the kind of site I want? How much coding will I need to learn to use the editor? Should I use features X, Y, and Z?
“It truly simplifies the website-building experience,” said Ralph Castro, Vice President of Product for Remixer. “It will help you get a unique-looking website up in almost no time at all.”
Smooth Site-Building from Login to Launch
Once you’ve decided on a service, the first order of business is usually payment.
“The purchasing experience, especially for people who are new to building websites, isn’t always ideal,” Castro said. “You’re going through and buying a service, you’re excited about building a website, and then right after you get through the signup, you’re dumped into a control panel.”
That’s where you run into the learning curve. Now that you have dashboard access, you must figure out how to navigate it, how the functions work, and — more importantly — how to use it to create the website you want. But that’s not the case with Remixer.
“Right after you get through the signup portion — because it doesn’t actually require you to pay up front — you’re automatically in,” Castro said. Before ever making a payment, Remixer users can get a feel for the platform. “You know what you’re playing with, and you can start having fun with it.”
Remixer uses a click-to-edit interface; no coding is required. You can immediately choose a theme, add your images and text, and begin tweaking features like font and color. The content on each page can be rearranged using simple drag-and-drop actions. If none of the starting themes fit your taste or vision, though, the Create function gives you the freedom to build one from the ground up.
“You’ll see the default themes on the theme page, and then you can click Create,” Castro said. “That will allow you to select a color palette, images, font pairings, and then it will generate a starting point that might be more what people are looking for if they’re not inspired from the initial choices.”
Thanks to premade themes and easy customizability, anyone can get a site up and running with minimal effort, even if they have no web design experience.
“If you don’t have a complete vision, and you want to play around with things, it’ll probably take you a couple hours. But you could feasibly get it done within a day,” Castro said. “If you have all of your images, if you have your vision set on what you want your website to look like, you could literally get it done in five minutes. It’s that quick.”
If that seems too good to be true, Remixer is available for a 14-day free trial period so users can see for themselves how easy it is. If they’re satisfied with the results, they can sign up for ongoing service in one of two membership tiers. The first, $4.95 per month, includes the web builder and hosting, unlimited websites and pages, a free domain name and connection, plus DreamHost’s around the clock, in-house support. The second tier, $7.95 per month, includes all the above features plus full access to its other hosting products, an email account, and email forwarding.
Remixer subscribers also get other perks from DreamHost, including SEO assistance to help their sites gain visibility. Subscriptions also include a media library, so there’s no need for external hosting, plus an image editor and filters. Remixer users can also access DreamHost’s knowledge base, which is full of articles that will help them build and enhance their sites.
Static Pages Make for More Secure Sites
The websites built with Remixer consist of static pages. This means that the site is composed of a set of HTML files, each of which contains the information for a single, specific page. Contrary to the name, these pages can have video, animation, and other engaging features. In this case, static means that the page’s content and appearance is set and won’t change unless altered by the creator.
Dynamic pages, on the other hand, are produced by server-side technologies. When someone visits a dynamic page, instead of loading a pre-existing HTML file, pieces of information are assembled on the fly. This way, dynamic pages can use the same source code to produce different content for different users. Dynamic pages take longer to set up and require coding proficiency.
“Once you’re getting into that level of software use,” Castro said, “you have to learn something at that point.”
Obviously, static pages are less complex and technologically sophisticated than dynamic pages, but they still serve a distinct purpose — in this case, saving time and effort. If you don’t need to adjust or customize the experience for individual users, static pages can do what you want with substantially less work on your part. In fact, using dynamic pages for this purpose creates more complexity than is often necessary.
Sites composed of static pages are also more versatile. Each page can be customized and laid out differently. Sites with dynamic pages typically have the same layout, just filled with different content pulled from a database.
“That’s usually where the security issues come in,” Castro said. The transaction with the database makes dynamic pages more vulnerable to attack than static pages.
Remixer’s static pages give you more freedom to design and keep your site safer than dynamic pages. On top of that, you also get DreamHost’s in-house security.
“We have a pretty robust internal security team,” Castro said. “They reviewed the architecture and provided their input on that. And we are very happy with the security of Remixer.”
A Simplified Interface Enhances Ease of Use
To differentiate themselves from others in the space, leading site-building platforms introduce new features. In turn, their competitors replicate these features to keep pace with emerging innovations. This leads to site builders accumulating functions that can overwhelm new and inexperienced users.
“As you add more and more features, and as you bloat your product, it starts losing its original use case,” said Castro.
This is called feature creep or feature bloat, and it’s a side effect of market competition. Once a product — like a site-building platform — does everything it’s meant to do, the developers have a choice: they can leave it alone and risk appearing stagnant, or they can introduce new but sometimes unnecessary features to keep it fresh (or looking that way, at least).
But the latter choice also carries the risk of losing sight of the product’s original purpose, intended functionality, or desired brand image. And the same is true of websites.
Remixer’s purpose isn’t to be loaded with features; Remixer is meant to be simple.
“It is built with ease of use in mind,” Castro said. “It doesn’t have any complicated nested options.”
This means that users who are building a website for the first time won’t be inundated by technical features and options.
“We believe that somebody who’s never built a website before will have the easiest time building a website on Remixer,” Castro said. “One customer told me that he felt legitimate going into his weekend endeavors because he was able to spin up a website on a Friday, before the weekend started, before he went to do his side hustle. He instantly felt legitimate.”
A Professional Image without a Professional Investment
Even without a website, small businesses and independent professionals can establish a presence on the web. Thanks to online rating and review platforms, they probably won’t be able to avoid it. But a professional website offers more control and benefit than other services. People are going to want to click through from the platform to a site, and when they do, you can offer your vision, provide additional content, and shape your public image.
“When you build your own website, you own that data, you own that presence, you own that message,” Castro said. “And you can really show exactly who you are as a company, as a person, and you can control that message. And that’s really important.”
As Canadian professor Marshall McLuhan famously wrote, “the medium is the message.” By this he meant that the way a message is conveyed is just as important — if not more — as the message itself. Remixer lets you make that message sharp and professional, and you can do it without the hassle you would expect from building a website for the first time.