By Bob and Joy Schwabach
Published 2:15 am PDT Tuesday, June 8, 2004
What? You don't have a Web site yet? Well, spin your own.
Two new Web site creation services caught our attention and we particularly liked the aptly named Spin Site, which gives you all the tools for a professional site plus hosting.
An initial fee of $49 provides three months of free Web hosting, and if you want to continue after that, the charge is $13 a month. There is no software to download; everything is handled online.
Site plans are presented as themes and you can place text and graphics wherever you want. You can paste in pages from Microsoft Word or from an old Web site. We found changing colors and layouts to be fast and easy, and the changes were automatically carried out through all pages of the site.
If you don't want to plunk down the $49 right away, you can create sample sites that are then put up on the Web for a week or so at no charge.
A more expensive option is available for a $99 initial fee and $35 a month. With this you can create security levels for your Web site so some parts are available only to users who have a password. You can also assign editing rights to some password holders.
For users who would like to set up their own store, there is a shopping cart and checkout feature that is linked with PayPal, the nearly universal online payment service. The stores can have customer inquiry forms and you can collect statistics on visitor use and preferences. If someone turns out to be a regular nuisance, you can block that person from visiting the site.
All sites created with Spin Site have a built-in search function -- an absolute must for online stores. All changes to the site are made in real time, but do not take effect until you click "publish." For more information, check out www.spinsite.com.