Creating a fairly complex website is often a difficult process. The difficulty arises because the process typically involves three categories of people i.e. web designers, developers and webmasters. SiteManager offers a unique platform that coordinates all of the aspects of this process in a streamlined, efficient way.
First, the designer creates the concept for the user interface with a program like Photoshop for example. This is exported as an image file and given to the developers, who then code the different features and functionalities using a variety of programming languages, like HTML, CSS, JS, PHP, etc. Lastly, the site structure files and programs are provided to a webmaster, who is responsible for loading it into a Content Management System (CMS) and handling the day-to-day hosting and updates.
Since these three major functions are usually handled by different people, challenges can arise. Because each of them uses different technologies, it creates a lot of friction, frustration and unnecessary difficulty. A lot of time is also spent on transformation, where a Photoshop design is implemented into HTML/CSS, or integrating the HTML/CSS into a CMS.
If it were possible for designers, developers and webmasters to operate on the same platform, then most implementation problems could be resolved with fewer headaches. Transitions could be more seamless between each stage and create better opportunities for cross-communication. SiteManager, hopes to harmonize website design, development and content management, by providing a single platform under which the three phases of web development can be coordinated.
What sets SiteManager apart from other website builders, is that it consists of three separate apps. There is a web design app, a web development app and a CMS. Each one is tailored to suit the needs of the user, so there isn’t any need to make a compromise in the user experience between the designer, developer, and webmaster. These are interlinked such that each of them seamlessly blends into the other.
This eliminates the implementation hassles that typically plague the web development process. It also means that three individuals can work on the website concurrently, thus shortening the total time required to create a website.
Each of SiteManager’s three apps is built to maximize simplicity. The design app provides a visual interface that can enable the creation of designs on the fly. Designers can implement their designs using simple drag-and-drop mechanisms, so there is no need for Photoshop.
Because the apps are integrated, there is no need for coding the designs either. The app automatically generates HTML/CSS code as the designer is dragging and dropping. All the designs are fully responsive, which saves a tremendous amount of time normally spent in optimizing the mobile interface.
The developer app makes it easy to add features, functionalities and widgets. For common web elements, the developer doesn’t even need to do any coding. The codes are generated automatically. They can focus their effort on creating custom features.
The CMS app provides an intuitive interface for adding content. Unlike most platforms that require a certain comfort level with the code in the system, this one is designed to enable a webmaster add content with ease. Content can be added right from the front end of the page, so there’s no need for file transfers. Hosting is also covered since the SiteManager platform incorporates it into the pricing.
In a nutshell, SiteManager promises to simplify website design, development and management, but it’s not the only option out there. Companies like PageCloud, The Grid, Squarespace, and Wix are all vying for market share, with some having had a significant headstart in the space.
However, there are two attributes which set SiteManager apart from its competitors. The first is the three app approach, integrating the whole web development process, yet preserving the preferred user experience for each phase. This can make it appealing especially for firms working on large websites that require teams of different people to carry out the design, development and content management. The second is the inclusion of a CMS, something that makes a website easier to maintain and upgrade.
How the three components work together remains to be seen. With the beta version of SiteManager is scheduled for release in the Fall of 2015, it will be a while before we find out. However, if the app lives up to its potential, it could take a big bite out of the web development market.