Oh brother, here we go again. It was not enough that Microsoft wanted to take my business (web design for small businesses), but now Google has jumped in as well. Yesterday Google launched Google Pages, and it looks like the best low-tech
HTML web site builder I have seen. It is free and has no adds. I played with it for a bit and built a nice looking site in 20 minutes. Yea, great new product from Google. Boo, it will cut into my business.
Thankfully, it has a major weakness, users don’t get to control their URL. A web site created with Google’s new tool will have a URL composed of the user’s gmail address, followed by ‘googlepages.com’ (jamesfryer.com.googlepages.com in my case). So it is no good for businesses (or serious hobbyists). But I imagine that this will change at some point. Maybe Google will offer domain control as a ‘premium’ service.
This is what I see: a potential client wants a web site, they think, ‘Hey, Google has those for free, I will try that.’ The potential client tries it and makes a pretty bad site. But since they don’t know any better, they don’t know it is bad. So they never call me. That is what I think will happen with both Google Pages and Office Live. Oh well, such is life. I guess I still have a shot at people too computer illiterate to figure out Google Pages.