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Introduction

One of the biggest tasks that eats up my time as a business owner is worrying about my website. I am not a graphic designer nor a web designer by any means. I am a photographer, and I want/need to concentrate my efforts on my craft. If I take a shot from a session I just finished and want to add it to my website, there is a process involved. For some, it’s easier than for others. Regardless, it takes time away from me that I could be using to get other things done.

PageCloud is a new software that I believe can give us that precious time back. It does way more than just adding images to your site. PageCloud allows you to take your existing website and edit and change things easier than ever before. You just type in your website’s URL and then click “Edit” from the PageCloud bar that you installed when you signed up. From the looks of it, they may have actually created a true drag and drop CMS.  I had an opportunity to interview Craig, the owner and CEO of PageCloud for this article and asked him questions from a bunch of photographers about PageCloud.

Watch this video below to see PageCloud in action.

Interview With PageCloud CEO

Q. Tell me a brief synopsis of what Page Cloud is? How do you think it could help our industry?

A. PageCloud introduces several world-firsts that offer you a publishing experience never before seen on the web. In addition to what you can do with PageCloud, you will love what you no longer have to do. You no longer have to write a line of code, wait for your technology to choose if it’s working for or against you, or rely on others to make your vision a living online masterpiece. Our greatest feature is you, in the driver’s seat of a design that belongs to you. PageCloud treats any web browser as a creative tool so that anyone seeking to build something online can do so, with ease, confidence, and delight.

Q. How is Page Cloud different from The Grid?

A. The Grid is very template based. From those templates, you can customize about 60% of what you would really want to. PageCloud is not limited to templates, although they will offer them. It is PageCloud’s goal to allow the user to customize up to 95% of their website. So the user will have much more control over the outcome of the site.

Q. How will this affect Web Designers?

A. Although PageCloud will make it much easier for the average person to create a website, it doesn’t make them a web designer. They will still need to know how colors work as well as basic layout, etc. We believe we are making the job of web developers even easier while giving the average person a new tool to utilize.

Q. Will we need to continue using and paying for our hosting company?

A. No! PageCloud utilizes Amazon for their hosting and is not an extra charge for you. So if you use Squarespace, WordPress, ShowIt, etc., you will not need to continue paying for those services.

Q. How will blogging work with PageCloud?

A. Blogging is something we are thinking about incorporating down the road. At launch, there will be an e-store offering widgets, etc. to help tie these types of things into your website.

Q. Will we be able to have scrolling photo galleries/photo galleries in general? This is a big deal for photographers.

A. Yes! This is one of our most requested features. It will be available in the e-store for FREE! We are aiming to make the most requested features free in our e-store. Think of our e-store as something similar to the WordPress store…most of the main widgets/plugins people need the most will be free. Then there will be thousands more that cater to smaller audiences that will have various price points.

Q. How does copyright affect the page copying feature? Will this redefine copyright laws with web design?

A. If you think about it, all forms of media can be manipulated. The web is just catching up. Most people will be responsible with PageCloud, but I’m sure there will be a select few that try to be malicious. Our vision is that people will start to use the web to inspire and push people to create bigger and better things. Musicians use parts of other people’s songs to create new songs. Photographers see other photographers work, and it pushes them to create something similar while still making it their own. They may use the same lighting setup, but they create a completely different image. This is what we are hoping to see!

Q. Does it generate good SEO friendly code or the stuff that SEO hates?

A. PageCloud supports all on page SEO including tags, layering, etc.

Q. Do we get access to the final RAW code?

A. Yes! PageCloud comes with a built-in code editor as well. One thing to note though is that when PageCloud takes your current website and converts it to its coding, you would essentially not be able to use it elsewhere. So if you have a WordPress site and convert it to PageCloud, you wouldn’t be able to just switch that code back to WordPress.

Q. I would like to know more about “nickel and diming.” In particular, we pay a small fee to access your system but, in order to run galleries and carousels and sliders, etc. we may have to BUY widgets from your store? I’m concerned about having to pay more for all this little basic stuff.

A. We will have 95% of the features you need active and free when we launch.

Q. My question is whether it’s going to build in advanced functionality to actually run a product-oriented business, or is it mostly “show only.” Like, can I create a custom product catalog, account system, and sell directly through the site? Could I create a subscription platform, accept payments, and manage accounts, etc. Or is it primarily for service-based industries to show what they offer? A lot of the existing services offer e-commerce. But, the platforms are rigid, difficult to customize and format, and limited in scope, unless you start programming.

A. This aspect is something we are letting those that do it well keep doing it. We have made it extremely easy to integrate e-commerce widgets with our sites.

Q. What happens to our websites if we choose to cancel the PageCloud subscription?

A. Your website will go static until you reactivate or take your site elsewhere.

Conclusion

PageCloud seems pretty amazing to me. I don’t know that I would completely design my own site from scratch using it. However, I think it would be amazing for maintaining an existing website. I think the biggest advantage for photographers is the ease with which we can edit our site. It sure beats calling up your web developer to make a simple change.

It absolutely beats me sitting there trying to figure out how to resize a photo so it’s not too big in order to fit on a certain part of the page. We will keep an eye on PageCloud and update you when it launches with a full review. You can read more about PageCloud HERE from TechCrunch. You can also sign up for the preorder here, which makes it only $8.25 per month!