With the increasing popularity of sites such as Tumblr and WordPress, which offer free web hosting services to users, it seems like just about everyone has a blog these days. Formatting posts on these websites, however, takes a while to get around – and what if you’d prefer to use your mobile device, instead of being tethered to the computer? Webr has the answer, in the form of an easy-to-use iOS app.
What is Webr?
Webr competes with mainstream blogging sites in its offer of free web hosting. It aims to streamline the whole experience, however, by unifying it through its smartphone app. ‘Writing for the internet’ is no longer a daunting prospect now that it is no different to typing in any other iOS application.
Getting into the app
Firing up Webr, the style and intricate design of the app grabs the eye. The wood background, very in keeping with Apple’s general aesthetics, sets off the bright images and captions perfectly.
Instructions are everywhere, so you’re never left feeling that you’ve got to work things out on your own – unlike the experience of most bloggers. Speech bubbles pop up, instructing you where to press, and what will happen when you do – managing, thankfully, to avoid a patronising tone.
There are three types of web page you can create: an image page, a text page and a blog entry. The website that Webr lets you create for free can be a combination of any number of these three types, meaning that your finished creation can be quite impressive.
Once you’ve had your fill of adding pictures and text, Webr lets you choose the theme of your web page. Although there are around ten choices, we found them to be slightly samey, though professional-looking. For the ‘fun’ website we were trying to create, there wasn’t really a theme to suit, and we ended up plumping for second best, a plain white look.
The best bits
Although the ubiquitous instructions (which, thankfully, don’t reappear every time you repeat the same step) are helpful,Webr’s interface is in fact very intuitive. ‘Back’ buttons allow you to correct mistakes at any point, and it’s immediately obvious which function each of the buttons in the tool bar holds; things work like you expect them to.
There’s a real feeling of success when you upload your finished creation: a congratulatory message, along with the link to your site (ready to share with all your admiring friends), appears on the screen.
Parts to improve
Although we understand the developers’ desire to maintain the simplicity of the app, we do feel the lack of formatting when it comes to word processing. The lack of ability to change font size and colour, quite a basic function when it comes to web design, might mean that users stick with sites such as WordPress in order to retain flexibility.
This app is ideally suited to those wanting to own their own web pages and to get into blogging, but not confident in the standard ways of doing so. Webr renders a relatively complex process extremely simple through its easy-to-understand implementation, while making the experience enjoyable through its pleasant aesthetics.
Webr – free